This Easy Vegan Pumpkin 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.
VEGAN CHIPOTLE CHILI
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.
(Only 8 main ingredients needed. Full details and measurements on the recipe card below.)
- Chili beans: You can buy cans labeled this or do 3 cans of your preferred beans. I like red kidney, pinto and black beans.
- Chili powder: I used the chili powder pictured below for this recipe. However, I’ve also used my homemade chili powder recipe and it’s phenomenal. Mine is not as brown/dark as the Sprouts brand, so your chili may vary in how dark or red it is based on the chili powder used. Just make sure to be using a standard American chili powder and salt-free.
- Cumin: Cumin is classic in chili, as it adds another layer or flavor and subtle smokiness. A little goes a long way.
- Chipotles in adobe sauce: This is what takes this vegan pumpkin chili up a notch. It is spicy, smoky and has amazing flavor.
- Pumpkin puree: This replaces oil and helps to thicken the soup. Do not worry, you don’t taste pumpkin.
- Tomato sauce
- Coriander: Optional
VEGAN SOUR CREAM
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 a vegan sour cream replacement.
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.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN PUMPKIN CHILI
Step 1: Start by chopping your veggies and cook them until soft.
Step 2: While the onions and garlic are cooking, gather your remaining ingredients so they are ready to go.
Step 3: Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, chipotle peppers and sauce and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
Step 4: Add the remaining ingredients plus 1 cup of water and stir well, bring to a boil and then simmer about 20 minutes until thickened. If you’d like it thinner, add a tiny bit more broth or water.
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 30 Minute 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!
MORE VEGAN CHILI AND SOUP RECIPES
- Vegan Cocoa Black Bean Chili
- Vegan Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili
- Hearty Vegan Buckwheat Chili
- Lazy Red Lentil Curry Soup
- Vegan Cauliflower Curry Soup
- Lazy Day Vegan Tomato Bisque
- Tomato Rice Vegetable Soup
- Healthy Potato Carrot Tomato Soup
A big thank you to Sprouts for sponsoring this post and their continued wonderful relationship and products!
Vegan Pumpkin Chili (Oil-free!)
FOR THE CHILI
- 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)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon standard American chili powder (use store-bought or my homemade blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
- 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt (this will vary depending on your tomato sauce or broth)
- 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 1/2 cups (360g) tomato sauce/puree
- three 15 oz low-sodium cans of chili beans, drained & rinsed well (or 1 can each of black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans)
- 3/4 cup (180g) pumpkin puree
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
- I use this scale.
- 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.
- 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 simmering, cook about 8 minutes until the onions are very soft and the liquid has evaporated.
- Get your remaining spices and ingredients ready while the onions are cooking.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt (I started with 1 1/2 teaspoons), chipotle peppers and sauce and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients plus 1 cup of water/broth and stir well, bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20-30 minutes until thickened and the flavors have deepened. I like to put it on very low heat and let it gently simmer for 30 minutes to really deepen the flavor, but you can get away with just 20 minutes if needed. If you'd like it thinner, add a tiny bit more broth or water. Taste and add any more salt if needed or more chipotle if you'd like it spicier.
- Serve with lemon cream and fresh cilantro, if desired. The cream really does go amazing with the smoky, spicy flavor!
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