Pumpkin Lentil and Quinoa Chili couldn’t be any easier to make! It’s a hearty vegetarian chili loaded with veggies and plant protein thanks to lentils, quinoa and black beans. (vegan, gluten-free)
Let me preface this post by saying Mr. Table and I are total meat-eaters. We love good ol’ meaty chili, and when I told Mr. Table what I was making when I cooked up this Pumpkin Lentil and Quinoa Chili, he gave me the face. You know the one.
BUT we ran out of venison in our freezer and deer season hadn’t yet begun (we rarely buy beef), so I found myself with a freezer void of ground meat and a week’s worth of lunches to prep. I did, however, have a half can of pumpkin in the refrigerator (leftover from Pumpkin Lava Cake testing) and a pantry full of beans, so I decided to try my hand at vegetarian chili.
Let me tell you, as a total meat eater, I loved how this vegetarian chili turned out! It’s thick and full of delicious spices, and it’s got tons of veggies! Of course, it’s also packed with filling plant protein from black beans, lentils, and quinoa. It’s totally hearty and satisfying, even for a vegetarian chili. And since it’s made with canned black beans, it takes less than an hour to cook!
After bringing this Pumpkin Lentil and Quinoa Chili to work for lunch and feeling totally satisfied without meat, I’ve been inspired to try more meatless meals for lunch, using mostly quinoa and beans for protein. Not only is it a cinch to throw together lunches this way, but it’s also very cost effective. And while we eat mostly lean cuts of meat in our house, eating more plant protein is also heart-healthy.
Not that I’m going to become a vegetarian any time soon, but I won’t freak out when our freezer stores of meat run a little low after loving this vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil and Quinoa Chili. Have you ever tried vegetarian chili? What are your thoughts on eating more meatless meals?
Pumpkin Lentil and Quinoa Chili couldn't be any easier to make! It's a hearty vegetarian chili loaded with veggies and plant protein thanks to lentils, quinoa and black beans.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 can (15 oz) low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) low sodium diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- To serve: plain greek yogurt, shredded cheese, avocado, or cilantro
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add pepper, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring, until veggies are slightly soft.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover pot reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
- Serve chili hot and garnish as desired.