This Pumpkin Quinoa Chili is the ultimate vegetarian chili recipe. It's full of protein, is made in a slow cooker and is packed with nutritious ingredients!
It seems like every year for the past few years I've been creating a new quinoa chili recipe. It's not intentional, I just love chili. Like really, really love it!
Before going plant-based chili was not my cup of tea. I've never really enjoyed ground meat dishes so the idea of a ground meat chili just totally put me off. But now that I'm all about those beans, me and chili are besties all winter long.
Since I've shared some of the classic chili recipes already, this year I'm giving you a fun and delicious spin: a pumpkin quinoa chili that's made in the slow cooker!
Why You Should Add Quinoa to Your Chili
The idea of adding quinoa to your chili might seem a little strange, but it's actually incredible given quinoa nutrition qualities. Not only are we amping up the protein content, but it adds the most amazing texture.
Quinoa expands as it cooks and will help your chili be nice and thick. But quinoa also has a similar texture to ground meat, so it also gives it that meat-like quality that so many people love.
So the bottom line? If you've got a meat eater at home who is resistant to things like quinoa or vegan/vegetarian meals, serve them this. I guarantee it will be gobbled up!
Making Quinoa Chili in the Slow Cooker
For me, slow cookers and quinoa chili go hand in hand. While you could certainly make this on the stove (or I imagine in a pressure cooker as well), what I like about the slow cookers is this:
- You can fix it and forget
- There's no hands-on time aside from chopping on your end
- The longer it cooks the more flavor is developed
So you can make this in the morning and when you get home from work, your kitchen will be smelling incredible!
The Ultimate Pumpkin Quinoa Chili
I honestly don't know where the idea of adding pumpkin into my chili came from, but damn is it good. The pumpkin adds a lovely richness to the chili that you don't get from just using broth. It also helps thicken it a bit, which I personally love. Oh and you're also getting all that amazing fiber from the pumpkin as well!
The other additions that make this pumpkin chili perfect?
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes which add smokey and sweet
- Black beans for added protein
- Kidney beans to change things ups
- And ALL the spices!
To me, this is the perfect chili. It checks all my chili boxes and it tastes unreal.
Not only is it vegan and vegetarian, but it's also packed with fiber and protein, it's filling, it's easy to make and it can absolutely serve as a replacement for your favorite meat-based chili.
Not to mention, this chili is also perfect for meal prep, freezes well and can be doubled (or tripled) to serve a large crowd! I can't wait to see your recreations ♡ I know you're going to LOVE it!
More Quinoa Chili Recipes:
- Slow Cooker White Quinoa Chili
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Three Alarm Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted optional)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup quinoa , uncooked
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin , ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add all the ingredients into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and turn the slow cooker to high. Let cook 4 - 6 hours on high, 6 - 8 hours on low.
- When ready to serve, stir together, add a splash more broth if needed and top with your desired toppings.