Pumpkin Lentil Chili – the perfect balance of sweet and spicy in this hearty vegetarian chili.
Chili is the perfect dish to get us through fall and winter. It’s hearty, filling, and nutritious.
I like my chili a little on the sweet side and this dish is a perfect balance between sweet and spicy.
Eat it with a spoon or scoop it up with tortilla chips, but either way, garnish it with your favorite toppings and dig in!
WHAT IS VEGETARIAN CHILI MADE OF
Most chili starts out the same way…with aromatics like onion, garlic, and peppers. I use carrots in my chili as well as we like the sweetness they bring. Sometimes I shred them so they kind of disappear right into the chili, other times I dice them up so they add texture.
In this vegan chili recipe, I use lentils instead of meat. I also add beans because we love them, but you can leave them out if you don’t.
Add tomatoes and spices and you’ve got chili!
IS VEGETARIAN CHILI GOOD FOR YOU?
Loaded with plant protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this Pumpkin Lentil Chili is super nutritious and definitely good for you!
Don’t miss these other delicious meatless chili recipes:
- Meatless Taco Chili
- Black Bean Quinoa Chili w/ Cocoa
- Chickpea White Chili
- Beanless Garden Chili
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili
- Easy Cheesy Chili Mac
HOW DO YOU THICKEN VEGAN CHILI?
Chili is pretty thick on it’s own, but in this recipe, I add pumpkin purée for even more body. It blends in flawlessly!
You shouldn’t need to thicken this Pumpkin Lentil Chili any further, but if for some reason you find your self with a liquidy chili in the future, try some of these tricks:
- Use a potato masher and mash some of the beans in the chili
- Add a couple tablespoons of quick oats or cornmeal straight into the chili and let simmer
- Let it simmer longer so the liquid evaporates
WHAT GOES WITH PUMPKIN LENTIL CHILI?
The best part of chili is being able to customize individual bowls. Try some of these yummy toppings:
- Diced Avocado or Guacamole
- Shredded dairy-free cheese
- Vegan sour cream or Dairy Free Southwest Ranch Dressing
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Diced red onion or green onion
- Chopped cilantro
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
And don’t forget a big slice of Vegan Cornbread on the side!
PRO TIPS FOR MAKING PUMPKIN LENTIL CHILI
*To make this dish even quicker, make a big batch of lentils over the weekend, refrigerate the 3 cups you need for this recipe and freeze the rest. That way you’ll have lentils ready to go whenever the mood strikes.
Or use precooked packaged or canned lentils.
While you’re at it, chop up all the veggies (green peppers, jalapeños, onions, garlic) and store them in an airtight container together in the fridge. The flavors will be melded even before you begin to cook. Yay!
Pumpkin Lentil Chili
I hope you love this Lentil Chili as much as we do. If you try it, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback and star rating.
You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it.
- 2 tbsp olive oil or grape seed oil, (or use vegetable broth if you want oil-free)
- 1 small yellow onion, (diced)
- 2 small green bell peppers, (diced)
- 2 jalapeño peppers, (diced) (ribs and seeds removed) (leave them in if you like it HOT)
- 2 garlic cloves, (minced)
- 3 cups cooked lentils
- 2 carrots, (peeled and shredded or diced)
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 15 oz can red kidney beans
- 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup, (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth, (optional)
- Heat oil (or vegetable broth) in pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, green bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes
- Add cooked lentils, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, pumpkin, tomato paste, water, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add beans.
- Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. If you like your chili on the sweeter side, add the maple syrup and stir to combine.
- If you like your chili soupier, add the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
- Serve and enjoy with your favorite chili toppings.
~Nutrition facts calculated including the optional maple syrup and extra vegetable broth.
Serving Size:6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 411mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 22gSugar: 17gProtein: 17g