Vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil Chili

This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.

It’s time! Can you feel it? The weather is totally crisp and cool. The leaves are ever-so-slightly starting to change color. I wore boots for the first time last week (!!). Which means … it’s officially chili season!!

And oh are we kicking things off on a good note with this wonderfully cozy pumpkin lentil chili!

Two white bowls filled with Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili with spoons in the bowls.

Now, if we’re being honest, I eat soup (yes, including chili) all year round. But. With the weather cooling down, I feel like it’s absolutely acceptable to start posting lots of soup recipes again. Yes? Yes!

So. Let’s get to today’s dish. We have a super hearty chili packed to the brim with the good stuff. Plenty of veggies. An entire can of pumpkin puree. Lentils! Two kinds of beans! It’s full of flavor and has a hint of creaminess from the pumpkin. It’s vegetarian, vegan AND gluten free (as long as you use appropriate toppings!).

Now, it’s absolutely no secret that I am a huge fan of lentils, beans, chickpeas and dried peas (which are collectively defined as pulses). So, I couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to develop some recipes using pulses this fall.

Because seriously. What’s not to love? These flavorful little superfoods are an awesome source of plant-based protein, are nutritious to boot and extremely versatile. <— That’s a triple threat right there!

As you may have already heard, the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. And you can join me in taking the Pulse Pledge (i.e. commit to eating pulses once a week for ten weeks) by visiting!

A white bowl filled with Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili topped with sliced avocado and cilantro.

Tips & Tricks For This Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

  1. Yes, there is an entire can of pumpkin in this chili! But don’t be scared! The chili still has a very classic taste. The husband had no clue there was even pumpkin in the chili. Now how’s that for sneaky! But seriously. I think this will please both pumpkin lovers and those who are kind of on the fence with pumpkin.
  2. This chili is totally freezer-friendly. Make a batch now to have on hand for busy weeknights.
  3. As far as the spice level – as written, the chili has an ever-so-slight hint of heat. Not at all over the top. However, if you don’t like spice, be sure to remove all the seeds AND membranes from the jalapeno.
  4. I find the thickness of the chili perfect as written – it’s thick but not super thick. However, feel free to add more broth at the end if you’d like to thin it out!
  5. Let’s talk toppings! I personally think avocado and cilantro are the perrrrfect finishing touch. But get creative and use whatever you like!

Pumpkin lentil chili – healthy, nourishing and just so darn fun.

A bowl filled with Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili with torn bread to the side.

Additional Vegetarian Chili Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil Chili

Vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil Chili

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Hearty and healthy, vegetarian pumpkin lentil chili! Filled with warm spices, lentils, beans and veggies! Freezer-friendly and wonderfully cozy!


For the chili:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Serving ideas:

  • tortilla chips or cornbread
  • sliced avocado
  • chopped cilantro
  • shredded cheese of choice
  • greek yogurt, sour cream or cashew sour cream


  1. Set a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in both peppers and the jalapeno. Cook for another 5 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add in the lentils, tomatoes, both kinds of beans, the pumpkin, broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and salt. Mix to combine. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and the chili has thickened up. Taste and season with additional salt as needed (I usually add a little more). Serve as desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 911mg Carbohydrates: 56g Fiber: 18g Sugar: 7g Protein: 14g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. However, all opinions and content are completely my own. As always, thank you for reading and letting me share brands & sponsors that I love!