Pumpkin & Black Bean Chilli

Dig into this plant-based Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli on dark and cold winter evenings.

The cayenne pepper and cumin seeds give it a warming affect, the black beans and potato satisfy insatiable appetites and the festive pumpkin makes it an ideal option for pre or post Halloween celebrations.

Jacket potatoes should be baked in the oven to achieve the tastiest flavour and the crunchiest skins.

This recipe is included in our top 5 Uses for Pumpkin.

About the Ingredients

When it comes to choosing ingredients for Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli, we like to choose the items with the lowest carbon footprint and the least packaging waste.

Vegan Meal with The Natural Essex Girl

Zero Waste Pumpkins

Pumpkins are grown every year in abundance for decorating and carving. Sadly, these pumpkins are rarely eaten which is a huge waste. We love adding pumpkin to wintery vegan recipes and this version of our vegan chilli is perfect with chunks of pumpkin.

It’s a common misconception that the pumpkins grown for carving won’t taste good, or aren’t edible. Wrong! Every year we eat the pumpkins we use for Halloween … and anyone else’s that are going spare too. This simple act helps to make your Halloween a little more zero waste.

Growing Pumpkins

Pumpkins can can be grown at home, on an allotment or picked from a local pumpkin patch. These are our favourite ways to acquire the pumpkins we use in our recipes because then they are locally grown, as fresh as possible when they hit our plates and completely packaging free.

What Parts of the Pumpkin Can I eat?

Using and storing your pumpkin flesh is easy. Simply carve out the pumpkin, separating what you pull out into two bowls; one for seeds and one for the fleshy, soft, stringy stuff.

Afterwards, go through the stringy flesh and remove any outer skin (the hard, outer shell) using a knife. What you are left with is all pumpkin flesh, whether its stringy or chunky in texture.

Can I Freeze Pumpkin?

Separate it into portions, chopping the chunks and stringy flesh into cubes or smaller pieces that are more suitable for cooking. Re-usable, re-sealable bags are great for this, as are re-usable storage containers.

Then, leave a couple of portions of pumpkin in your fridge for using within the next few days and place the remaining portions in the freezer.

Throughout the winter, when you want to make a vegan recipe like this one that requires pumpkin, just defrost one portion by leaving it out in the morning ready for use at dinner time.

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chilli Seasoning

If you’re not confident at making your own chilli from scratch, there are ample choices in the shops for pre-mixed chilli sauce or pre-mixed chilli seasoning. However, the tastiest chillis, vegan or not, are those where all the ingredients are as fresh and natural as possible.

We love using products like cumin seeds in many of our recipes and this vegan chilli is one of them. It’s cheaper to buy cumin seeds in larger quantities and they are easily available online.

Along with cumin seeds, you’ll need oregano and cayenne pepper. Wherever possible, buy these in recyclable glass jars or another sustainable material. We like to re-use glass jars and other containers in local zero waste shops, like The Refill Room in Leigh on Sea or the BRAND NEW Refill in Chelmsford.

If you don’t know of a zero waste shop near you, get in touch with us today and we’ll help you discover one. They’re great fun if you want to shop zero waste style and enjoy weighing out your ingredients as you do it.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin & Black Bean Chilli Recipe
The perfect Autumnal chilli to warm you up from the inside out. All recipes on The Natural Essex Girl are vegan.
Vegan Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli
Cook Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Vegan Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180'c. Wash and stab the baked potatoes before placing them in the oven. Allow the potatoes to bake for a good 45 minutes or so before starting to prepare and cook the chilli.
  2. Dice the red onion, chilli, pumpkin and yellow pepper into small chunks. Drain the black beans.
  3. Add a little olive oil or water to a pan with the diced onion, oregano, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, chilli and tomato paste. Squeeze the lime juice in and cook for a couple of minutes on a high heat.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the pumpkin. Cook for around 5 minutes, adding a splash of water to your pan if needed to avoid sticking.
  5. Then, add the yellow pepper, black beans and chopped tomatoes. Stir well and leave to simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve on top of your baked potatoes.
    Vegan Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli
Recipe Notes

Consider adding coriander, homemade guacamole, hemp seeds and/or coconut yoghurt to serve.

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