If you follow the Killing Thyme Facebook page, then you know my first go at this chili was a bit of a blunder (thanks to red kidney bean poisoning). If you’re unfamiliar with red kidney bean poisoning, please read this article on how to avoid it. I learned about it halfway through my chili being in the slow cooker and had to throw it out. It was heartbreaking, because the chili smelled *damn* good.

So yeah. Whoops. Won’t happen again. Moving along…

As you can see, I wasted *no* time in whipping up another batch.

Believe it or not, I’ve never been part of the whole “Pumpkin Spice” craze. My husband goes bananas for it; he’s the “basic white girl” in the relationship. He jumps on every pumpkin spiced cereal, cookie and cupcake he can get his hands on once September rolls around. I’m not even into pumpkin beer all that much, but I had a feeling it would jive in a pumpkin chili.

Spoiler alert: it did.

I used Southern Tier’s Pumpking and it was phenom.


The base of this chili.

I tweaked my tried and true Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili to achieve this one.

I used pureed pumpkin in this bad boy (please don’t confuse pureed pumpkin with pumpkin pie filling). I wanted to throw some chunks of pumpkin in there as well, but I couldn’t find pumpkins at the market just yet. Instead, I used butternut squash — and it was freakin’ magnificent. If you *can* find actual pumpkin, I say go for it. If not, butternut squash is your go-to.

In my usual veg chili, I add peas near the end for added brightness. I didn’t add peas in this version, but I did add some shredded carrots. I love adding shredded carrots to stews, salads and soups, so I knew it would work nicely here.




How I created the spice mix.

I wasn’t too sure what to do here, but I eventually cracked the code and came out a winner.  I knew I wanted a subtle hint of ‘fall spice’, and I wanted to bring in a bit of a smokey flavor; one of my fave things about fall is a cool breeze with a hint of smoke in the air, whether it be from a campfire or a meat smoking pit. To get this, I tweaked my usual Homemade Chili and Taco Seasoning. Despite the fact that this had some pumpkin spice flair to it, I assure you this chili doesn’t taste like a Starbucks latte so if that’s where your mind is going, get back here.

I replaced the dried oregano with dried sage, I used smoked paprika and some chipotle chili powder for a nice smokiness, curry powder, and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. I still added a generous amount of crushed red chili flakes too, so it can definitely clear your sinuses. You can adjust that according to your preferences, though.

This spice blend was a success — I actually kind of surprised myself. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


For more delish goodies, find me on Instagram and Pinterest.

Have you made this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Insta! @killing__thyme / #KillingThyme

Get the Recipe:

Pumpkin Chili With Pumpkin Beer

Made with pumpkin beer, this spicy vegetarian pumpkin chili is the perfect way dig into fall.


CHILI15 oz cooked kidney beans

  • 15 oz cooked black beans
  • 15 oz cooked chickpeas
  • 4 cups of cooked lentils
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 16 oz peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin puree, make sure it's not pumpkin pie filling!
  • 28 oz can diced tomato, don't drain
  • 14.5 t can diced tomato, don' drain
  • 1 cup pumpkin beer of your choice

CHILI SEASONING2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • Add all of the chili ingredients into a large slow cooker. Stir to mix all of the ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all of the spices to create the seasoning blend.
  • Add the seasoning to the chili while stirring well. Keep stirring to ensure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the chili.
  • Cook on high, in the slow cooker, for at least four hours and up to eight hours.

OPTIONALServe with fresh bread, toast, taco chips, etc.

  • Garnish with plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, scallions, fresh parsley, etc.