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November 6, 2018

by Alyssa

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

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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!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

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!

How to make Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

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!

How to make Slow Cooker Chili

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!

How to make chili in the slow cooker

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!

Healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili with Pumpkin

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!

Pumpkin Quinoa Chili in the Slow Cooker

More Quinoa Chili Recipes:


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

A healthy slow cooker quinoa chili recipe that uses pumpkin! This pumpkin quinoa chili is vegetarian, super nourishing and great for meal prep!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 217kcal
Print Pin
Pumpkin Chili with Quinoa
4 from 142 votes



  • 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.



For toppings, we like guacamole, vegan cheese, cilantro and sliced jalapeno. And it's delicious served with corn chips!


Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1530mg | Potassium: 947mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 12710IU | Vitamin C: 44.8mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 5.9mg
slow cooker pumpkin quinoa chili
slow cooker pumpkin quinoa chili

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Hi! I’m confused about the nutrition values included on this post. Is that for the entire recipe or per serving? 217kcal doesn’t seem possible.. what’s the nutritional value for one cup please? Thanks!

    • This is the nutritional value per serving. I don’t have the nutritional value for one cup, but you can log your ingredients into a nutritional calculator for a better idea of what the calories of you make will be.

  2. It might be useful to mention for those who scroll past to the actual recipe that the chili powder is a mix not just “chili powder”. ????My husband and I could luckily laugh about it but THNAK GOD I didn’t use a full tablespoon in this. ????Not to mention yoghurt helped a bit. Otherwise a tasty recipe ????

  3. I don’t know what I did wrong as I followed the recipe (wasn’t able to get the fire roasted tomatoes so went with regular ones), and it really did not go down well. I added more of the spices, sugar and a bit of lemon juice just to make it palatable. Not sure why but it tasted like it had mustard in it 🙁 Real shame as I had frozen portions of this as easy dinner for the week. Will not be trying this one again!

    • Hmmm I have no clue! I can’t imagine why it would have tasted like mustard…! Did you maybe mix up your spices by chance?

  4. New household favorite!! Thank you so.kuch for sharing! My only adjustment is to eliminate the onions for an allergy. This is so good!

  5. Hi as I live in U K I don’t know what weight is in a “cup” can you tell me please as I want to make this chilli asap ? Thanks Beverley

    • Which ingredient are you referring to? The broth? If so, it’s 24 oz. Everything else is in weight measurements 🙂

  6. Hi, Alyssa,
    What size slow cooker or IP would this work with. I have a 4qt slow cooker and 3qt and 6qt IP. Have the ingredients and am ready to go!

  7. Hey Alyssa!
    In the youtube video for this you mentioned you could make this recipe in the instant pot- how long would you put it on for? I want to try to make it with soaked beans instead of canned beans…do you think the cook time for those beans would be enough? or would you cook the beans separately?
    thanks s much!

    • Hi! I would definitely suggest cooking the beans separately since they will take longer than the rest of the ingredients in the chili. The chili should be about 12 mins!

  8. What is the serving size? I know it says 6 servings (I feel like I have way more than 6). Is 1 cup a serving for this or more? Thank you!

  9. Hi,
    I have a slow cooker but one of those I can only put in the oven or on stove, can I use a glass lid in the oven?

  10. This was sooooo good!!!! I, true to form, ran out of time and had to put it on top of the stove, but it was a HIT!!! I’m a vegan, but my husband and parents who are not gobbled this up and kept saying how good it was. Y’all should make this! Thanks so much for posting the recipe!!!!

  11. To be honest, this had to grow on me. I followed the recipe exactly. I tried it after about five hours in the slow cooker, and it was bland. I added a tbsp or so of brown sugar and cayenne pepper to boost the flavor. It was ok.. The next day, it was better. The next day, it was even better… and so on. I’m not sure if the flavors had to meld or maybe it just grew on me… but now I can honestly say I love it.

  12. Pumpkin chili is the best ever indeed! I love this fall/winter vegetable so much that I enjoy it during any other season. My favorite way to integrate pumpkin is by adding them to oats, making pumpkin curry, or roasting kabocha squash and enjoying it plain. This is a really cool way to incorporate pumpkin in a savory dish but still using the puree! I bet it tastes wondrous!

  13. Thank you!! Can’t wait to try this recipe! I am trying to eat less canned food. How can I adjust liquid and cooking time if using uncooked beans and pumpkin? Do I need to first cook all beans separately and then cook per the recipe?

  14. Hey, how are you today? 1st thank you so much for so many yummy recipes!!!! I have a cuestion how do you know how much to put per serving?

  15. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! Will be making this for sure. Just need clarification on the amount of vegetable broth please. The video on YouTube says 2 cups of vegetable broth and the recipe here says 3 cups. Thanks so much for all of your awesome recipes!

  16. Hi Alyssa!
    This recipe looks amazing and I think I will make this today. My daughter doesn not have a slow cooker though so how would you adjust the recipe to make it on the stove top?

    Thank you!


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