This healthy Vegan Pumpkin Chili puts a delicious fall spin on a classic recipe. Made with beans, pumpkin and vegan sausage, it’s made in one pot, is ready in under 30 minutes and truly couldn’t be easier to prepare!
Is there anything better than a warm bowl of chili on a chilly fall day? I don’t think so! This vegan pumpkin chili is ideal for this time of year, and is a savory way to enjoy pumpkin.
It’s prepped quite similarly to other chili recipes (I’m looking at you, butternut squash chili), but I decided to add vegan sausage to increase the flavor and protein content, so you’ll want to cook that first.
If you’re a fan of pumpkin but want to make something other than bread or muffins, this chili is for you!
- It’s vegan and gluten free, and loaded with protein thanks to the sausage and beans.
- Made in one pot (I used my dutch oven) and ready in under 30 minutes.
- An easy meal to make on a Sunday and enjoy throughout the week (plus, it’s easy to double if you want more servings).
- Vegan sausage - I highly recommend using maple sausage if you can find it. It elevates the flavor and really brings out the salty-sweet combo of the meal. No worries if you can’t find it – you may just want to add a little more maple syrup to the chili.
- Beans - I used a combination of black and pinto beans – feel free to sub your favorite kind instead (I’m thinking chickpeas would be good too), just make sure to drain and rinse them beforehand.
- Pumpkin - Canned; double check that you’re using pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix.
- Diced tomatoes - I always use fire roasted diced tomatoes in all of my soup and chili recipes. Simply put, they’re more flavorful and add the slightest smoky flavor.
- Vegetable broth - Since this is vegan chili, I don’t recommend using any other kind of broth.
- Maple syrup - The syrup pairs really well with the pumpkin, and truly makes this chili salty and sweet. I used ¼ cup and found that to be the perfect amount, but you can add more if you prefer.
Step 1: Cook the sausage. Start by cooking the sausage in a large, deep pot (I used my dutch oven) according to the package instructions. Remove it with a spoon and set it aside.
Step 2: Sauté the vegetables. Next, heat oil to that same pot, then add the onion and garlic and sauté them for 3 minutes over medium heat. Then, add the spices and stir for 1 minute.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients. Pour the beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and maple syrup into the pot. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover it and simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Taste test. Take a taste of the soup and add more maple syrup and/or salt as needed. Lastly, add the sausage back into the pot and stir to combine, then sprinkle everything with black pepper.
Expert tips and FAQs
- Before adding the beans to the soup, make sure you drain and rinse them to remove any of the liquid from the can.
- Experiment with different kinds of beans if black and/or pinto aren’t your favorite. Kidney beans, cannellini beans or chickpeas would all work in this recipe.
- This is meant to be a quick chili recipe, but the longer you simmer it the more flavorful it’ll be, so feel free to simmer it for 30-45 minutes instead of 15 (both will be delicious!).
Do I have to use vegan sausage?
Nope! The vegan sausage elevates the flavor (especially if you’re using maple-flavored sausage), but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can omit it if you prefer, or substitute tempeh bacon or Beyond Meat crumbles instead.
Can you make this in the slow cooker instead?
Yep! To do so, sauté the onion and garlic in a skillet, then transfer them to your slow cooker. Add in the remaining chili ingredients and cook the chili on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Before serving, cook the sausage in a skillet, then transfer it to your slow cooker and stir to combine.
What are some vegan chili topping ideas?
This vegan pumpkin chili pairs well with many "typical" chili toppings. I kept it simple and used a dollop of plain vegan yogurt and pumpkin seeds for added texture. Besides those, you could add dairy free shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado and/or vegan sour cream.
- Refrigerator: Pack up the leftovers in airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: Chili freezes well for up to 4 months. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag once it’s cooked and cooled completely. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More vegan soup recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- 1 cup vegan sausage (see notes); cut into ½" pieces
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 15 oz. black beans (1 can); drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. pinto beans (1 can); drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can)
- 28 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes (1 can); with juices
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup maple syrup or more to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Add a little bit of oil to a large, deep skillet or dutch oven, then cook the sausage according to the package instructions; remove and set aside.
- Add oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, then add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle seasoning, and salt and sauté for 1 minute.
- Next, add the black beans, pinto beans, pumpkin, tomatoes with their juices, vegetable broth, and maple syrup. Give everything a good stir, then bring the chili to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
- Taste test the soup and add more syrup and/or salt as needed. Add the chili back into the pot, stir, and enjoy!
slow cooker method:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker.
- Add the spices, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes with their juices, vegetable broth, and maple syrup to your slow cooker and cook the chili on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Once the soup is done, cook the sausage in a skillet over the stove, then pour it into your slow cooker and stir to combine. Add more syrup and/or salt to taste and enjoy!
How big is a serving per the nutritional information?
Great question! Serving sizes are an estimation based on how much my husband and I eat.. I don't necessarily measure by cup to determine serving size, hence why it's just an estimation. This chili is approximately 4 servings because we were able to get 4 bowls out of it (hopefully that makes sense!).
Super yummy! I used sausage but I actually think beyond meat grounds would be even better so I might try that next time.
Ohhhh that's a great idea for next time -- thanks for the comment and star rating, Fiona!
This looks like a lovely recipe but I live in Hungary and we don't have as many pre-prepared goods over here (pumpkin puree). Can I use fresh? If so, how would this affect the recipe? (How much to use, when to cook, for how long). Thanks!
Great question! You can definitely use pumpkin from an actual pumpkin (I'd look up a specific recipe on how to make pumpkin puree) -- essentially you'll roast the pumpkin and then blend it, and then I'd start with 1 cup of pumpkin puree (I think the flavor will be a tad more more pumpkin-y then canned pumpkin is), and then increase the amount to taste. I hope that helps!