I love my slow cooker. I use it every night. It’s the only way I have found that I am able to handle everything I need to do during the day. This Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili is one of my favorites. As soon as it starts to get even the slightest bit cool I run for the pumpkin and throw together a big batch (that never seems to be big enough). In case you are wondering about the pumpkin, no your chili will not taste like pumpkin. I had to argue with my Grandmother about this. I’m not exaggerating, it was an argument about whether I could or could not put pumpkin in my chili. It was like we were debating politics! But as a Southern Grandma she takes her chili very seriously. She has been converted BTW. The pumpkin adds an amazing creaminess to the dish. It is also probably a bit healthier, I don’t know the exact breakdown of vitamins in pumpkin but I always assume that the more veg in any dish the better.
This pumpkin chili checks all the boxes. Its rich and thick and filling. I know it’s very un-Texan to put beans in my chili but considering I don’t eat meat I’m willing to break with tradition. I will occasionally add shredded goat cheese for the kids (this make it no longer vegan) but they prefer it with cheese and if it helps them eat their dinner I’m fine with it. This chili is my daughters favorite meal so we have it often. I’m totally fine with that It is so comforting and warm. The perfect thing for a cold, rainy day. It’s also thick enough for a 1 1/2 year old to eat with a spoon on her own.
I prep all of the fresh ingredients ahead of time and add the canned or tinned food on the day.
Start by prepping your veg. I shredded 2 big carrots and 1 zucchini. I baked 1 pumpkin and used half. I cut the bell pepper and onion into chunks. I also cut up about 3 cloves of garlic and 2 chilli peppers but use as much as you like! If you prefer your chili more “chunky”cut up the carrots into chunks instead of shredding them.
I also added 2 bullion cubes and the spices.
This is half of the baked pumpkin.
Then it all goes into the slow cooker.
Starting to look pretty!
Now add in the tomato blokjes, lime juice, soy sauce and puree.
Give it a stir
I set mine for 8 hours. This machine will automatically switch to “low”after that time.
After it is done you will have the most amazing vegan chili EVER!
I will say that it is not spicy at all. My kids don’t like very spicy food so I keep it mild and add Tabasco to my bowl. It would be very easy to add chili powder and such if you want it hot.
I like to add avocado and grated goat cheese. No longer vegan so decide on toppings based on your own diet.
This is my daughters favorite meal. When I put it in front of her I got a “hooray for chili”
The really nice thing about this recipe is that it is truly adaptable. If you don’t have pumpkin, use a squash, or sweet potato puree. It’s for thickness and added nutrition so any thick puree would work. Like yours spicy? Add some chilli powder. Use whatever bean you have on hand. Or no bean. Or lentils. It’s a very forgiving recipe! Perfect for a “throw together” weeknight meal.