Sometimes when you say, “Vegan” people think oh no, here we go – healthy food with no flavor. On occasion, I am one of those people, but the older I get the more I can appreciate a good vegan recipe. Chili seems to be an easy dish to prepare vegan-style, but to actually make it taste good, you need more than beans. Layering all kinds of pantry ingredients like, canned pumpkin, pepitas (yes seeds) and some fresh vegetables make this chili beyond just healthy.
I used my Instant Pot to speed up the process, but you can make it on the stove top and double your cooking time. For starters, begin like you do with a standard chili recipe, saute an onion, garlic, bell pepper and throw in a jalapeno for good measure and heat, but then comes the fun. A mix of frozen corn, some canned pumpkin and hulled pumpkin seeds thicken up the chili beautifully and give it body. I bet you probably won’t taste much pumpkin here, it just adds a nice consistency that brings all the other ingredients together.
As for the beans, just rinse and dump into the chili right before serving because they are already cooked. This chili is truly a winner – it probably will be a new addition to your weeknight recipe repertoire.
1 cup pepitas
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
14 ounces diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
14 ounces canned black beans, rinsed
14 ounces canned pinto beans, rinsed
- In a food processor, pulse pepitas until coarsely ground, set aside. Press Saute on Instant Pot and add 2 teaspoons oil. Add onion and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and stir. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, stir. Add ground pepitas and stir, continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 cup water, stir. Hit Cancel and place lid on top. Seal and set for High Pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Release steam immediately and add beans. Place lid back on pot and let beans warm for 5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Enjoy!