This Vegan Pumpkin Chili is warm, comforting and needs only 10 minutes of prep then right into the slow cooker! It results in a thick, filling and delicious chili! 

Close up of pumpkin chili opped with jalapenos and avocado

Three things in specific get me really excited about fall:

  1. Pumpkins
  2. Wearing cool light jackets
  3. Warming/comforting foods

Who else is with me? I love pumpkins all year round, I feel super stylish in light seasonal jackets, and warming and comforting foods make me feel so cozy. Lucky for me (and us), this recipe hits two of those in one. Plus, I could eat this wearing some fashionable clothing, so I’d already say that it’s a complete win. Welcome to your new favorite chili of the season: Vegan Pumpkin Chili.

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Chili

Every year when I ask, “what recipes do you want to see this fall?” I get “chili!” as a resounding response. The addition of pumpkin and quinoa makes it a runaway hit for the following reasons:

  • Perfect for fall with seasonal ingredients. Take advantage of all things pumpkin while it’s at the height of harvest! Pumpkin works just as beautifully in sweet recipes as it does in savory.
  • Incredibly hearty and filling. Between the beans, whole grains, and abundance of fresh vegetables, you have a power-packed combination of fiber and protein that will keep you full and focused for hours.
  • Practically cooks itself. After a few minutes of prep, your slow cooker will do all the work for you! It’s a life saver on busy days when there’s no time to spend in the kitchen.
Ingredients for pumpkin chili

Notes on Ingredients

What separates good chili from great chili are quality ingredients. Here’s what you need for the very best results:

  • Vegetable broth – Low sodium is best to keep the salt levels in check.
  • Quinoa – You can use white, red, black, or all three for a more colorful mix.
  • Black beans – Feel free to mix and match beans based on what’s in your pantry. Pinto beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas are other great choices.
  • Diced tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes – Use fire roasted tomatoes for a deeper, subtly smoky flavor.
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure this is 100% solid packed pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling which is spiced and sweetened.
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green bell pepper
  • Shredded carrot – You’ll need roughly 1/3 cup of shredded carrots if you buy it already prepared.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili pepper – This could be anything from a mild jalapeno to a blazing hot ghost pepper, depending on your spice preference.
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Oregano

How to Make Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

Set your slow cooker to warm. Add the broth, quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin. Stir to combine.

Next, add the peppers, carrot, onion, and garlic. Mix well and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring to combine.

Cook on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours. Keep an eye on it during the final 30 minutes of cooking to reach your ideal texture and thickness.

Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve in bowls and top with avocado, cheese, vegan sour cream, and parsley. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Chili

  • For those not crazy about spicy foods or cooking for picky kids, it’s easy to dial back the heat to taste. Simply omit the chili pepper and cayenne to make a milder version.
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this chili on the stovetop instead. Sauté the vegetables first in a splash of water or oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, and the quinoa is fully cooked.
  • For those craving a conventional meaty chili, “beef” things up with plant-based grounds. Add 12 to 16 ounces of your favorite vegan ground beef in the first step, cooking until lightly browned.
Bowl of pumpkin chili with a spoon in it

Serving Suggestions

The beauty is chili is that it’s a complete meal in a bowl. All you need is a spoon, and maybe a cozy blanket to snuggle under! If you want to dress it up though, there are lots of ways to use your chili as the ultimate topper:

  • Chili cheese dogs (vegan dogs, of course!)
  • Chili cheese fries
  • Chili loaded potatoes
  • Chili mac and cheese
  • Chili spaghetti
  • Chili stuffed peppers

Pumpkin chili is also great with some simple sides, such as:

How to Store Leftovers

Let the chili cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. To reheat, simply microwave individual servings for 1 to 2 minutes, until hot all the way through.

Bowl of pumpkin chili topped with jalapenos and avocado

Can I Freeze Vegan Chili?

Yes, chili is a great meal to freeze for safe keeping! Stored in an airtight container, it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat, microwave for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until thawed and hot all the way though.

More Vegan Chili Recipes

Close up of pumpkin chili opped with jalapenos and avocado

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

This Vegan Pumpkin Chili is warm, comforting and needs only 10 minutes of prep then right into the slow cooker! It results in a thick, filling and delicious chili! 
5 (from 11 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes or can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Instructions 

  • Turn your slow cooker to warm. Add in the broth, quinoa, black beans, tomatoes and pumpkin puree to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Next add the peppers, carrot, onion and garlic, and stir, then add the rest of the ingredients and seasonings and stir a few times to combine.
  • Set the slow cooker to high for 2 ½ to 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours (for high, monitor the last 30 minutes and for low, monitor the last hour). If you like your chili thick but with more liquid, do the 2 ½ on high, and 5 on low. If you like it thicker with just a little bit it liquid, go with the higher number for each option.
  • Remove chili and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve in bowls and top with avocado, cheese, vegan sour cream and parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For those not crazy about spicy foods or cooking for picky kids, it’s easy to dial back the heat to taste. Simply omit the chili pepper and cayenne to make a milder version.
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this chili on the stovetop instead. Sauté the vegetables first in a splash of water or oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, and the quinoa is fully cooked.
  • For those craving a conventional meaty chili, “beef” things up with plant-based grounds. Add 12 to 16 ounces of your favorite vegan ground beef in the first step, cooking until lightly browned.
Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 34.3g, Protein: 10.4g, Fat: 2.6g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Fiber: 8.3g, Sugar: 6.3g

Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.