This savory Pumpkin Chili has everything you want in a chili: tomatoes, peppers, black beans, pinto beans, corn, and a little pumpkin in there to make it perfect for fall! Top with crunchy cornbread croutons and your favorite chili toppings.
I love fall because that means it is soup and chili season. This Pumpkin Chili is the PERFECT fall chili recipe! When you are feeling chilly, reach for a bowl of this hearty vegetarian pumpkin chili. It is basically a hug in a bowl!
No one will even believe there's pumpkin mixed in, and the flavor is incredible. This is a pumpkin chili recipe I would use for a game day, as an easy weeknight dinner, or to have warm on the stove for Halloween night!
I like to make homemade cornbread croutons to top things off, they aren't required, but SO good! They take the pumpkin to a whole new level. Our family looks forward to this chili recipe every single year. It is a fall staple at our house.
Table of Contents
- Olive oil– for sautéing the veggies!
- Onion– chopped.
- Bell peppers– I like to use red and yellow peppers for color. Orange or green will work too!
- Fire roasted tomatoes– fire roasted tomatoes add extra flavor.
- Beans– use a mix of black beans and pinto beans. Rinse and drain before using.
- Pumpkin– use pure pumpkin puree.
- Vegetable broth– use your favorite brand.
- Corn– I use frozen corn, but fresh will work too.
- Spices– chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
- Salt and pepper– for seasoning!
How to Make Pumpkin Chili
I love having a big pot of chili simmering on my stove. Nothing feels quite so cozy! Once you have your ingredients gathered, this Pumpkin Chili comes together quickly, making it a slam-dunk weeknight meal that everyone in your house will love.
- Heat a large pot with olive oil in it at medium-high heat. Add in onions, red peppers, and yellow peppers, letting those veggies heat until they start to soften. It should only take about 5 minutes with occasional stirring.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. This is where you start getting the “What's cooking?!” smells going. My favorite part!
- Add in everything else! Tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, pumpkin, vegetable broth, corn, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir and let it simmer on low for 15 minutes until you're ready to ladle it into bowls.
- FYI-this pumpkin chili is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. To keep it vegan and gluten-free, don't use the cornbread croutons and don't top your bowl with cheese.
How to Make Cornbread Croutons
Cornbread croutons aren't a necessary addition to this Pumpkin Chili, but take my word for it, they really add something special to this dish! I like to use my easy cornbread recipe because it is the BEST, but you can use store bought. The croutons work best with day old cornbread, so you can make it in advance.
They croutons only take 15 minutes get toasty in the oven so you can make them while the chili simmers.
- Start with day-old cornbread, cut into 1” cubes, and a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the cornbread cubes on the baking sheet. Make sure none of them are overlapping so they can get nice and crunchy.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flipping the croutons at the halfway point. You want them golden brown and crispy!
This is where everyone can customize their dinner! Toppings are a great way to finish off a bowl of chili. I suggest putting out:
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Green onions
- Sour cream
- Jalapeno slices
- Cornbread croutons
How to Store
Let the chili cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
This chili freezes well too. To freeze, let the chili cool completely. Place in a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat.
The cornbread croutons will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
More Chili Recipes
Make chili all fall and winter long! Here are some of my favorite variations on homemade chili:
- Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
- No Bean Chili
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Beef ChiliHearty
- Vegetarian Chili
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili
- White Chicken Chili
- Dad's Spicy Chili
Pumpkin Chili with Cornbread Croutons
For the Chili:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 30 oz fire roasted tomatoes
- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen roasted corn, we use fire roasted
- 1 tablespoon chili powder plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Sliced green onion
- Jalapeno slices
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red pepper, and yellow pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetable soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, pumpkin, vegetable broth, corn, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir and let the chili simmer on low for 15 minutes.
- While the chili is simmering, make the cornbread croutons, if using. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cornbread cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss. Spread the croutons out so they are iIn an even layer and not touching. Sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 15 minutes, turning half way through, or until the croutons are golden brown and crispy.
- To serve, ladle the chili into bowls. Top with desired toppings and cornbread croutons, if using. Serve warm.
Have you tried this recipe?
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