Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Locals Take on This Hotly Debated Dish


Chili: It’s a quintessential American meal, yet the variations are – quite literally – endless. Do you include beans, or no beans? Prefer vegetarian versions, or as much meat as the pot can handle? Are you a chili traditionalist, or do unexpected ingredients like sweet potatoes, pasta, or even chocolate make your mouth water?

Whatever your chili opinions, you’re sure to find a winning recipe in the following pages. Keep reading for four locals’ takes on this hotly debated dish!


By Mary Beth Wallace / Photography by Rich Smith

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Erin Sizemore holding a bowl of her vegetarian pumpkin chili


Erin Sizemore’s Pumpkin Chili

Yields: 8 servings

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Pumpkin Chili

Erin Sizemore
This delicious and versatile pumpkin chili recipe has both vegetarian and meat options and can be made using an instant pot or on a stovetop!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • Instant Pot – OR – Large Saucepan – OR – Dutch Oven


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 lbs Beyond Beef (for non-vegetarian version, use lean ground beef or turkey
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 15 oz dark red kidney beans
  • 15 oz light red kidney beans
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz pumpkin purée
  • Add water to achieve your preferred consistency

For topping (optional):

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sour cream


For an instant pot:

  • Sauté peppers and onions in olive oil until starting to brown. 
  • Add your protein and cook until browned, stirring occasionally.  
  • Add spices and mix all together.
  • Add apple cider, beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin purée. Stir.
  • Cover pot and set to high pressure for 20 minutes. Both natural and quick release work for this recipe.
  • Top with optional ingredients and enjoy!

For the stovetop:

  • Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté peppers and onions in olive oil.
  • Add protein and cook until browned. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
  • Top with optional ingredients and enjoy!
Keyword chili, chili recipe, instant pot recipe, pumpkin, pumpkin chili, pumpkin chili with beef, pumpkin chili with turkey, stove top recipe, vegetarian chili, vegetarian pumpkin chili, vegetarian recipe
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