Fall is here, pumpkin-everything is in the air, and we’re all in the mood for a hearty, healthy, scrumptious meal. Sound about right? Then you’ve come to the right place, because this roasted pumpkin chili recipe totally hits the spot! Truth be told, we love to eat it any time of year. I think you’re going to love it too.
Our pumpkin chili recipe is chunky, thick, loaded with protein, full of antioxidants and vitamin A – thank you pumpkin! – and bursting with rich and savory flavors. This easy-to-make recipe also happens to be vegan, though you can doll it up with cheese at the end if you prefer. It is also easy to customize to your taste buds by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili powder added! We prefer a nice and mild pumpkin chili, so that is reflected in this recipe.
You may have already noticed something that makes this pumpkin chili recipe special: that it uses fresh, whole roasted pumpkin! It is totally acceptable to use canned pumpkin in a pinch, but if possible, go with the real deal. The flavor and texture of whole roasted sugar pie pumpkin really kicks the chili up a notch.
Finally, if you’ve been around this blog, then you know how much we love to meal prep by making extra large batches of soup or beans and freezing the leftovers! This pumpkin chili is no different. I’m providing a reasonable recipe below (which yields about 3 quarts of chili) but we always double it.
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Pumpkin Chili Base:
- 1 whole sugar pie pumpkin to roast. They’re also sometimes referred to as “pie pumpkins”. Don’t use regular jack-o-lantern pumpkins; those are different! You can also use other similar hard winter squash, such as butternut, delicata, or hubbard squash. For reference, we’ve found the average sugar pie pumpkin to weigh about 2.5 pounds when whole, before being gutted. In a pinch, substitute with 1 can of plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling! We don’t want a sweet chili here.
- 3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed. We love the combination of black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans! If you prefer to use dry beans instead of canned, you’ll need about 4.5 to 5 cups total after cooking.
- 1 large white or yellow sweet onion, diced
- 3 to 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) of diced or crushed tomatoes. Opt for a roasted variety if possible! Because we double this recipe, we usually use one can of diced roasted tomatoes to add some chunkiness, plus one jar of our thick homemade simple roasted tomato sauce from the freezer.
- 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large bell pepper of choice. Again, because we double the recipe, we usually do one red or orange plus one green.
- 2 cups of diced brown crimini mushrooms (just under an average 8-ounce package)
Pumpkin Chili Seasonings:
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano, OR 1 tsp dried oregano
- A tiny pinch each of nutmeg and ground clove
- Optional: 1 Tbsp onion powder
Step 1: Roast the Pumpkin
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
First, wash your sugar pie pumpkin, cut it in half, and scoop out the guts and seeds. Save the seeds to roast, compost them, or feed them to your spoiled chickens! If you’re looking to eat the seeds, I highly suggest this delicious sweet and salty rosemary pumpkin seed recipe from Garden Therapy.
Very lightly drizzle the pumpkin “bowl” with olive oil plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet, flesh side down. Lining the pan with parchment paper helps reduce sticking, and makes for an easier clean up. Poke the back skin side of the pumpkin with a sharp knife in a few places. This helps steam get between the skin and flesh, and makes peeling the skin off after roasting a breeze!
Roast the pumpkin for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, until soft. If you’re using canned pumpkin, skip right to Step 2.
Step 2: Start Chili Base
Prep your other ingredients while the pumpkin roasts. When it is close to done roasting (or finished), heat a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add a good splash of olive oil, and then diced onion, bell pepper, and mushroom. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Saute until everything softens a bit and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Next, add the minced garlic, fresh (or dry) oregano, chili powder, cumin, clove, nutmeg, soy sauce, and onion powder to the pot. Stir to coat, and cook for another few minutes.
Step 3: Combine Everything
By this time, your pumpkin should be done roasting and even cooled slightly – making it easier to handle. Gently peel away the pumpkin skin. If it doesn’t come away from the flesh easily, use a knife to remove it, or a spoon to scoop the flesh out.
Now, pour in the called-for veggie broth, tomatoes (with juices), and beans (strained, without the can liquid) into the pot. If your pumpkin flesh is thoroughly cooked and very soft, you can toss it into the pot in large chunks. It will break up as you mix and continue to cook the chili. If it still seems a little firm, mash it up in a bowl first to break it apart. Mix well.
Once everything is combined, bring the pot to a boil. Thereafter, reduce the heat to simmer for a final 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has thickened and reduced to your liking. During this time, stir occasionally. Also, give the pumpkin chili a taste-test! Feel free to add more chili powder if you prefer it on the spicier side.
*Note: Using different canned ingredients may result in a different consistency than ours. If your chili is not as thick as you’d like, try blending a portion of the chili (a quarter to a half) either by using an immersion blender right in the pot, or removing a portion to blend and add back in.
Step 4: Enjoy!
The moment you’ve been waiting for: chow down! This roasted pumpkin chili is killer on its own, but the toppings can make it simply to-die-for. Delicious and popular chili toppings include crunched tortilla chips, avocado, grated cheese, fresh cilantro, pumpkin seeds, sour cream, or even micro-greens. Oh, and served with a slice of crusty, chewy homemade sourdough bread? Game over.
Don’t be afraid of the leftovers! This pumpkin chili gets even better with time. Truth be told, it also makes an amazing cold bean dip with chips. Enjoy within one week if stored in the refrigerator, or freeze some to enjoy for months to come! We freeze chili, lentils, and soup in these reusable BPA-free storage containers.
Allow the chili to cool slightly before packaging. Defrost frozen pumpkin chili in the refrigerator a day or two before you want it, and simply reheat on the stovetop in a pot. To make a healthy meal even more nutritious, we like to lightly sauté garden greens such as bok choy, kale, and/or mustard greens in the bottom of the pot before adding the chili to reheat it!
So chunky. So good.
Thank you for tuning in. I truly hope you love this pumpkin chili as much as we do! Please feel free to ask questions, and spread the love by sharing this article! If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy our:
- Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Soup Recipe
- Creamy Vegan Roasted Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
- Madras Curry Lentils Recipe
All three are vegan as well!
Vegan Roasted Sugar Pie Pumpkin 3-Bean Chili Recipe
Pumpkin Chili Base
- 1 whole sugar pie pumpkin (about 2.5 pounds) *Substitute with 1 can pumpkin puree, or other hard squash such as butternut, delicata, or hubbard
- 3 cans beans, drained and rinsed. Kidney, black, and pinto is an excellent combo! (standard 14-16 ounce cans) *Substitute with dry beans, approximately 5 cups cooked
- 1 can roasted crushed or diced tomatoes, juices included (14.5 ounce can)
- 1 large white or yellow sweet onion diced
- 3-4 large cloves of fresh garlic peeled and minced
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large bell pepper of choice diced
- 2 cups brown crimini mushrooms (just under an average 8-ounce package) diced
Pumpkin Chili Seasonings
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced *Substitute with 1 tsp dried oregano
- Tiny pinch Nutmeg and ground clove
- 1 Tbsp onion powder optional
- Cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half, and scoop out the guts and seeds. Very lightly drizzle the pumpkin “bowl” with olive oil plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet, flesh side down. Poke the back skin side of the pumpkin with a sharp knife in a few places.
- Roast the pumpkin on 400F for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, until soft. If you’re using canned pumpkin, skip right to Step 4.
- Once the pumpkin has finished roasting and cooled slightly, remove the skin and discard.
- Combine diced onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, salt and black pepper in a large pot on the stovetop – along with a good splash of olive oil. Over medium-high heat, cook until everything softens and the onions are translucent – about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Next, add diced garlic, oregano, soy sauce, and other seasonings listed above to the pot. Mix well to coat. Allow to cook for another few minutes.
- Pour in the called-for veggie broth, tomatoes (with juices), and beans (strained, without the can liquid) into the pot. If your pumpkin is thoroughly cooked and very soft, you can toss it into the pot in large chunks. If it still seems a little firm, mash it up in a bowl first to break it apart. Mix well.
- Once everything is combined, bring the pot to a boil. Thereafter, reduce the heat to simmer for a final 15 to 20 minutes, until it has thickened and reduced to your liking.
- Serve and enjoy! Delicious and popular chili toppings include crunched tortilla chips, avocado, grated cheese, fresh cilantro, pumpkin seeds, sour cream, or even microgreens. It is also amazing with homemade sourdough bread.
- Enjoy within one week if stored in the refrigerator, or freeze some to enjoy for months to come! Allow the chili to cool slightly before packaging. Defrost frozen pumpkin chili in the refrigerator a day or two before you want it, and simply reheat on the stovetop in a pot.