This simple Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Pumpkin Chili comes together with pantry staples in just 4 hours in the slow cooker. A hearty and filling plant based chili for all to enjoy.
Post updated October 2021 with more information and recipe slightly updated for better results. Originally published November 2015.
This is a healthy chili recipe that is always on rotation in the FMK household. It is my go-to for fall but I love to make it all winter too.
For this pumpkin chili version, I decided to keep it super simple. Most of these items are likely already in your pantry: sweet potatoes, black beans, canned pumpkin, crushed tomatoes, onion, vegetable stock…
And hopefully you have a well-stocked spice cabinet too. Because you can’t really do chili without the necessary spices…. Chili powder, I like to throw in some cumin, paprika, etc. I actually go heavy on the chili powder for lots of flavor.
What is the point of having chili if it’s flavorless??
Why This Pumpkin Chili is Amazing
- You can’t really mess it up.
- It lasts a good week in the fridge, hello leftovers.
- If you’re using a slow cooker, hassle free, hands free cooking.
- It’s an easy vegan chili recipe everyone will love.
- Add your favorite toppings, mine for sure being tortilla chips and avocado here.
- It’s hearty, thick and so delicious!
Pantry Ingredients List
Like I mentioned above, we’re really using mainly pantry staples here, which means you can throw this together in a hurry, let it cook in the slow cooker and you’ll have dinner set for days.
Here’s what you need for this vegan pumpkin chili:
- sweet potatoes – peel and chop them so they’re all roughly the same size and cook evenly.
- canned black beans – or cook your own, but using canned will save on time. I always like to buy low sodium and rinse them thoroughly.
- canned pumpkin – adds a hearty-ness to this chili that I just love.
- onion & garlic – can’t really do chili without it! Adds so much flavor
- canned crushed tomatoes – just 1 can (about 14 ounces) is all you need. Make sure to include all the juices.
- vegetable broth – you can use vegetable to keep this recipe vegan.
- chili seasonings – chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne AND cinnamon, which adds the perfect touch to this pumpkin chili, in my opinion.
Make it in the Slow Cooker
- Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and onion and add to bottom of slow cooker.
- Add garlic, rinsed black beans, canned pumpkin, crushed tomatoes (with juice) and vegetable stock to slow cooker.
- Sprinkle on seasonings, give it a good stir and cook on high for 4 hours.
- Enjoy all week long!
Instant Pot Method
You can add all of the ingredients to your Instant Pot as well. Just cook on manual, high pressure, for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure and open lid, switching to sauté mode for 3-4 minutes. Chili thickens a bit upon standing, but you can also mash a bit with large wooden spoon for a thicker consistency.
Pumpkin Chili Toppings
You can’t go wrong with avocado and tortilla chips, in my opinion.
Add a little vegan sour cream and cheese if you want.
If you’re feeling up to a little baking, I can’t recommend this vegan & gluten free cornbread enough.
Variations & Substitutions
This pumpkin chili recipe is easily adaptable and you can play around with ingredients, depending on what you like in your chili.
- Add in quinoa
- Substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes
- Add in one diced bell pepper.
- If you have meat eater on your hands, you can throw your choice of browned meat into the crock pot. Or just add the pre-cooked burger into individual serving bowls.
Just note if you add in more ingredients (both quinoa, bell pepper and meat) you will probably need some additional broth, about 1/2 cup or so.
Store chili in airtight containers, and enjoy within one week.
If freezing, make sure to store in a food storage back or container, label and enjoy within 3 months. Thaw in fridge overnight. Check out this awesome guide for How to Freeze Chilli from Pip & Ebby, with lots of tips and tricks.
To reheat, you can pop in the microwave or warm on the stovetop, adding a little water to thin as needed.
If you make this recipe, please leave your star rating and review below! I love hearing from you and it helps others learn more about the recipe too. Xx AshleyPrint
Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
This easy Sweet Potato Black Bean Pumpkin Chili comes together with pantry staples in just 4 hours in the slow cooker. Or you can make in the Instant Pot in about 30 minutes total! Vegan, gluten free, great for leftovers and meal prep.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: slow cooker
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 4 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped, about 1″ cubes (about 2 large potatoes)
- 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 (14 ounce) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) canned pumpkin
- 1 (14 ounce) canned petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 3 cups vegetable stock*
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- tortilla chips
- vegan cheese or sour cream
- vegan cornbread
- In crock pot add sweet potatoes, onion, minced garlic, black beans, pumpkin, petite diced tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add in all of your seasonings, with salt to taste (add more salt if you prefer) and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. Serve with your favorite toppings and sides.
For Instant Pot, only use 2.5 cups broth. Add all ingredients to Instant Pot, cook on manual HIGH pressure, for 10 minutes. Then quick release pressure, change to Sauté mode for 3-4 minutes with lid off, to release some extra liquid. You can mash gently with spoon to get thicker consistency, or chili thickens upon standing and cooling.
This recipe is very adaptable, so play around with add-ins and spices to your liking. I’ve used bell peppers, replaced the sweet potatoes with squash, and have also made with quinoa before.
Recipe serves about 8 small-medium bowls, or 6 large bowls.
Chili will keep in fridge up to 5 days, or store in airtight container in freezer up to 3 months.
Nutrition based on 8 servings, about two heaping spoonfuls with large serving spoon.
- Serving Size: 1 medium bowl
- Calories: 164
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 645mg
- Fat: 2g
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: slow cooker chili, pumpkin chili recipes,