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
- Set your crock pot to low.
- 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.
- Deseed, devein, and chop the red bell peppers.
- Deseed, devein, and mince the jalapeno. (Skip deseeding the jalapeno if you prefer a spicier chili).
- Mince 3-6 cloves of garlic to taste; we’re garlic lovers, so I tend to use more.
- Chop one medium onion.
- Chop 2 cups of tomatoes (or use a 15-ounce can).
- Peel and dice one turnip and two carrots.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with cornbread, avocados, cheese, Greek yogurt, or however you normally enjoy a hearty bowl of chili in the fall!