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Vegan Chipotle Pumpkin Chili

October 26, 2015
Featured in: Food Rx, Dinner, Soups and Stews
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This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover.

This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover.

According to my Facebook feed, there are only two reasons to be excited about fall. Football and pumpkin everything. So, I mashed the two together and created this tailgating friendly vegan chipotle pumpkin chili! 

We actually ate this healthy chili watching our Clemson Tigers this weekend. Gotta love the double orange going on with the chili and our school colors. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why we beat Miami 58-0. You're welcome Tiger Nation

I have to say, when it comes to fall, I'm much more excited about football than pumpkin. While I LOVE my Tigers, that statement says more about my lack of enthusiasm for pumpkin foods. Most 'pumpkin' foods don't actually taste like pumpkin. It's just sugar, pumpkin pie spices and orange food dye.

Pumpkin in savory applications however...I can get down with that. Blended into a creamy dreamy pasta sauce, whipped into black bean burgers or spread over a savory flatbread. I'll take that over PSL anyday. 

The other cool thing about savory pumpkin dishes like thie vegan chipotle pumpkin chili? They actually use REAL pumpkin! Imagine that? 

This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover.

Besides tasting like fall, pumpkin has a multitude of health benefits. Let's take a look, shall we?

VITAMIN A // Like all winter squash, pumpkin is a vitamin A powerhouse - 1 cup pureed pumpkin contains about 200% your daily needs! Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, vision and immune function. 

POTASSIUM // Look beyond bananas! A cup of pureed pumpkin contains more potassium than a medium banana. I like to think of potassium as anti-salt because of it's blood pressure lowering effects. It's also helpful to eat high potassium food after an especially sweaty workout.

CARBOHYDRATES // Let me start by saying I don't advocate carbohydrate or calorie counting or restriction. In fact, I feel my best when I eat lots of carbohydrates (from mostly whole foods, of course!). But some people feel their best eating less carbohydrates. Pumpkin, despite being a starchy vegetable, is quite low in carbohydrates with 8 grams in a cup. It also packs plenty of fiber with about 3 grams in a cup. 

VITAMIN C // Pumpkin contains a decent amount of vitamin C. It is orange afterall! Vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin, is beneficial for immune function and healthy skin. So maybe instead of reaching for orange juice to speed up recovery from a cold, we should roast up some pumpkin instead! 

I kept this recipe vegan using tempeh for additional protein. Feel free to swap in meat - simpy add 8 ounces ground turkey with the vegetables after adding the zucchini and tomatoes and brown before adding the pumpkin, tomatoes and beans. You could also leave it out, making it a bean chili. For garnish, I like my chili fully loaded. Although I kept it simple in the photos, this one's delish garnished with cilantro, plain yougurt or sour cream, avocado and shredded cheddar.

This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover.

This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover
This vegan chipotle pumpkin chili is everything that's great about fall and uses tempeh for a healthy chili makeover.

Vegan Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

Yield

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1-2 chipotle chilis, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add red pepper, onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes and zucchini and saute until tender, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Stir in chipotle chili, spices, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir in pumpkin, tomatoes, broth and beans. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes until flavors have melded.
  5. Stir in crumbled tempeh and cook 5 minutes more.
  6. Serve garnished with cilantro. 

Click for nutritional information
Calories 311
Carbohydrates 42.3g
Fiber 15.3g
Sugar 23.7g
Fat 10.8g
Protein 18.7g
Sodium 792mg
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RachaelAnAvocadoADay

RachaelAnAvocadoADay
Rachael Hartley is the author of the FOOD Rx on HealthyAperture - a monthly feature that embraces the saying "Let food be thy medicine." The tasty, whole food recipes shared in Food Rx take advantage of the healing power of food, highlighting ingredients with known health promoting abilities. Rachael is also private practice dietitian and blogger at Avocado A Day Nutrition. She is passionate about helping men and women improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing with nourishing and delicious whole foods, mindfulness and intuitive eating. As lifelong food lover, the kitchen is her playground and she enjoys experimenting with new ingredients, trying new cuisines and sharing those creations on her blog. When not working with clients or blogging, you can find her playing with her two big fluffy dogs, practicing yoga, or traveling with her husband.
More posts by RachaelAnAvocadoADay
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