This Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Chili is a quick and easy to make one pot recipe that’s healthy, delicious, and a great autumnal version of the classic Mexican Chili sin Carne! Perfect for a nutritious lunch or dinner that’s also ideal for meal prep and freezing!
Chili sin Carne with pumpkin and lentils
If you love my traditional chili sin carne and want to try an autumnal twist, this recipe is perfect for you!
While the classic vegan recipe is made with soy granules or sunflower mince and kidney beans, this chili version is made with pumpkin, lentils and black beans. Of course, you can swap out the beans for other varieties or even chickpeas if you like. Instead of pumpkin, you could also use sweet potatoes or a mixture of both.
You can also get creative with the lentils. I use red lentils because they cook faster and make the chili creamier. However, if you want more texture, you could also opt for brown, green or black lentils. Keep in mind, however, that the cooking time may take longer depending on the type of lentil. So be sure to follow the cooking time stated on the package.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice
For this pumpkin lentil chili recipe, I adjusted the spices to be autumnal, so it goes well with the flavor of pumpkin!
You can use either store-bought pumpkin spice or make this quite easily yourself! All you need to do is to combine the following spices:
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp allspice
If you’re not a fan of this warming spice blend at all, you could alternatively use any curry powder.
Ingredients needed for this recipe
Before we start making this yummy dish, we first need to get all the ingredients together. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the chili
- Onion and garlic: for the aromatic base.
- Spices: Pumpkin Spice, cumin, paprika, chili powder, cocoa powder, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
- Bell pepper: or other fresh vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, spinach.
- Hokkaido pumpkin: you can of course take another type of pumpkin or squash, but then you might have to peel it first, depending on how hard the skin is.
- Lentils: red or yellow. If using brown, green, or black lentils, you will need to adjust the cooking time according to package directions, as mentioned above.
- Tomatoes: canned and chopped or fresh peeled ones.
- Vegetable broth
- Beans: black or kidney beans (rinsed and drained).
- Corn: either canned, fresh off the cob, or thawed.
- Canola oil: or other oil for frying.
To serve (optional)
- Avocado: pitted and sliced.
- Coconut yogurt: or other dairy-free yogurt or Vegan Mayonnaise (Sour Cream).
- Fresh parsley: or cilantro.
- Sesame seeds: or crushed peanuts.
- Limes: or lemons.
- Flatbread: or other accompaniments such as rice or potatoes.
How to make Chili sin Carne with lentils and pumpkin
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Sauté the vegetables
First, sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Now add the spices and sauté briefly. Then add the diced bell pepper and pumpkin and sauté for a few minutes.
Step 2: Let it simmer
Now stir in the lentils, tomatoes and vegetable broth and let the pumpkin chili simmer for about 10 minutes, covered. Then taste and add more seasonings if needed. Add the beans and corn and let the chili simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
*Tip: If the chili becomes too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or water.
Step 3: Serve!
Serve the pumpkin lentil chili in bowls and garnish with avocado, coconut yogurt, fresh parsley, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice if desired. Serve with flatbread, vegan naan, rice or other side dishes and enjoy!
How can I store chili?
Leftover chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in portions for up to 2-3 months. Then simply let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and take it to work the next day. For a quicker option, you can heat it up in the microwave or on the stove until it’s thawed and warm!
This vegan pumpkin lentil chili is:
- Quick and easy to make
- High in protein
- Loaded with vegetables
- Ideal for Meal Prep
- Very tasty!
- The perfect plant-based meal for autumn
More Vegan Mexican Recipes to try
- Mexican Tortilla Casserole
- Mexican Pasta Salad with Chipotle Sauce
- Sweet Potato Quesadillas
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
- Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme
- Vegan Burrito Samosas with Guacamole
- One Pot Mexican Taco Pasta
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
If you try this vegan Pumpkin Lentil Chili recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your delicious dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Pumpkin Lentil ChiliAuthor:
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tsp pumpkin spice *see notes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1-2 tsp chili powder or one red chili pepper
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 red or orange bell pepper seeded & diced
- 11.3 oz (320 g) Hokkaido pumpkin diced
- ¾ cup (140 g) lentils rinsed
- 14 oz (400 g) chopped tomatoes 1 can
- 1 ¾ cup (420 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 14 oz (400 g) can black or kidney beans 240 g rinsed & drained
- 1 ⅓ cup (240 g) corn 240 g rinsed & drained
- salt and pepper to taste
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Next, add the spices (pumpkin spice, cumin, paprika powder, chili powder, cocoa powder and tomato paste) and sauté for a minute.
- Now add bell pepper and pumpkin cubes and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the rinsed lentils to the pan and stir to combine.
- Add tomatoes and vegetable broth, stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, covered, until the lentils are almost done.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more chili powder as needed. Now add the beans and corn and simmer for about 5-10 more minutes (if the chili gets too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or water).
- Pumpkin Spice recipe: 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground ginger + ½ tsp nutmeg + ½ tsp allspice (Alternatively, you could also use curry powder).
- Pumpkin: Instead of pumpkin, you can also use sweet potatoes or squash.
- Beans: The beans can also be replaced with chickpeas.
- Lentils: If using other lentils, be sure to follow the cooking time stated on the package, as it can vary depending on the type of lentils.
- Storing: Leftover chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- More information about the recipe is mentioned in the blog post above!
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