Oh, let me tell you about this pumpkin chili – it’s a game-changer! Picture a hearty chili infused with the earthy goodness of pumpkin. The pumpkin brings a subtle sweetness and creaminess that’s just divine, and it pairs wonderfully with all the aromatic spices and savory ingredients. And surprise! It’s 100% plant-based.
Whether you’re a dedicated vegan or just looking to switch things up, this chili is a warm and comforting embrace for your taste buds. So, whip up a batch, invite your pals over, and bask in the coziness of vegan pumpkin chili – it’s a heartwarming dish that’s perfect for chilly autumn evenings.
What’s so special about this pumpkin chili recipe?
I have two really great meat-based chilis in my arsenal—Turkey Taco Chili and White Chicken Chili are pretty much alternated each week from September through March in our house. They are both really awesome recipes that are 100% no-fail (I even heard from a reader that they won their office chili cook-off with my White Chicken Chili recipe one year). Mama can cook a mean pot of meaty chili.
Vegetarian chili is a whole other story—they’ve always felt too light. Until now. This vegan pumpkin chili is thick, rich, hearty, and totally, 100% free from animal products. I made a vegan chili that is as awesome as my meaty ones, and y’all, I can die happy now.
What ingredients do you need for thicker, more flavorful chili?
There are four things that may sound a little weird about the recipe, but really add some heft and heartiness to this pumpkin chili:
- OATS. STEEL CUT OATS. Steel cut oats are chewy, hearty, and dense. When they are mixed in a vat of chili, they look remarkably like ground beef. I added a breakfast food to my chili like no one was watching.
- Don’t drain the beans. I didn’t drain the black beans. The starchy, thick packing liquid of black beans adds a really nice hearty quality to the chili.
- Mushrooms (trust me!). I put a whole bunch of finely diced mushrooms in chili. IN CHILI. You don’t taste mushrooms, but it does add some richness that my previous meatless creations have been sorely lacking. Mushroom haters wont even know they are in there, I promise.
- Cornmeal slurry. I added a slurry at the end of cooking of warm water and cornmeal. It adds some thickness and corn flavor that is bonkers awesome. I do this with most of my chilis and soups!
What toppings work well for this pumpkin chili?
All your favorite chili toppings work well here: think avocado slices, green onions, cilantro, or tortilla chips. Cashew sour cream is a great plant-based alternative to regular sour cream as well.