Chunky Pumpkin Veggie Chili

As the weather cools, I start craving both sweet and savory pumpkin dishes and returning home to a house that smells like a spicy chili had been slowly cooking in a crock pot all day. Last year, I searched and searched for a pumpkin-chili recipe that (1) was vegetarian, (2) used chunks of pumpkin, (3) used a crock pot, and (4) was still a chili and not the sordid conflagration between a chili and a dessert with cocoa powder or pumpkin pie spice. I didn’t find such a recipe, and the closest recipe I did find called for ½ cup of butter AND ½ a cup of olive oil. (No wonder it got rave reviews!)

After my unfruitful search, I decided to invent a recipe. Of course, I didn’t write it down last year, so when this year’s pumpkin-chili craving hit, I had to start over from scratch. The verdict? Yum! Definitely repeating it! Chili is also a great keeper in the freezer, so I always store my extra leftovers for a day when I don’t want to cook or I don’t have enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch.


Chunky Pumpkin Veggie Chili

Servings:  ~ 1 cup      Servings per recipe:  Enough for a small tribe of pumpkin-chili loving warriors


  • 1 pie pumpkin ~ 3 pounds
  • 1 jalapeno (deseeded and deveined if you prefer milder chili)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3-6 garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 30 ounces black beans (canned or prepare dried in advance)
  • 15 ounce red kidney beans (canned or prepare dried in advance)
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (I prefer using fresh tomatoes, but you could also use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon (I prefer Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste



  1. Set your crock pot to low.
  2. Peel & deseed the pumpkin (save the seeds for roasting!). Cut the pumpkin into one-inch chunks. Note: Pumpkin is easier to peel after it has been roasted at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes and then allowed to cool.
  3. Deseed, devein, and chop the red bell peppers.
  4. Deseed, devein, and mince the jalapeno. (Skip deseeding the jalapeno if you prefer a spicier chili).
  5. Mince 3-6 cloves of garlic to taste; we’re garlic lovers, so I tend to use more.
  6. Chop one medium onion.
  7. Chop 2 cups of tomatoes (or use a 15-ounce can).
  8. Peel and dice one turnip and two carrots.
  9. Add 30-ounces of black beans and 15 ounces of kidney beans. You can make this recipe even cheaper by preparing dried beans in advance over using canned beans.
  10. Add three cups of water, 2 tsp of vegetable base, and seasonings. Stir together. Note:  I recommend starting with a bit less seasoning if you prefer milder chili and adjusting to taste after the chili has cooked 6-8 hours.
  11. Serve with cornbread, avocados, cheese, Greek yogurt, or however you normally enjoy a hearty bowl of chili in the fall!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s