This pumpkin chili recipe is full of spicy, smoky, rich, savory, fall-inspired flavors! Healthy too (includes both ground beef and vegan options).
On that first really cold fall weekend – where the chill in the air forces you to finally dig your padded winter slippers out of the back of your closet – there’s just something so satisfying about making a big pot of pumpkin chili.
Letting it simmer on the stove, filling the kitchen with a smoky-spicy-delicious aroma.
Sure, maybe you’ve got some vacuuming and dusting and closet-organizing you haven’t managed to get around to this weekend.
But who cares?
You have a hearty, comforting, wonderful-smelling, heart-warming pot of delicious food on the stove.
Clearly, you have the domesticity thing down.
There’s nothing like pumpkin chili on a cool autumn day to transform a house into a home.
Chris and I have been gobbling up this particular pumpkin chili recipe, which I call “Drunken Pumpkin Chili,” all autumn long.
Let’s discuss some of the secrets to maximum deliciousness in this chili recipe, shall we?
Pumpkin ale adds a lot of delicious flavor to this pumpkin chili.
Chris loves fall-flavored beers, so I thought it might be the perfect addition to my pumpkin chili.
And it really works.
The flavor of pumpkin ale is quite rich, with a bit of pumpkin and spice, and you’ll definitely taste a hint of it in the final chili.
There are tons of healthy ingredients in this chili, including plenty of pumpkin!
But you won’t even notice all that when you help yourself to a big bowl.
It’s very hearty and savory and delicious and flavorful.
Pumpkin is a smart addition to chili because it adds creamy thickness, and just the slightest hint of pumpkin flavor to the final dish.
For that necessary spicy-smoky chili flavor, be sure to add chipotles in adobo!
I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because I like the rich, smoky flavor they add to the dish.
I use two peppers for a very mildly spicy chili.
I recommend using three or four if you prefer a spicier chili.
This pumpkin chili is perfect if you’re looking for a vegan recipe!
Just skip the ground beef in the recipe and add a second type of bean as well, such as cannellini.
There are enough fresh, plant-based ingredients in this dish that add so much flavor, the ground beef in the recipe is completely optional.
The flavors in this pumpkin chili are rich and delicious.
It’s very savory and a little smoky and spicy from the chipotles in adobo.
And there is just a hint of pumpkin and cinnamon as well.
With the pumpkin and spices and fall beer, this chili is perfect for a Halloween party.
It’s convenient because it can be prepared early in the day and the flavors just seem to increase and improve the longer it sits simmering on the stove.
I love to make this chili throughout the fall and winter though.
It’s one of those rare dishes that taste even better warmed up as leftovers the following day, so it’s great to make a big pot on the weekend and then heat up for weekday lunches.
And it’s packed with healthy ingredients, while still tasting so satisfying and flavorful.
The perfect combo.
Here’s the Complete Recipe for Drunken Pumpkin Chili:Print
This pumpkin chili recipe is full of spicy, smoky, rich, savory fall-inspired flavors! Healthy too (includes both ground beef and vegan options).
- 1 pound 93% lean pastured, organic ground beef (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 small onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 cup pumpkin ale
- 15-ounce container pure pumpkin puree
- 15-ounce container diced tomatoes
- 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and minced (for mild heat – add more for additional heat)
- 15-ounce container black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
- 15-ounce container cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed (optional)
- Sea salt
- Add the ground beef to a dutch oven or large stock pot and adjust heat to medium-high.
- Break up the meat using a wooden spoon, and immediately add the minced garlic, diced onion, diced carrots, and diced bell pepper. Season with salt.
- Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the meat is nicely browned and the veggies are softened.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the bay leaves, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, tomato paste, vinegar, and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
- Add the pumpkin ale and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Allow the pumpkin ale to cook and reduce for about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin purée and diced tomato. Season with salt. Add the minced chipotle peppers, and stir to combine.
- Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chili to cook for about 45 minutes.
- Add the beans, stir, and allow the chili to cook another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, and serve.
- For a vegan pumpkin chili, leave out the ground beef and add both black beans and cannellini beans to bulk up the chili.
- If you’d like to use ground beef in this chili, you can skip the cannellini beans.
- This pumpkin chili is the perfect slow cooker recipe! Add all ingredients – aside from the beans – to the slow cooker set to Low heat. Cook for about 5 hours -stirring occasionally – until all veggies are softened. Add the beans, remove the slow cooker cover, and cook another 1-2 hours. (Removing the cover will allow extra liquid to evaportate.) Be sure to season thoroughly with salt, as this recipe makes A LOT of chili!
Keywords: pumpkin chili, winter, fall, autumn, pumpkin, healthy, vegan, vegetarian