Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili has been around for at least a few years. In the beginning of my awareness that such a thing existed, I thought, as I suspect many do, “Pumpkin? In chili? That’s weird.”

Then I tried it. Not half bad, I thought. Still a little weird, but also sort of perfect too. Perfect weird. A harbinger of fall, pumpkin, along with pretty much the best spicy, hearty dish to serve on a cold, frosty October evening? Not such a crazy idea, maybe.

So I worked on it. I tweaked and poked and made countless versions of pumpkin chili, all the while really coming around to this stuff. It’s so, so perfectly delicious.

I mean, the fact is, pumpkin and pumpkin spices – cinnamon and cloves – really do work in chili. Especially black bean chili. It all makes what’s already a cozy dish even cozier. And I love the body that the pureed pumpkin adds. Plus, with all the extra vitamin A the pumpkin brings to the table, it also makes a healthy dish even healthier.

Sometimes the things that seem the weirdest are the very same things that end up just belonging together.

Peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches are another good example. No? Well, think on it. We might just talk about those someday too.

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili

Black beans, pumpkin, chili spices, and pumpkin spices simmer together in your Crock Pot to make a perfect - and perfectly healthy - fall meal.

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes


  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans plain diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Assorted toppings of your choice like shredded cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, or our favorite topping for this chili, Tapatio sauce


  1. Add all ingredients to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.
  3. Serve with assorted toppings.

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18 Responses to “Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili”

  1. Kymm posted on October 15, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Love this recipe! Made it for my family last night! I featured it in my blog this morning :-)
    Thanks for such a yummy recipe!

    • Kare posted on October 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Yay! So glad you liked it. And your blog name is adorable.

  2. Nicki posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I’ve been trying to find a better black bean pumpkin chili recipe, since the last one I made up left something to be desired.

    Do you drain the tomatoes? My last chili was too watery and I don’t want that to happen again!


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  5. Lauren posted on September 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Did you add veggie broth or anything to yours! It looks so pleasantly soupy in the picture, and I’m thinking mine will be more like a chunky stew.

    That said, mine is in the crock pot right now and I’m excited! I added butternut squash, garlic, paprika, and cayenne to mix it up a bit. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Lauren posted on September 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Did you add veggie broth or anything to yours? It looks so pleasantly soupy in the picture, and I’m thinking mine will be more like a chunky stew.

    That said, mine is in the crock pot right now and I’m excited! I added butternut squash, garlic, paprika, and cayenne to mix it up a bit. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Karen Troughton posted on September 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Lauren, nope! I use the recipe exactly as written. Crock Pots don’t really allow for evaporation so even when things seem super thick going in, usually it’s nice and soupy by the end. Your alterations sound terrific – hope you loved it!

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  10. cheryl posted on October 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, this recipe looks delicious. Do you know if each serving is 1 cup?

  11. VeggieMom posted on November 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Have made this twice and it’s amazing! And I hate vegetables! It has such an amazing flavour. We topped it with cheddar and it was YUMMERS!

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  13. Jen posted on January 31, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Have made this many times since you first posted it but wanted to pop in and say how AMAZING it is! When I stopped eating meat five years ago, I thought I was going to have to give up chili because I didn’t like the vegetarian type but there’s just something about the combination of flavours in this! I would eat this five nights a week and have shared the recipe with MANY people who all loved it! And bonus! It couldn’t be simpler to make! Thank you very much for sharing it!

  14. Heidi posted on July 29, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I omitted one can of black beans and used a can of chick peas.   I added a little more salt and a little broth.  Along with that I included carrots and corn.  Delicious!

  15. Emily posted on October 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Hi— this looks amazing! My two fav ingredients combined, which will be perfect on this blustery fall day. Since I am late to the game, I am wondering if I can make this on my stove top and simmer for a few hours?

  16. Leah posted on October 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    So good! I missed my slow cooker so much when I was abroad. You might want to add a little extra salt if you cook your own black beans but I think the salt level is fine on the chili on the third day, hehe. And it does get better as a leftover.

    This is really nice because there’s barely any prep and a very long cook time for those of us who have busy schedules. 

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