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November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

I have never met a bowl of vegan chili that I didn't like. If you ask me, vegans have one-up on the rest of the world when it comes to chili. Leave out the meat and you have more room for beans, grains, and fun veggie add-ins like peppers, corn, sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms, celery, carrots--you name it. Start with some beans, tomatoes, and spice, and let your imagination go wild (well not too wild, no one wants broccoli in their chili). 

No two batches of chili are exactly the same, especially in my kitchen. For this year's first batch of chili I tried out two new ingredients: pumpkin puree and beer. This combination mingles with the tomato juices to deliver a unique, lip-smacking broth. The pumpkin and beer flavors are subtle in the, "ooh, what is that?" kind of way, peeking out from underneath the rich taste of the smoked paprika and sage. (By the way, this would be really, really lovely with handful of fresh chopped sage, if you have it.) 

I encourage you to try this pumpkin / beer combo, I think it will surprise you. 

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
(adapted from (never home)maker)
Serves 4

1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups cooked black beans (or 2-15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or 1-15 oz can)
2-15 oz cans or 1-28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup hearty fall or winter beer (or sub vegetable broth)
1-1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
3 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp cayenne

Heat 1/4 cup water in a large stock pot and add onion. Saute for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.

Add spices and stir to coat the onions, saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in beer and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. 

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with vegan cheese and chopped green onion.

Fan of white chili? Try this version with tomatillos and roasted mushrooms, a favorite from 2009.


  1. I love adding dark beer to my chili! And the addition of pumpkin also sounds divine!

  2. SOunds like a really cool interesting recipe!!

  3. I have a friend who always uses pumpkin in her chili and it is the best.

  4. Pumpkin in chili sounds delicious. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.


  5. this is the second pumpkin chili recipe i've seen. i'm so excited to try this! i think it's just what i need to take some of the pumpkin sweetness off.

  6. I am very intrigued the idea of pumpkin in my chili!

  7. I love the idea of combining the flavors of beer and pumpkin in chili. Bookmarking this! :)

  8. Pumpkin chili is a great idea! I almost made some last week, and now that I see how yummy yours is I think I should for sure!

  9. Pumpkin! Girl! I never would have thought. Looks amazing.

  10. This recipe just prompted me to add you to my Google Reader. Looks amazing!

  11. I think some English ale would do well in this recipe. That is if I don't drink it first (a frequent problem).

  12. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We're new to vegan eating and I've been looking for good recipes. Tried it tonight with a few minor modifications and my hubby LOVES it.

  13. I've made pumpkin chili before and it's delish. I haven't made it in a long time. Maybe I need to go back and try it again. Most of the time, now, I make this chili:

  14. I just made this tonight and it was so so good. Even my boyfriend who is typically not into atypical flavor combinations loved it. :) It's not very often he asks for seconds, but this time he did.

    I used an unfiltered Belgian Pumpkin Wheat ale that reeealllyy enhanced the fall flavor. Then added a couple of carrots and a cup of sliced mushrooms for more 'meat.'

    This will certainly be a go-to sit-by-the-fire dinner this fall/winter.

  15. I just made this last night and LOVED it! After making it per the recipe, which I easily could have consumed as-is, my husband (not vegetarian) seemed a little unsure. After adding one can of white kidney beans (was out of black beans) and one more can of tomatoes along with some diced mushrooms. This made it slightly closer to the chili he is used to, but still retained the pumpkin, beer and amazing spice blend flavoring of the recipe.
    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome dinner that is sure to become part of the rotation of meals I make!


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