When I think of chili I think back to my college days of eating Wendy’s Chili with french fries and a Frosty. Those were the good old days. Wendy’s Chili is good. I mean really good if you want a meat and red kidney beans kind of chili. But what if you didn’t want to add meat to it? Could you still call it CHILI? This is a good question.
According to Merriam-Webster, chili is, a spicy dish made of ground beef, hot peppers or chili powder and usually beans.
While this might be our quintessential image of chili, it has really come a long way. Today chili can include chicken, turkey and even do I dare say… no meat at all like this recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Chili.
Before you shake your head and scowl at me hear me out. The Vegan Pumpkin Chili has 2 of the 3 qualifications to be considered Chili- beans in the form of black beans and chili peppers and chili powder. So technically it’s missing the meat but I swear you will not miss it after taking a bite of the pumpkin! It’s so good! Even my maid was really skeptical of using Pumpkin in the dish. She kept saying No it’s too sweet. Don’t put it. But I ignored her advice and added it. Let’s just say she ate more than a couple of bowls of it and kept saying Wow it’s so good.
Yep. I know.
Now that I had the much coveted approval of my maid, I eagerly awaited as my guests and my children ate it. My littlest Nomad who dreams of being a Food Blogger and Substitute Teacher (I keep telling her I have a masters degree in history but she says that’s not as fun as what I actually do) even asked to have it for lunch the next day. If she liked it then you’re kids will like it too!
Plus it’s packed with lots and lots of vegetables. Seriously, skip the meat and really load up the vegetables in this one! While I used carrots, corn, celery and different peppers, you could also add okra and spinach for more vegetables. I also used the last of my Roasted Tomato Sauce to make this, so you know what I’ll be doing this weekend…
If you want to make this the night before go for it, but I advise adding the pumpkin when you reheat it to serve so that they don’t become mushy. I think the pumpkin worked so well in this recipe because it still had a bit of a crunch to it. In my humble opinion mushy pumpkin belongs in Pumpkin Pie. That’s it.
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 large Onion
- 1 Carrot, diced
- 1 Stalk Celery, diced
- 1 Sweet Red Pepper. diced
- 2 Green Chile Peppers
- 1 cup Fresh Corn
- 1 pound Tomatoes, diced
- 14 ounce can Black Beans
- 1 pound Pumpkin, diced small
- 1 cup Roasted Tomato Sauce or Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- Cilantro and Green Onions, for garnish
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until softened. Add the carrots, celery, green chili, red peppers and garlic. Sauté a few minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients except cilantro and green onions. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft but not mushy.
- Garnish with cilantro and green onions
Recipe adapted by Whole and Heavenly Oven