Spicy pumpkin chili

Spicy pumpkin chili

I’m convinced there’s no better way to eat chili than with a constant stream of snot flowing from your face. Which means you have to either a) eat it by yourself, or b) eat it with someone who loves you. A lot. I know, eating with a snotface isn’t exactly favorable, but it’s an indication that you’re eating a really good bowl of spicy chili. I mean, is there any other way to eat chili than spicy? I guess, if you’re a wuss. But I grew up with five brothers – if there’s anything I’m not, it’s a wuss – so I take my spicy chili. And what I really meant to say was ‘chili spicy’, but sometimes my fingers are dyslexic. 

Dried kidney beans

I use dried beans, tomato paste from a jar and fresh tomatoes because I refuse to knowingly eat anything that comes from a can. In case you weren’t aware, most aluminum cans are lined with Bisphenol A. And BPA kind of freaks me out. If you want to use dried beans, soak 1 cup kidney beans and just a little over 1/2 cup black beans in cold water, overnight. I soaked mine for 24 hours because the longer you soak ’em, the easier they are to digest. Or, if you want to use lentils instead, replace the 4 beans with 2 cups of dried lentils. I’ve got to warn you though, it may be your new favorite way to eat chili.

*Oh, and I’ve been told by more than a few meat eaters that this was the best chili they’ve ever had.


3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
2-3 small jalapenos, finely chopped
5 c. diced tomatoes
1/4 c. tomato paste
3 c. water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 1/2 c. kidney beans
1 1/2 c. black beans
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground paprika
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1 3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. TVP
2-3 tsp fine sea salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the oil to a simmer. Sauté the garlic and onions; cook until the onions become translucent. Add the jalapenos and tomatoes; stir for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste, water, lemon juice and bouillon cubes then cover saucepan and reduce heat to medium; bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the beans, cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder, then cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for at least two hours; stirring occasionally. After two hours, mix in the pumpkin puree, TVP and sea salt; let simmer, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chili thickens.

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • Reply Karena 10 October 2011 at 4:01 PM

    I don’t usually follow a recipe for chili, but I think I’m making an exception in this case! Into my “recipes I must try” folder you go :) Interesting about the cans – I never knew that. Thanks for the info.

  • Reply Alicia 10 October 2011 at 4:53 PM

    I actually had no idea cans were lined with BPA. I think I’ll be reconsidering my brand of tomato paste.
    I’ve never had chili. At least, never had proper chili (my parents don’t cook so unfortunately I spent a good deal of my childhood eating out of boxes and cans). I do love spicy food though, and this sounds fantastic!

  • Reply Vanessa 10 October 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I am in love with this blog. The photos and the recipes are both stunning. <3

  • Reply Molly@hungryhungryrunner.com 10 October 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Whaaat? I had no idea that cans were lined with BPA!!! That’s insane! And so is this chili. I want some!

  • Reply Nicole 11 October 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Pumpkin in Chili?! Yum!!! Looks delicious!

  • Reply Julia 11 October 2011 at 6:07 PM

    I have pumpkin chili in my crockpot as we speak. I’m sad b/c I didn’t use dried beans, I only had canned beans. And I know, I KNOW dried beans are better. Dang it, I’m kicking myself. They’re better AND way easier. Dumb dumb dumb. Next time!

  • Reply farmersmarketvegan 15 October 2011 at 6:26 PM

    This is perfect–I’ve been on the hunt for a good pumpkin chili recipe for a few weeks now. What could I use to replace the TVP? I’m not a fan of the ingredient.

  • Reply Anonymous 23 October 2011 at 11:42 PM

    I liked the flavor but I used dried beans that I soaked for 24 hours and I am still simmering it 5 hours later to get the crunch out of the kidney beans. Next time I will soak for the 24 hours and them cook the beans for a while in water before preparing the recipe.

  • Reply Julia 7 November 2011 at 6:29 AM

    I made this tonight and it was awesome! I used a red bell pepper and cayenne powder instead of the jalapenos and chili powder (I didn’t have the listed ingredients on hand), and it was still incredibly spicy and delicious. I just discovered your blog and have been working my way through your recent pumpkin recipes :) thanks!

  • Reply janet @ the taste space 11 January 2012 at 5:30 PM

    What a delicious chili! Thanks for sharing! :)

    I wrote about it here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/pumpkin-chili/

  • Reply Connie Fletcher 14 January 2012 at 12:17 AM

    This looks amazing, and I’m going to make it tonight. It will go to my class with me tomorrow (Mastery Level Joint Mobilization Reflexology) and I will share it with a bunch of omnis…….

  • Reply Connie Fletcher 14 January 2012 at 1:07 AM

    By the way, some companies (Muir Glen, for example) do have canned goods in cans that are BPA free. This recipe is KICK BUTT GREAT!!

    • Reply Ashlae 14 January 2012 at 4:01 AM

      Thanks, Connie! I know there are a handful of companies who don’t line their cans with BPA, but unfortunately BPA is the only chemical that can stand up to the acidity of tomatoes. So, I use fresh to be on the safe side :)

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