The perfect balance of sweet and spicy in this hearty vegan pumpkin 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!
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!
Pro tips for success
~ 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!
Loaded with plant protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this Vegan Pumpkin Chili is super nutritious and definitely good for you!
Chili is pretty thick on its own, but in this recipe, I add pumpkin purée for even more body. It blends in flawlessly!
You shouldn’t need to thicken this Vegan Pumpkin Chili any further, but if for some reason you find your self with a liquid-y 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
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
*Squeeze of fresh lime juice
*And don’t forget a big slice of Vegan Cornbread on the side!
More vegan chili recipes
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
- Chickpea White Chili
- Beanless Veggie Chili
- Meatless Taco Chili
- Black Bean Quinoa Chili
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- 2 tablespoons 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 spicy)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 cups cooked lentils
- 2 carrots peeled and shredded or diced
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin purée
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans
- 2-3 tablespoons 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.