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


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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

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

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. What a delicious chili! Thanks for sharing! :)

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

  11. Connie FletcherJanuary 13, 2012

    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.......

  12. Connie FletcherJanuary 13, 2012

    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!!

    1. 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 :)