Soups, Stews, & Chowders

Harvest Pumpkin Chili

This vegetarian dish is really more of a pumpkin stew than a pumpkin chili, but the flavors and garnishes bring to mind a standard chili. And the effect is just as hearty and warming.

By Yankee Magazine

Sep 09 2023


Harvest Pumpkin Chili

Photo Credit : Kristin Teig and Liz Neilly

The pumpkin chili recipe is a hearty vegetable stew flavored with pumpkin puree and chili spices and garnished with avocado, sour cream, and cilantro. It also makes delicious use of kabocha, a Japanese winter squash variety with wonderfully sweet, velvety flesh that is available at most grocery stores. If you haven’t tried kabocha, you’re in for a treat: When cooked, the skin becomes so tender that you don’t even have to peel it.


About 6 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup pumpkin puree
1½ pounds kabocha squash, seeded (unpeeled) and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, such as northern or cannellini, with liquid
3½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
Avocado slices, cilantro, and sour cream, for garnish


Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic, red pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring often, for 5 more minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and kabocha squash and stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the beans and broth, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stir, and simmer until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot and garnish with avocado, cilantro, and sour cream.