Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili is 1 pot, ready in 30 minutes, oil-free and meatless. It is so hearty with seasonal pumpkin for body and creaminess that is accented with spicy, smoky chipotle peppers for a warming, full-on flavored meal. 

A big thank you to Sprouts for sponsoring this post and their continued wonderful relationship and products!

There is no turning back, pumpkin is looking at you from every corner. While most are in the sweet corner, today I'm sharing with you a savory pumpkin recipe. I love, love soups, stews and chilis. I also especially love spicy food. I don't like things excessively spicy, but more like a good kick of heat that is undeniable, but that won't have you sweating. This Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili does just that. It has a good spicy flavor, but is totally manageable by how much chipotle you add.


This chili has amazing flavor. Using pumpkin in this chili gives it some extra thickness and body, as well as creaminess. No need for nuts, oil or fat! The chipotle peppers are a nice smoky compliment and add an extra depth of flavor alongside the chili powder and cumin.


As if the chili wasn't delicious enough, I created a super tangy Lemon Cream Sauce to drizzle all over the top. 100% vegan, oil-free and creamy heaven, thanks to magical cashews. This is totally optional, but because the chili is smoky and spicy, the lemon cream really tastes incredible with it. Before I was vegan, I always loved sour cream on my chili, so this is kind of the same concept. While I didn't create it to be a "sour cream" originally, it certainly has a similar taste and texture and works great as one.


I had the pleasure again to create something for the Sprouts brand. This is my favorite grocery store to shop at, the staff is always incredibly friendly and I love all of the vegan options.


First, start by chopping your veggies and cook them until soft.

Next, simply add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened and well-flavored. So darn easy and fast.

This Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili is so good. Seriously. Every Christmas it is tradition at my house to hold the Christmas Eve party, and without fail, I always make my Mexican Chili. Nobody in my family is vegan, except my husband, daughter and I. Regardless of that fact, all the meat-eaters love and devour every bite of the Mexican chili. But now it's got some competition.

You will likely have extra Lemon Cream Sauce too, so that could be used on tacos, burritos, enchiladas...really anything that a tangy sauce would compliment. Enjoy!

Other Easy and Quick Vegan Dinners:

5 from 4 votes

Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili is 1 pot, ready in 30 minutes, oil-free and meatless. It is so hearty with seasonal pumpkin for body and creaminess that is accented with spicy, smoky chipotle peppers.

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan pumpkin chili, vegan pumpkin chipotle chili, vegan chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 cups



  • 1/2 cup (120g) water or low-sodium veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (235g) finely diced white onion
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced (16g or 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3 15 oz cans of chili beans, rinsed well (insed well (or 1 black bean, 1 pinto bean and 1 kidney bean)
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce/puree
  • 3/4 cup (175g) pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used 3 tsp, add as little or as much to desired heat level. Make sure to remove the seeds if you don't like super spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt (this will vary depending on your tomato sauce)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon ground coriander

OPTIONAL LEMON CREAM SAUCE (this really goes amazing with the smoky spice!)

  • 2/3 cup + 2 heaping tablespoons (140g) raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges


  1. If making the lemon cream sauce, you will need to make it the day before wanting to eat the chili, as it needs overnight to firm up in the fridge. Simply add all the ingredients to a power blender and blend until completely smooth. It is very runny after making it, but firms and thickens a lot in the fridge, similar to a sour cream consistency. I did not soak my cashews since I have a vitamix, but if you don't, you will need to soak your cashews overnight to soften, drain and rinse, then blend in a food processor as smooth as you can get it along with the other ingredients.
  2. For the chili, add just the 1/2 cup water/broth to a pot with the onion and garlic over medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, let it cook 8 minutes until the onions are very soft and the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Get your remaining spices and ingredients ready while the onions are cooking.
  4. Add all of the remaining chili ingredients, plus 1 cup water/broth. Stir really well and bring back to a boil. Then turn to simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes until the chili is flavored through and has thickened. If needed, add up to 1/4 cup more broth if a thinner consistency is desired. Taste and add any more salt or chipotle if desired. I used 3 teaspoons and it was nice and spicy, but not overly so.
  5. Serve with lemon cream and fresh cilantro, if desired. The cream really does go amazing with the smoky, spicy flavor!



  1. Love pairing pumpkin with spicy! The pumpkin evens the spice out and makes a dish so yummy!
  2. Another one after my own heart, chili? Yes! Smoky? Yes! I could eat a big bowl of chili every day I think, with a few fat free tortillas of course. I love your lemon sauce idea but I'm not doing 'nuts' right now. Do you think tofu would work as a sub for the cashews? Thanks Brandi. 😎
      Hi Angela, thank you! I have no idea since I don't ever use tofu, but I guess it's worth a shot! I would have no clue how much to use, so let me know if you try it :)
  3. I made my first pot of chili last week. There's a can of pumpkin in my pantry just waiting to be added to my next batch. Great idea! Chili is always made on Halloween in my house, this will be perfect.
      Thank you Linda! It is so good in this chili!
  4. I love that chili season is here, and I love how creative this recipe is!
      So sweet of you, thank you Dianne!
  5. Now this is the kind of pumpkin recipe I could never pull off, but man does it look amazing! The color is so rich and deep and I am sure the flavor matches. I love all your in-action shots too, like you are serving up a bowl just for me haha :D I always appreciate that the heat level is adjustable, but I really think that Lemon Cream Sauce would help immensely for me to handle the heat. The contrast between the two sounds delicious! Very cool of Sprouts to partner up on all these pumpkin posts :)
      You are so sweet Natalie, thank you! Yes, I was making that bowl for you girl, haha! This can totally be tailor-made to your spice liking, definitely. Add as little or as much as you want of the chipotle and that lemon cream sauce just turns it into a dream chili full meal!
  6. Ooh this looks like a perfect fall meal!
    • That's a slick answer to a chellanging question
  7. Oh wow girl seriously this sounds sooooo amazing. Yeah I need this in my life. Because I am a riceaholic I totally would serve this with rice. Yum I can't wait to try this. I can't get over how amazing and creative you are. This just looks like absolute perfection. And your pictures have always been amazing but I am really liking your new picture style lately where you can see a little bit of you in the pic. It adds a personal touch to the pics. Its like they have more personality or something. I don't know but I love it. An d you have such awesome aprons. :) I have never seen chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. Does that come in a jar? A can? is it available at Sprouts?
      Thank you so much Christina! So glad you said that, because a more personal, rustic approach is exactly what I want. I finally have my photography setup and tripod with my props (in my living room, lol!) so I'm able to just grab my food and accents and use my tripod so much more now. It's allowing me to really do more of the photos I really want to do. It's a lot of fun too :) Oh, thank you! I buy most of my aprons from Home Goods, they are the best and super cheap! Yes, the chipotles should be at any grocery store, they come in a can and there are many brands. I got mine at Sprouts but they are everywhere. They should be in the Mexican food isles near the chiles and things like that. They are super spicy, but have a really deep smoky flavor, so good!
  8. This recipe looks amazing! Can't wait to try it as soon it cools down in LA!
      Awesome Michelle, can't wait to hear what you think!
  9. I love pumpkin in chili. I make a lentil pumpkin chili that is my favorite. Love the added chipotle here! You know I feel about smoky flavors!! :) And I used to load up my chili with sour cream before I went plant based too. Yet again, our taste buds are very similar. HaHa! I wish we had a Sprouts here...sounds like an awesome store.
      Thank you Jenn! Lol, seriously, were we separated at birth?? We love all the same things food-related, lol! It's called good taste, hahaha.
  10. A big bowl, please, Brandi! This looks super delicious, I'm so ready for fall and this is my kind of recipe! That lemon cream sauce yes I know I would dizzle it about anything, yum! And for real I love how much garlic it has so much flavor!
      Thank you Florian, oh yeah, I added lots of garlic in this one, hahaa!
  11. This looks delicious mama!! I love how simple it is and of course you had me at chipotle. Double it up! Love the comfort that this oozes. I'd totally cuddle up to this....if it EVER gets cold again!!! LOL And yes to the lemon cream. Obviously that is needed along with loads of cilantro. YUM!
      Thanks babe!! Hey, we are getting in the 50's tonight!! I'm SOOOO excited, can you hear me screaming?! hahaha. I seriously could have handled probably double the amount of chipotle pepper, but I didn't want to kill my family, LOL!
  12. Oh yeah. Chili every day of the week! Another gorgeous recipe!
  13. Pumpkin chili sounds so good right now especially because the weather is starting to get cold! Brandi, your recipes never cease to amaze me, love the addition of the lemon cream sauce to go with the spiciness of the chili, how fabulous! Thank you for sharing, pinning this to make for later :)
      You are so sweet, thank you Rachel!
  14. Chili is my absolute favorite fall/winter food. Looking forward to trying it with pumpkin instead of sweet potato.
  15. Just made this for lunch,it's simply delicious!!!!!!
      Yay! So very happy to hear that Darlene, thank you very much for the feedback!
  16. This looks like my kind of meal. Chili is my absolutely favourite. I make it at least once a week and I love that you used chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They have such a deep spicy flavour. We go through rather a lot of them here!
  17. Mmmmmmm!!!! Bring on the savory pumpkin dishes! What an incredible bowl of comfort and flavor. I LOVE chipotle and have added it to pumpkin soup in the past, but pumpkin chili is something I haven't tried yet! So hearty and perfect for these cool/cold evenings. That lemon cream sauce looks like a wonderful addition, too. I love that you have that tradition of making chili for your family on Christmas Eve - I bet they would all go crazy for this version!! ❤️
      Thank you so much Mandy! This is my first time ever having pumpkin chili, and the idea just sounded so good and adding chipotle was an idea that I thought would make it extra special. It turned out so delicious! I hope you are well, thinking about you!
  18. Hi, Brandi, I just served this to my husband for lunch. We both thought it was fantastic - the lemon cream was such a nice touch. Ryan went for seconds, not because he was hungry, but because he just wanted to enjoy it some more. He's not even vegan. I was surprised to find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in our small Canadian city, but sure enough, the grocery store had them. Incidentally, for dessert, we had your pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookie cake, which I have made twice now. I'm crazy for it (but of course, I make it with my beloved blackstrap molasses, and it's delicious). Thanks for both recipes, they have been added to the regular rotation.
      So wonderful to hear all this Regan! So glad the chili and the cookie cake are both hits, thank you so much for the feedback!
  19. Made this tonight. It is very good and so simple too! I enjoyed it over the freshly baked potato. Was lazy to make the cream but maybe will do the next time since I'll definitely make this again. Need to use up the leftover pumpkin and tomato purée ☺️ Thanks Brandi for the recipe.
    • Just got some feedback from hubby "That chili was awesome !!! Like really really good". Enough said 👌🏻
        Woohoo, awesome!
      Great idea to add it over baked potato! So glad you enjoyed it Milda, thank you so much for the feedback!
  20. This looks so delicious and comforting, Brandi! Just perfect for chilly fall days! :-)
      Thank you so much Sina!
  21. I made this last night and it was incredible. My husband, who generally dislikes both chili and pumpkin, asked me if I could make it again next week. I didn't notice the note about making the cream ahead of time, but did make it a few hours in advance. It thickened up plenty in those three hours. Thanks for the great recipe!
      Yay! Such wonderful feedback and I am thrilled your husband loved it too! Thank you Bromley!
  22. Brandi this is the BEST chili I've EVER had! I am so glad I have this meal prepped for the whole weekend!
      Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! You made my day!!
  23. Thank you Brandi for this recipe. I made this last night, with the lemon cream, and it was a hit. I added a little lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg to chili just because I love the flavor of this combo. Scrumptious!
      Wonderful Nicole! So happy to hear that!
  24. So yummy and easy! Perfect on a cold night with some sourdough bread!
      So happy to hear that Kim, thank you for the feedback!
  25. This chili is beyond incredible! LOVE!! I haven't made chili in a long time, and this was perfect. Definitely a recipe I'll be making 1-2 times every month. I added smoked paprika because it's my favorite. I also added shiitake mushrooms because I had some and didn't want them to go bad. Thanks for always creating the best!
      Yay! So very happy to hear that Jessica! Thank you so much as always for your feedback, it really means the world to me!
  26. I made this for the first time tonight. I was very skeptical about Pumpkin in chili. We always put hamburger meat in the chili with cheese and sour cream ontop until we became vegan 6 months ago. All I can say is "WOW"!!!! This chili is amazing!!! Never missed the dairy or meat at all. Very filling and the flavor is so good! Who would have thought pumpkin in chili. Thank you for sharing this and all your other recipes. I am going to try a dessert next. :)
      Yay! So happy to hear that Debra, especially from a new vegan! haha! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback!
  27. Couldn't wait to make this one! We make your cocoa chili 2-3 times per month all year long and can't get enough so I just knew this would be delicious. Thick, hardy, absolutely wonderful with your corn hush puppies and baked potato chunks! The only thing I had to alter was adding the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce b/c the only brand I could find had oil in it, so I added 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper spice instead. THANK YOU for coming up with these incredible pumpkin recipes, Brandi! I just reviewed your insanely delectable pumpkin ice cream, and I'm off to rave about your gingersnap cookies. (Yup. I figured today was perfect for sitting down and getting caught up on my reviews for your creations. It's the very least I can do show my sincere appreciation for continuing to share your talents with us! :)
      Hi Colleen! Oooh, yes the cocoa one is one of my favorites! So happy to hear you loved this one, too! I still need to try chili with my are so brilliant to think of that idea! Thank you as always for your wonderful feedback Colleen!
  28. How do I thicken up the sauce? I followed the directions and left it in the fridge over night, but it was still so watery.
      Hi Lauren! It shouldn't be watery at all, it should be rather thick. There is not a whole lot of water in this recipe, so it shouldn't be watery. I make it quite often and it's always thick. Did you drain the beans? That's my only guess because all 3 cans have a lot of water in them, so they need to be drained. You added all 3 cans and 3/4 cup pumpkin? Somehow it sounds like you added too much water, because nobody else has had that issue. It should be thick like in the above photos. I would try to whisk in some flour to thicken yours up, but will be challenging with all the beans in there. You could also add in some cooked rice or more beans but may need to adjust the spices.
  29. This is next on deck in my recipe rotation after the overwhelming success of the Creamy Curry Rice Soup! Only thing I need to find is the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I looked on Amazon but don't see any that are GMO free, which is super important to me. Any recommendations on brands? If not, I found some recipes to make my own, but that adds complexity which usually means it ain't happenin'! LOL
      Awesome Marlene! Can't wait to hear what you think! You can just sub with chipotle pepper spice if you want, a couple of readers have done that. I'd start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and add more at the end if you want it more spicy.
      • Thanks! Had it last night, substituted diced green chilies for the chipotle pepper and it turned out AWESOME. Next time I'll try the chipotle spice. I did NOT make husband did. I made the lemon cream the night before and put it in the fridge. But, I prepped everything else for him the night before (chopped the onion, separated the garlic cloves, got each can of stuff and put it on the counter and pre-measured the spices and put all the corresponding measuring utensils with the items and even put the appropriate pot on the stove is scary and intimidating to him, had to make it as easy as possible!!) I was getting home late and we needed food ready, so him cooking was the only option. He had it done and it was FABULOUS. He said that after he made it he subscribed to your emails! :-) Maybe there is more cooking in his future! Thank you sooooooooooooo much for your site, it made my husband confident in his cooking so much so that he wants to get your recipes and newsletter directly.
          Awww, this comment made me smile so much Marlene! You are so sweet to set everything up for him and he is so kind to cook the dinner for you both! Even better that he subscribed, so wonderful! You are so welcome, and thank you for making my recipes all the time! I love hearing from you!
  30. Hello! I'm wondeing-- have you tried making this in the crock pot? Do you think it will work out the same?
      So sorry I missed this question Kate! I know I'm way late but no I never use a crockpot, so I haven't tested it. I probably wouldn't suggest it because this recipe comes together SUPER fast as it is.
  31. Excellent chili recipe. I used frozen pumpkin puree from our fall harvest which tends to be thinner consistency than commercially produced pumpkin puree, so I had to increase the amount of pumpkin and decrease broth. Unfortunately I didn't have any lemons on hand, so I did not make the lemon cream sauce. I will definately try it in the future. I topped my chili with diced avocado and a cilantro chimichurri.
      So glad you loved the chili M.G.! Yes, try the lemon cream next time, it really goes well with the spice! That chimichurri sounds delicious!
  32. I made this chili and it is amazing. I have made it 3 times already this fall and winter. It is my go to chili. We recently became totally vegan and I am keeping the great recipes and this one is a keeper. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes with us. God bless and Happy New Year!!
      This is so wonderful to hear Debra! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback!
  33. I made this chili and it is AMAZING!!!!!
      So awesome to hear Cat, thank you so much!!
  34. Well I made the chili tonight I did not have pumpkin but used 3/4 cup of puréed acorn squash. I have a question? When you take the chipotle peppers out of the can do you remove the seeds? I didn't, I used exactly 3 tsps and oh my word was it spicey. I LOVE spicey food but I couldn't even finish a bowl of the chili. I am thinking it's because I left the seeds in.
      Hi Julie! That's strange....that is the first I've heard that...and they were labeled chipotle in adobe sauce? I kind of push some of the seeds aside and roughly measure 3 tsp, but I'm not super careful about the seeds. Mine has a kick but it's definitely nowhere near too spicy or unable to finish a bowl. I guess definitely next time remove all the seeds and only start with 1 tsp. I haven't heard this yet from another reader, but I will edit above to note to remove the seeds.
      • Hi Brandi,Thank you so much for your response. The can I used says Chipotle Peppers, whole Chipotles in adobo sauce. The chili is really good and super easy to make. I guess next time I will use less Chipotle and remove the seeds. This is the very first time I have used these peppers. All of the recipes I have tried of yours have been fantastic. Thank you for helping this new vegan with great recipes.
          That is so wonderful to hear Julie, thank you so much for letting me know!
  35. I made this last week, and it was delicious! For all of you that prep for the week on the weekend, it tastes better after it has the chance to sit for a few days! I did not have the ingredients for the lemon cream sauce, so I am looking forward to making it again with the lemon cream sauce and cornbread:-) Thanks for another AMAZING recipe, Brandi!
      So awesome Sara! So glad you loved this! I actually made it for dinner tonight myself, haha! I agree on the sitting too, chilis and soups in general just taste even more amazing with each passing day as the flavors really develop! Thank you for the feedback!
  36. Hi Brandi, i had a different recipe in mind for tonight but now i've seen this i think i will have to have a change of plan! BTW, when is your book coming out?
      I hope you love it Jane! My book is coming out next year, but I assume pre-orders will be available a few months early. I will know that more as the months pass, but lots more details on the book are here of what I know at this time :)
  37. Hi Brandi,This is by far the best chili I have ever made!!! I had to make my own pumpkin puree but it was well worth it. Cream sauce was the perfect touch!!!
  38. Do you think this would work in a slow cooker with dried beans soaked overnight?
      Hi Steph! I don't ever use a slow cooker, so I'm afraid I don't have any advice on how to do it! But I assume it would work, just sure how the flavor and liquid amounts work out.
  39. Brandi, I made this chili tonight and it was da bomb. The chipotle flavor makes it a standout and the pumpkin gave it a great silky texture. I can always rely on your recipes, they turn out great. Many thanks.

      Thank you so much Lavender, I'm so happy to hear you loved this chili so much and my other recipes as well, thank you for the awesome feedback!
  40. Hello - My son has a nut allergy, but he can eat almonds. Could I use almond milk for the cream sauce? Could almond milk be used everywhere you use cashews?
  41. Ok first off I didn't realize I never reviewed this recipe. You don't need pumpkin season for this but hey it is upon us so let's stock up and use it. Seriously though, I love chili..I mean I'm a TX girl but chili with pumpkin to give it that little extra creaminess and slight fall flavor. AND that sauce to top it with. It really doesn't get better than this. Flavors and texture galore. A serious 5 star invention.

      Thank you so much Estee for the awesome review!!
  42. I HATE to cook anything complicated, and I'm always looking for quick and healthy vegan dinners to serve my family. This recipe checks all the boxes. I had all the ingredients on hand--yay for no extra grocery trip--and was so excited to see how simple it would be to put this together before heading off to a long meeting. I even prepared it in the InstantPot so I could leave it on "Keep Warm" for my family. BONUS!I regret leaving out the chipotle peppers. I actually prepped them and when I tasted how spicy they are, I knew I couldn't add them because of my uber sensitive kids. The chili is delicious but doesn't have any heat (for my liking), but you can alter the heat level as you desire.

      So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I would definitely add the chipotle peppers next time or just add some to your own bowl since they are definitely what provides a wonderful level of heat!
  43. Hi Brandi, I have a fresh pumpkin to use up. Could I roast or steam it and then blend to make the puree?
      Yes, I think that should work fine!
  44. I made it last week with just half the chipotle peppers and no sauce. It was really good. BUT tonight I made again with the full Tablespoon of chipotle AND the sauce. OMG. It was sooooooooo good. I didn’t make the sauce the day before and it was still sooooo delicious with the lemon in the Chile. I also added corn and small chunks of potatoes. I’ll be trying this out on my non vegan skeptical friends who think we are crazy and suffering!
      Yay! So glad you loved it Linda! Yes, those chipotles really add so much flavor!!
  45. Love your recipe. My husband can't have tomatoes. Any suggestions?
  46. I love beans and eat them in various dishes regularly but I was not expecting this!!! I added smoked paprika but made no changes besides that. The pumpkin adds something different, the creaminess you never knew your chili needed ;). My boyfriend (non - vegan) LOVED it and I'm excited to take it to work for lunch this week!
      I’m so happy to hear that Stacy! Wonderful review! Would you mind clicking the star rating too? Thank you!
  47. Would raw cashew butter work in place of the cashews for the lemon cream sauce? Neither my blender or my food processor are state of the art.
      Hi Heather! Yes, definitely, just use the same weight amount, which would equal to 5 tablespoons of raw cashew butter :)
  48. Brandi thank you so much! I will let you know how it goes. You are just amazing! It is so wonderful to be able to eat creamy sauces again without the dairy. I was already a vegetarian, but I was so sad when I realized I was lactose intolerant, and your recipes have brought all the fun and deliciousness of creamy dishes back into my diet! Thank you!!
      I'm so happy to hear that and to be of help Heather, I hope you love it, that is one of my favorite all-purpose sauces!
      • Brandi thanks so much for answering my questions and helping out with the measurements for cashew butter vs raw cashews! This chili is incredibly flavorful, and the sauce is the perfect compliment to it. Thanks for the amazing recipes and for your willingness to answer questions. You are the best!
          Wonderful Heather, so glad to hear it worked out!!
  49. OMG this is one of THE BEST vegan recipes I have ever made. I made vegan pumpkin garlic knots to eat with it. We are sooooo happy!!!! Thank you so much!

      Oh yay, so very happy to hear that Kristin! Thank you so much for making it and leaving your review!!
  50. Made this today. When I went to add the pumpkin, I realized the whole can had a funny smell to it, and had to throw the whole can out. I subbed out frozen butternut squash. I thought the chili came out great. Everyone in my family enjoyed. What more can a man ask for.
      Glad you loved it!

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