Living with multiple sclerosis, Learning to make the world accessible, Loving life with all of its challenges

That delicious fall flavor of pumpkin is not limited to pumpkin spice and lattes, this perfect pumpkin chili recipe will fill your kitchen with that wonderful smell of fall spice and your stomach full of this hearty, healthy dish.

Spicy with a hint of sweet, this this pumpkin chili will please your pallet in ways very different than a traditional chili. While it has all of the heartiness you want in a good chili, the blend of fall spices with a hint of heat and sweet from the jalapenos and honey takes the description of scrumptious to a whole new level.

While there is some slicing and dicing involved , the chili comes together easily once the prep is done, and is a perfect vegetarian option served as is, or great with some meat or a meat substitute.

Ingredients for your Pumpkin Chili

The ingredients list for the pumpkin chili is robust, so make sure you have your list when you head to the store! While it might feel like a lot, a lot of these ingredients may already be in your kitchen, and it’s not as intimidating as it might initially seem.

Pumpkin Chili in Pot
Simmering Pumpkin Chili

First and foremost, you’ll need to hit up the produce section. Of course you’ll need a pumpkin. Along with that pick up some red onion, red and green bell pepper, some celery, jalapeno, garlic, and a little bit of celery.

In the canned aisle you’ll need some diced tomato (you can get this fresh if you would like as well), white kidney beans, and vegetable stock.

Check our your spice rack before hitting the store and make sure you’ve got some kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil. You’ll also need cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little bit of chili powder.

The final ingredient is just a little honey to sweeten up your puree and you are all set with your flavor profile.

Making Pumpkin Chili

So the first thing you need to do is cut your pumpkin in half and trim the outside skin off. Scoop out the seeds, then slice the pumpkin into strips, then cut into pieces roughly 1/2-1 inch. Bake on a baking pan lined with parchment paper at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Dice your red onions, peppers, celery, garlic, and jalapenos. place a large cooking pot on medium high heat and place your vegetables, tomatoes, beans, two cups of the vegetable stock, and the spices. Once you’ve got it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer.

Once your pumpkin chunks are done cooking, add 2/3 of the chunks to the simmering pot and stir in.

Now for your pumpkin puree. Creating this puree gives a nice texture to the chili and also really makes sure you blend in that really great pumpkin flavor. To make your puree, add the last third of the roasted pumpkin to a food processor along with a cup of vegetable stock and the honey. Blend the mixture until it is smooth then add the puree to the pot on the stove.

Adding Puree to Chili
Adding Puree to Chili

Simmer everything together for another 10-15 minutes. Depending on preference you can add a little more vegetable stock to thin the chili if you’d like and flavor to taste with additional spices.

To serve, garnish with your choice of baked pumpkin seeds, green onions, cheese, sour cream… take your pick and whatever you choose, enjoy!

Why we Love Pumpkin for our MS Diet

Pumpkin offers a lot more than being a decorative gourd for the porch come Halloween. That rich, orange flavor comes from Beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that converts to the body as vitamin A. Pumpkin is absolutely chocked full of it.

We haven’t spent a lot of time in previous recipes talking about Vitamin A, so we’ll take a second here. The main metabolite in vitamin A is retinoic acid, which is responsible for neuroimmunological functions. While there are a lot of benefits of vitamin A, for MS we love the anti-inflammatory properties, which helps increase tolerance of autoimmunity. They also believe it can help with brain protection overall.

Sliced pumpkin
Freshly Sliced Pumpkin

In addition to the high levels of vitamin A, pumpkin is high in vitamins C, B, and E. In addition, pumpkin is a high water, low calorie food, so when you have a chili based in pumpkin it’s going to fill you up without loading up your calorie count. When exercise is limited due to mobility or fatigue issues from fatigue, we love a meal that can provide all of these nutrients without all of the calories, so let’s get cooking!

Please visit our Resources page if you are interested in finding some of the tools and gadgets Dre uses to make cooking accessible while combatting MS.

Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 1 hr Servings: 6 Best Season: Fall


This savory spiced pumpkin chili touched with a hint of sweet will fill your stomach and your home with all of the flavors and smells of a perfect fall day.

Pumpkin Chili


Pumpkin Chili

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the pumpkin in half and peel the pumpkin. Scoop the seeds and strings out of the pumpkin. Slice the pumpkin in strips then cube into 1/2 to 1 inch squares. Toss the pumpkin squares in olive oil, season with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

    Chunked Pumpkin
  3. While your pumpkin cooks, put a large pot on medium-high heat. Place the red onions, red and green bell peppers, celery, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes, beans, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, remaining salt and pepper, and two cups of the vegetable broth in the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer.

  4. When your pumpkin is finished cooking, remove from the oven and add 2/3 of the roasted pumpkin to the pot and stir in to mix. 

    Since your pumpkin is already cooked you don't want to add it too early as it can get a little bit mushy.
  5. Add the remainder of the pumpkin to a food processor or blender along with 1 cup of vegetable stock and the honey. Blend until it is smooth.

    Pumpkin Puree
  6. Add the puree to the chili pot and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.

    Adding Puree to Chili
    You can adjust the thickness and flavor with additional vegetable stock and spices.
  7. Garnish with sour cream, avocado, cooked pumpkin seeds, green onions, cheese, or any other topping you like and enjoy!

    Finished Pumpkin Chili

Keywords: Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Spice
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