Fall in New England means football season. I’m not originally from Boston, but from Western New York (Or Upstate New York, depending on who you ask). The football game I’m interested in is not usually on local TV, so I have to take my bum to a bar in Boston that plays the game every Sunday. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I found that time and time again I turn to my crock-pot to whip up a delicious creation while I’m cheering on my team elsewhere. When I come home from watching the game feeling a little “jolly” shall we say, I walk through the door and dinner is already done! The greatest thing about a crock-pot is that it does all the work while you are in absentia. You throw your ingredients in, walk away for several hours and voila! Dinner is ready by the time you come back. I look forward to sharing my favorite crock-pot recipes throughout the fall and winter with you every Sunday as I make them. We can “crock it up” together! 🙂
This pumpkin chili is one of my all-time favorite fall dishes to make! It is savory and delicious, and warms you to the bones. The version below that I made on Friday is SUPER easy. It can be made in the crock-pot OR on the stove, depending on how soon you’d like to eat it.
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
1 red onion
1 bell pepper, or several mini bell peppers
1 drizzle of olive oil
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans of pumpkin*
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 15-oz cans of beans**
1 20-oz package of pre-cut butternut squash
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp Cajun/creole seasoning***
1 tsp ground cumin
Cinnamon, allspice, cloves to taste****
Lime wedges for garnish
*You can buy cans of pumpkin puree, or cut up a fresh pumpkin into chunks, steam it until tender and puree until you have 1 ½ cups. Make sure you do not get pumpkin pie filling – MAJ bad news bears!
**Whatever beans you prefer in chili are perfectly fine, but if you’d like a suggestion, half black beans and half red kidney beans make a pretty rad combo. You can substitute 3 cups of cooked beans here as well.
***Make sure there is NO salt added into these spice blends. I’ve made this mistake before and it’s a doozy!
****I’m the worst/was pressed for time and I did not measure these out. I gave a few good shakes of cinnamon and allspice, and a smaller shake of cloves. I’d say ½ – ¾ tsp of cinnamon and allspice, and ¼ tsp of cloves. You can’t really go wrong here, unless you dump the contents of the entire spice jar into the chili. You can always start on the conservative end, allow the flavors to meld for an hour or two and add more.
1. Chop the onion and bell pepper into pieces as big as a bean. Heat the oil and add the onions, pepper and garlic to a large skillet. Sauté them until they begin to brown, about five minutes. Transfer to the crock-pot when they are done.
2. Rinse the beans well in colander (bonus: this removes ~40% of the added sodium!), and add them to the crock-pot. Dump the entire contents of the cans of pumpkin and diced tomatoes into the crock-pot.
3. Chop the pre-cut butternut squash into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Dice the jalapeño and add both to the crock-pot. (Wash your hands immediately after handling the jalapeño – trust me on this one).
4. Once all of the vegetables are added to the crock-pot, add the veggie broth. Your crock-pot may be getting pretty full, so if you can’t add all of the two cups, don’t sweat it.
5. Add the spices, and stir so everything is mixed. Let those flavors meld and mingle.
6. Now you have some choices:
- You can cook on low for ~4 hours in the crock-pot
- You can cook on high for ~2 hours in the crock-pot
- You can simmer on the stove top for at least an hour, stirring occasionally
7. When the chili is done simmering, turn off the heat. Dish it up in your fave bowl, squeeze a lime wedge on top and stir. Enjoy!
Makes 4 – 6 servings, depending on how much your peeps like the chili. 😛
I bought pre-cut butternut squash to save myself time and the painful process of trying to peel and chop the squash in a short amount of time without chopping my finger off by accident. Whatever you’d like or have to use is fine of course! This recipe is especially great because it’s so versatile: it’s like a “choose your own adventure”! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.