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Pumpkin Three Bean Chili Recipe

Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, plant-based, vegan recipes.

Scrumptious chili

Scrumptious chili

Dust off your slow cooker for this easy, plant-based, and low-sodium chili. Slow cooking makes preparing great-tasting, healthy meals simple. Since food cooks slowly over low heat, cooking and meal times are flexible. You can even whip up this recipe in the morning or the night before. Try this hearty vegan chili for your next meatless dinner and use the leftovers for chili mac (combining half chili with half pasta). The pumpkin makes it more nutritious, colorful, and fun! Your family, kids included, will love it!

Canned organic pumpkin

Canned organic pumpkin

Adding Pumpkin to Recipes

Pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving pies and why should it be? You would be missing out on the great taste, colorful dishes, and tremendous nutritional benefits if you limited pumpkin to pies and treats. Adding pumpkin puree to your soups, stews, sauces, breads, dips, casseroles and chili is easy and will up the nutritional value every time. Here are a few of the many health benefits of eating pumpkin.

  • Fiber: Pumpkin puree packs four grams of fiber in every half-cup serving. Eating a high-fiber diet helps to lower heart disease risk, improves digestion, and helps manage weight by making you feel full faster.
  • Vitamin A: Pumpkin puree provides seven times the RDA for Vitamin A in a one-cup serving. Vitamin A is important for good vision and a healthy immune system. This form of beta carotene in pumpkin puree is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage.
  • Iron & Potassium: It is also a great source of iron and potassium and is virtually sodium free.
  • Low Calorie: One thing that pumpkin puree does not supply an abundant supply of is calories. A half-cup serving has about 40 calories.

Pumpkin Three-Bean Chili Recipe

Color, texture, and great flavor will make this chili a star at your next family or potluck dinner! The slow cooker makes this recipe easy and the timing flexible. If you prepare the recipe the night before, place it in the refrigerator for the night and add 1-2 hours of cooking time the next day. The ingredient list is also flexible. Add almost any veggie you have on hand and vary the beans, maybe a four or five-bean chili!

Chili in the slow cooker

Chili in the slow cooker

Resist adding salt to this meal as the spices do a fabulous job amping up the flavor on their own. This will keep this already healthy meal low in sodium. It’s also low in calories and fat, high in protein and provides just about a full-days serving of fiber! See the nutritional info below.

This chili might taste even better the next day or two! Use what is left to make chili mac (add cooked pasta). The kids will love it!

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

5 hours

5 hours 30 min

8 servings


  • 8 cups chopped vegetables (such as onions, celery, bell peppers)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons water or veggie broth, Start with 1 tbsp and add more as needed
  • 5 15-oz cans organic no-salt-added beans, rinsed and drained (black, pinto, kidney, navy, or other)
  • 1 26.5-oz container low sodium chopped tomatoes (try pomi brand), or 2 cans of organic no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-oz can low sodium fire-roasted diced tomatoes (try muir glen brand)
  • 1 15-oz can organic pureed pumpkin
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, or dried parsley flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons sodium-free chili powder (try Simply Organic or Frontier brands)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook chopped vegetables and minced garlic in oil until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer cooked vegetables to a five quart slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover and cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours or until heated through.

Wine Pairing

Yes, you can drink red wine with meatless meals! For this tomato-based chili, choose a medium to full-bodied red with spice notes. Consider a Zinfandel, Malbec, Grenache, or a red blend. If you prefer to spice up the chili with perhaps some habanero pepper and/or additional spices, steer toward a dryer red with fruitier undertones.

The wines pictured here are sold at Costco under the Kirkland Signature label.

Purchase Items Online for Less

Five cans of beans are called for in this chili recipe. You can save on organic, no-salt-added beans by purchasing online. Amazon has a large selection of pantry items and I do much of my pantry stocking up by shopping this way, rather than at the grocery store. It's easier since I'm sitting right by my pantry and know just what I need and it's less expensive. I recommend purchasing organic canned beans as they are always virtually sodium free plus often now cans are BPA free.

No-salt-added diced tomatoes, especially the fire-roasted variety, are difficult to find at grocery stores. I purchase the Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, no-salt-added, through Amazon as well. These tomatoes add a slightly smoky flavor to the chili. I only use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes (unless I'm using fire roasted). I've found these have by far the best flavor and they can also be added to my Amazon cart.


Dress up your chili with some fun toppings! Keep in mind that you are adding calories and sometimes other less-desirable additions. Some yummy toppings to try are corn chips, cheese, chopped onions, chopped chili peppers, avocado, crumbled cornbread, and nutritional yeast seasoning (a vegan topping). In the table below, three toppings are highlighted with nutritional information.


Frito Scoop Corn Chips

Organic Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Bragg's Nutritional Yeast Seasoning


Crunchy texture

Sharp flavor, creamy

Cheese-like flavor, vegan, sodium-free


5 chips

2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons


























Corleone, Jill. "What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Puree?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 11 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Sept. 2014. .