Finally a vegetarian chili that isn’t boring! This Pumpkin Black Bean Chili packs healthy ingredients and great flavor for an easy meal any day of the week.
This year I have finally succeeded in growing pumpkins in my garden. Ahem. Actually they succeeded in growing themselves. I had nothing to do with it. They popped up all on their own and I let them grow as mystery plants. Voila! Pumpkins for me! Isn’t she beautiful?
Considering how proud I am of these pumpkins, I was not about to carve them for Halloween decor.
My pumpkin culinary adventures begin with this vegetarian chili. Usually I find vegetarian chili to be boring and dull, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I did some homework and laid out a plan and created delicious Pumpkin Black Bean Chili.
Using a tip I found in my planning process, I dry roasted whole coriander and cumin seeds on the stovetop for just a few minutes and then ground them in a food processor to bring out their flavors. You can use the already ground versions too – they just might not provide as much flavor.
And FINALLY I got to use some of the roasted hatch chili peppers I brought back from Austin. Yay! If I didn’t have these stocked in my freezer, I would have roasted some fresh poblano. Or just used canned roasted green chilies.
I’m making it a habit to have roasted peppers in my freezer from the summer harvest. It made this dinner easy to put together and they’re so flavorful.
While my chili was simmering and the pumpkin was roasting, I cleaned and prepped some pumpkin seeds for toasting – I mean we might as well use all the pumpkin parts, right?!
I tossed them with some olive oil, pumpkin pie spice and salt and onto a baking sheet. As soon as the pumpkin was done, I lowered the oven to 350 F and popped them in. About 10 minutes later (don’t forget to toss them halfway through) I had toasted pumpkin seeds for a crunchy topping. Completely optional, but oh so tasty.
Vegetarian pumpkin and black bean chili topped with toasted pumpkin seeds for the ultimate fall chili!
- 2 tsp whole cumin toasted and ground (1 tsp if using pre-ground)
- 2 tsp whole coriander toasted and ground (1 tsp if using pre-ground)
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder or any chili powder you prefer
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice make it here
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- *you'll also add oregano to the chili later on in the process listed below
- 3 cups pumpkin or any winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 cup roasted and diced green chili peppers hatch, poblano, etc. or use canned
- 3 extra large garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1, 14.5- ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1, 14.5 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano preferably Mexican*
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking bulgur wheat
- Toppings: avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, diced jalapeños, toasted pumpkin seeds
Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet. Dry roast on the stovetop - about 3-4 minutes until toasted. Transfer to a small Cuisinart or spice grinder and grind into a powder. Skip this step if using pre-ground.
Combine all the spice mixture ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Heat oven to 375F. Place diced pumpkin on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with 1 TB olive oil and about 1 tsp (+/-) spice mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Roast for 12-15 minutes until just tender. Set aside. Option to toast the pumpkin seeds after pumpkin is done ~ 350F, 10 min.
While the pumpkin is roasting, heat 1 TB olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and a couple pinches of salt. Cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and 2 tsp of the spice mixture. Stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, and oregano.
Add 2 cups broth. Bring to boil and add the bulgur wheat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 30 minutes until bulgur is tender.
Stir squash into chili, season with salt and pepper. Divide chili among bowls.
Add desired toppings!
*Mexican oregano is stronger and less sweet than traditional Mediterranean style.