Food / Main Dishes / Vegetarian

Pumpkin Chili With Pumpkin Beer (Vegetarian)



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

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.


  • […] uses pumpkin puree and cinnamon, but don’t worry, it tastes nothing like dessert. Check out a vegetarian pumpkin chili (with pumpkin beer) if you don’t do meat, and in either case, consider topping your bowl with cheesy pumpkin beer […]

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  • Justine
    September 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Your chili came out great and looks totally delish — very rich and comforting! I love the addition of pumpkin flavour and the pumpkin puree is a great idea. I’ve never actually cooked with beer, let alone pumpkin beer (my Mom has an infamous beer infused chili she makes for the Superbowl and it’s a smash hit!)! Add this one to the menu of things we’ll eat together one day. ;)

    • Killing Thyme
      September 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks, Justine! I love me a thick chili, so the addition of pumpkin puree was perfect.
      I love love love cooking with beer. It’s really amazing how well it does in a plethora of dishes.

      We’ll have to pair this one with a fall-inspired sangria ;)

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    September 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    This chili sounds delicious. I NEVER knew that about red kidney beans. I have used dry pinto and navy beans in the past…hope that doesn’t apply to them. We survived if it does. Anyway…the pumpkin beer looks very interesting. I’m sure it adds some wonderful flavour to the dish.

    • Killing Thyme
      September 17, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Thanks, Gloria! Kidney beans are the only ones you have to be really careful with because they have a higher concentration of Phytohaemagglutinin.

  • Nicoletta @sugarlovespices
    September 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I love a good veggie chili and with butternut squash or pumpkin, it is sooo good. Love the addition of beer. I dont know that particular one, but I’m going to find out (yes to beer ;-) ) . I also love that bowl of spice mix you made!!

    • Killing Thyme
      September 17, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Thanks, Nicoletta! I think any pumpkin beer would work well, so you’re in luck — even if you can’t find this one. Let me know if you try it!

  • Elaine @ Flavour and Savour
    September 16, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Your chili looks divine, but what I’m really intrigued by is that spice blend you magically whipped up. Don’t you think it would be good on roasted fall vegetables? Toss with a little oil and Dana’s Smokey Fall Spice Blend and roast in the oven. Oh yum.

    • Killing Thyme
      September 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Thanks, Elaine! That spice blend probably would work wonderfully on roasted veggies. I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    September 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    oh my gosh girl.. that’s expensive beer.. I’d have cried as I poured it in the chili! lololol. It’s soooo good though! Southern tier is my favorite (well- it’s tied for favorite with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale). They make an awesome chocolate stout too. I bet this chili was phenomenal.. YUM!!

    • Killing Thyme
      September 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

      I wasn’t too thrilled while getting rid of the chili, that’s for sure. Haha. I think that’s why I was so quick to make another batch — I wanted to pretend the first one didn’t happen! It was delicious, though — and it made SO much! My husband doesn’t like chili, so I just freeze it in portions for myself. Chili for weeeeeks!


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