Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Greenletes / Recipes / Dinner / Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Last updated on September 30th, 2021 at 10:25 am

Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Chili is a hearty & healthy dish that comes together in one-pot. You’ll love this simple meatless meal on cold winter nights!

There’s nothing better than chili to keep you cozy throughout the long dark winter. Better yet, a vegan pumpkin chili is full of veggies and protein, so it will fill you up without weighing you down.

All you need is a knife, cutting board and one big pot to make a big batch of chili, so get cooking!

vegan pumpkin chili


This fresh pumpkin chili has all plant-based ingredients, including:

  • peppers
  • onion
  • sweet potato
  • pumpkin
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • vegetable stock
  • black beans
  • kidney beans
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • cumin
vegan pumpkin chili ingredients

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that most of these ingredients are pantry staples. You can keep them on the shelf until you’re ready to whip up a delicious batch of this stew.

Is pumpkin nutritious?

Although pumpkin makes you think of Halloween decorations, this vibrant gourd is super nutritious. It’s chock full of Vitamin A, which is necessary for eye health, as well as potassium for healthy blood pressure. A 1 cup serving of pumpkin puree has:

  • 80 calories
  • 2 gram protein
  • 20 grams carbohydrates
  • 6 grams fiber (22% daily value)
  • 0 grams fat
  • 3.4 milligrams iron (20% daily value)

Since pumpkin is so good for you, I use it in a bunch of recipes. Here are some of my favorites:

How does canned pumpkin differ from pumpkin puree?

Believe it or not, canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same exact thing. Make sure you look for an unsweetened pumpkin puree. It will say 100% pumpkin puree on the can.

But there is one little secret… your can of pumpkin puree might also contain another type of winter squash, like butternut or hubbard. Pumpkin is technically a squash, and these other varieties are sometimes blended in to make a sweeter pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin puree is made from peeled and boiled or roasted pumpkin, which is then pureed. While you can definitely make the puree yourself, I recommend buying the canned version. It’s much easier than going through the whole process.

What kind of beans go in chili?

Here’s the thing about chili– there aren’t any rules! Some chili connoisseurs might tell you that you should only use kidney beans in a chili. But I’ve also seen chili recipes with black beans and chickpeas.

This vegetarian pumpkin chili has both black beans and kidney beans. Don’t like one of these types of beans? Leave them out! It’s up to you.

How to make Vegan Pumpkin Chili

This chili is incredibly easy to make. Here are the steps:

  • Sauté peppers, onion and sweet potatoes in the oil for a few minutes.
  • Add the spices.
veggies in a pot for pumpkin chili
  • Add the pumpkin, tomatoes and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
veggies and broth in a pot for pumpkin chili

Can I freeze it?

I absolutely encourage you to make a big batch of this chili and freeze it. Put it in an air tight container and freeze it for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat, run the container under hot water until the chili is able to come out of the container. Then put the chili in a pot over medium low heat to defrost.

vegan pumpkin chili with spoon

Swaps and Substitutions

Like most plant-based recipes, it’s easy to swap ingredients and still come up with a delicious meal. Here are some of my favorite swaps and substitutions for this delicious and hearty bowl of chili:

  • Instead of sweet potato, use butternut squash
  • Feel free to use whatever types of beans you like best, like chickpeas or pinto beans
  • Use any type of bell pepper– red, yellow or green
  • Add a bit more cinnamon for a sweeter chili that tastes like fall

Toppings for Chili

One of my favorite things about chili is that you can top it with so many delicious ingredients, such as:

  • tortilla chips
  • sliced jalapeños (if you like things spicy)
  • sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
  • a squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • cilantro

What else am I missing? What would you top your chili with?

Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Chili is a hearty & healthy dish that cooks in one pot. Easy preparation and minimal clean up!

Servings 4 servings
Calories 383 kcal
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper any color, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 sweet potato chopped (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 15.5 ounce can 100% pumpkin puree
  • 15.5 ounce can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 15.5 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained


  1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, pepper, sweet potato and garlic cloves. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cinnamon to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.

    veggies in a pot for pumpkin chili
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, kidney beans and black beans to the pot and stir.

    veggies and broth in a pot for pumpkin chili
  4. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add optional toppings and serve immediately.

    vegan pumpkin chili
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 383 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1650mg72%
Potassium 1354mg39%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 20g83%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 26201IU524%
Vitamin C 64mg78%
Calcium 164mg16%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Renee McMillan

    How could I adapt this for the slow cooker?

    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      I haven’t made it that way, so I can’t be 100% sure. But here’s what I think…Are you going to use canned beans or dry? If dry beans, you will need several hours (about 4-6 on low). If canned beans, about 2 hours on low should work!


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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