Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili

Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili

This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili is JUST 8 ingredients, oil-free and delicious over a baked sweet potato! Smoky, hearty, filling, high in protein and full of flavor.

This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili is the perfect chili to eat on it's own, or my favorite way, over a baked sweet potato! This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and is made with 8 easy ingredients, is smoky, hearty, filling, high in protein, oil-free and a spicy kick!

I love making chili, particularly vegan chili. There are so many different ways to make it and since it's pumpkin season, pumpkin chili is the perfect idea. Don't worry though, this doesn't taste like pumpkin pie. In fact, you don't even taste the pumpkin. The pumpkin is only there for thickening and texture purposes. This recipe is actually inspired by and is a variation of my popular Pumpkin Chipotle Chili. I decided to try out lentils (instead of beans) with a couple of slight variations and it's a completely different feel of a recipe!


This Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili is full of smoky flavor, packed with protein and is so easy to make. You only need 8 easy ingredients and 1 pot!

  • red lentils (not green!)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • pumpkin
  • chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • chili powder
  • ground coriander
  • fire-roasted tomatoes

  • STEP 1: First, you will add your chopped onion and garlic to the pot and cook until tender.
  • STEP 2: Add the pureed fire-roasted tomatoes, spices, chipotle peppers, pumpkin and water to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover, lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes or so until the lentils are as tender as you like and the chili gets nice and thick. It should not be watery.

It should look like this....

You can serve the chili just like this in a bowl with your favorite toppings. OR, the most delicious way in my opinion, is over a baked sweet potato. I created it this way to be served over potatoes, which is why the chili is so thick. A standard bowl of chili has more liquid and is meant to be eaten on it's own. That's how we do it in Texas. But this recipe, obviously, is totally different.

Top your chili with my Lemon Cream Sauce and some fresh green onions and red pepper flakes if you wish and you are in heaven! The chili has a lovely kick from the chipotle peppers and chili powder, but it's not overly spicy, so the spicy green onion and pepper flakes on top make for a very pleasing kick of a bite. Not recommend for the kiddos though, haha. Enjoy! You are gonna be stuffed!

Other amazing Chili Recipes you need to make:

Yields 4-6 servings

Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili

This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili is the perfect chili to eat on it's own, or my favorite way, over a baked sweet potato! This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and is made with 8 easy ingredients, is smoky, hearty, filling, high in protein, oil-free, basically fat-free and has a wonderful spicy kick!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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5 based on 7 review(s)


  • 1 packed cup (160g) finely diced red onion
  • 5-6 large cloves garlic, minced (16g)
  • 2 1/2 cups water, separated
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (190g) red lentils (this recipe is not created for green, so ONLY use red)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1 15oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (you will be pureeing this and using ONLY 1 cup, 240g)
  • 1 tablespoon diced chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (this will vary depending on the brand you buy. I buy mine in the jar and it's very saucy so I include just 1 big tablespoon straight from the jar)


  1. If you are going to want to top this chili with my Lemon Cream Sauce , then make it early in the day or the day beforehand, so it has time to thicken up.
  2. For the chili, add only 1/2 cup water to a pot with the onion and garlic over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Get your remaining spices and ingredients ready while the onions are cooking.
  4. Also, add the canned tomatoes to a blender and blend until fairly smooth, but still with a bit of texture, not large chunks of tomato though. You will ONLY be using 1 cup (240g) of this tomato puree for the chili. Reserve the rest for another recipe, or completely puree the leftovers and use in my pizza sauce on the blog or in the Hearty Italian White Bean Basil Soup.
  5. Add the chili powder, coriander and salt to the onions and stir around for about a minute to soak up the onions.
  6. Add the remaining 2 cups water, lentils, pumpkin, pureed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and stir well. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and lower the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or so until the lentils are at the desired tenderness and the chili has thickened up well, like in the photo in the post. Stir occasionally during the cooking process.
  7. Top with a baked sweet potato, fries or whatever you like and then with my Lemon Cream Sauce , fresh green onions and red pepper flakes, if desired!


  1. Wow this is making my mouth water. I really can't wait till I start cooking again. I have no idea what i want to make. This is calling my name but every recipe in your cookbook is calling my name as well. So I think the first thing I cook is going to be from your cookbook but I have no clue how to decide what to make. I don't know if it is intentional but I notice there is now preview pic for this post when you are on your main homepage. I don't know if I am describing that clearly but hopefully you know what I mean. I noticed that on a few posts actually. I am only mentioning it in case it isn't intentional that way you are aware of it. I think the first post I noticed this on was your grain free chocolate chip cookies you posted back in July and there have been a few posts here and there that has also not had the preview pic showing. Sorry I didn't mention something sooner but my schedule really is hectic. I called out sick to my weekend job today so I have a few minutes to myself so I am commenting.
      Thank you Christina! It is so good, I'm about to eat some more for lunch here in a bit. You are too kind. Haha, I know, there is so much to pick from, but that's a good thing, definitely start with the book, haha! Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean, I have NO idea why that is happening. I put a header at the top of each post that you'll see before the first picture and sometimes it makes the photo not appear on the homepage. I don't know why, but it's incredibly annoying. I'm going to have my tech guy look into it, or I may just have to put the description below the pic, not sure. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it really means a lot to me!
  2. hi Brandi!! OH my! this looks amazing! Can you please post a pic or tell me the brand of Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce that you use? I've tried one and tasted weird, so I'd love to know what you use. Also, what kind of sweet potato is that in the pic? I'm looking for the white ones so I wondered what they are called. Thanks for all the great recipes! Susan
      Hi Susan! I used La Costena in a jar. They are very finely chopped and very saucy, so not like large peppers that you'd get in a can. I think I bought it at Sprouts but I can't say for sure. It tastes amazing IN the chili for sure! Yes, those are just white sweet potatoes. They are sometimes trickier to find than the regular sweet potatoes (orange ones) but they are right next to them in the produce and I get mine at Kroger often or at Sprouts, I hope that helps! They don't have a different name, other than white. I love them because they have a fluffier texture, but still a wonderful sweetness.
  3. Okay. I have many MANY of Brandi's recipes. She is one of my go-tos. However, this pumpkin chili is absolutely one of her best. It is smoky and just slightly spicy (I use mild chili powder to accommodate my daughter, so yours will be spicier). Not only is the recipe incredibly delicious, but I think it is literally the quickest one I've ever made from her blog. It took maybe maybe five minutes tops to throw it together, and that includes opening the cans with my awful, constantly-sticking-because-I-went-cheap-on-it can opener. The only thing you should change in this recipe is to DOUBLE IT. There is not enough food for how good it is! Thanks, Brandi!
      Thank you so much Jenny for this amazing review! So very happy you loved it!
  4. Love this healthy, hearty recipe! Red lentils are my fave and so creamy! :) I can't believe I spent so long not knowing there was more than one color available, lol! All the stores around here only sell brown, so I have to go to Whole Foods or order the red ones online and I always stock up! My family would love this recipe, I'll definitely have to make a batch for them since they love chili. Have a great week, friend! <3
      Thank you so much Heather, you are the sweetest!
  5. I would totally make this but where do I find all these ingredients? I mean, lentils? Pumpkin? I'm confused. BAHAHAHA! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. This looks insanely amazing!!! Bring on those chipotle peppers!
      Lmao!! I know...such odd ingredients, aren't they?? Thanks girl!
  6. I don't care what state I'm living in, the thicker the better when it comes to chili if you ask me. I mean I love some liquid that requires soaking with bread-y carbs, but this texture just looks so good. I love lentils for that, probably my favorite legume. And they cook so fast too! I mean 35 minutes to smoky flavorful chili is definitely winning. I've never made chili with pumpkin, but it does seem like the perfect consistency for texture. The cozy, cold weather, perfect easy dinner vibes couldn't be any stronger here☺️
      Haha, I love thick chili too, but regular classic chili I like some liquid for the cornbread, like you said, but this one I created specifically as a topping, so extra thick it is!! I'm so addicted to the red lentils too, I love how dang fast they cook up. Although they took longer for this since less liquid was used, but totally worth it!
  7. Made this in the instant pot! It was good! Due to a comedy of errors I made it with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. Want to try to pumpkin version soon!
      Awesome Thera, so happy to hear that, yay!
  8. I just made this for dinner tonight. WINNER!! Honestly I'm not a huge lentil fan, so when I saw the photo, I had my doubts. It's amazing! And the non-vegan family members loved it too. Thanks for yet another winner Brandi!
      SO thrilled to hear that Julie, thank you so much for making it and leaving this awesome review!
  9. I make pumpkin lentil stew with just those 2 ingredients - and serve it as a treat to my dogs! They love it.
      Who knew dogs liked pumpkin and lentils?! Haha!
  10. Just love your recipes in your Vegan 8 cookbook! Recommend the book Five Star!!! A must purchase!
      Thank you so much Ann! So happy to hear that!
  11. Hi there, I plan to try this recipe tonight, but how much of the juices from the canned tomatoes are used?
      Hi Ashley, it states in the ingredients and directions that you will be using 1 cup of the tomatoes AFTER pureeing them!
  12. Sue
    Nice recipe Brandi!! I doubled it, but not the chipotle, thank goodness! It was smooth and creamy with a nice kick. Thanks for a winner 😋
      So glad you loved it Sue, thank you so much for making it and reviewing it!
      So glad to hear that Sue!!
  13. Hello! I don’t have pumpkin purée in Australia, do you think I should roast pumpkin ? Also is your book available in Australia? Thank you :) Vanessa x
      Yes, you can totally roast your own and then puree it :) Yes, you can find my book here on Amazon in Australia!

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