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This easy Crockpot Pumpkin Chili is delicious and makes a perfect set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meal. It’s a vegetarian chili with a cozy mix of beans, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato or butternut squash, and plenty of spices to ensure a flavorful bowl.

Small orange ceramic bowl filled with a helping of slow cooker pumpkin chili topped with corn chips, avocado, and cilantro.

Ultimate Crockpot Chili for Fall

Chili is perhaps the iconic slow cooker dish because by its very nature, everything cooks together, and the flavors deepen and improve with a long, slow simmer over low heat. Combine these fine qualities with the cozy goodness of pumpkin, sweet potato, beans, and plenty of spices, and you get the ultimate slow cooker meal of the autumn: pumpkin chili.

My favorite things about this recipe? It’s:

  • Dump-and-go, in a good way. I dislike that term, but of course we all love a recipe that asks you only to mix everything together and walk away.
  • Rich and flavorful. Don’t hold back on the spices here; they deliver the taste.
  • Nutrient-dense. This has tons of vegetables, simmered and seasoned right into the base of the chili, and of course lots of protein and fiber-rich beans.

Stir everything together in your Crockpot then come home to the most amazing scent in your house and the most delicious bowls of vegetarian pumpkin chili at the end of your day.

Serve with corn chips or cornbread, a dash of lime juice, and fresh cilantro or sliced avocado for a dreamy dinner. Or, pack this along for the tailgate or serve it for game day. You absolutely cannot go wrong!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Labeled overhead image of cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, a whole sweet potato, half a red onion, vegetable broth, 2 bell peppers, canned pumpkin, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, ground cinnamon, kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh garlic all measured into prep bowls and ready to cook.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this, as well as possible substitutions. Find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • Three cans of beans, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, or chickpeas. Feel free to mix and match.
  • Two cans of diced tomatoes, regular or petite-sized. I accidentally photographed 3 cans here, but for the slow cooker this works better with just 2!
  • One can of pumpkin puree. Do not substitute pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vegetable stock or vegetable broth. You can substitute chicken broth if you don’t care about keeping this vegetarian.
  • Red onion. Yellow onion or white onion would be a great swap.
  • Two bell peppers, any color.
  • Sweet potato. Substitute butternut squash if you like.
  • Fresh minced garlic.
  • Chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, ground cinnamon, kosher salt, and black pepper.

How To Make Crockpot Pumpkin Chili

This is comically simple, which is exactly why I like it so much. 🙂 Ready?

This is a general overview. As always, you will find full instructions with exact ingredients and times in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans, but include the tomatoes with their juices.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

That’s it! When the veggies are tender, the chili is done, and you can turn the slow cooker to its keep warm setting. I like to remove the lid to let it cool and thicken ever so slightly while I prepare the toppings and get out bowls.

I find this chili pleasingly mild, and kid-friendly in our home. If you have a partner or some kids who like a little more spice, it’s easy to add sliced jalapenos or a little hot sauce as a topping. If everyone likes a little heat, you can achieve this by adding extra chili powder, a diced jalapeno, a diced chipotle, or 1-2 teaspoons of adobo sauce straight into the chili mix, either as it cooks or at the end.

Serving bowl full of slow cooker pumpkin chili.

Serving Suggestions

For a simple family dinner, serve piping hot bowls of pumpkin chili with any toppings you love. Our usual spread includes shredded cheddar cheese for my husband and the kids, fresh cilantro and avocado for me, and a squeeze of lime juice and corn chips for everyone. Sour cream is another popular pairing.

To incorporate this pumpkin chili into a slightly more involved feast, add a sampling of buttermilk cornbread or biscuits, a fall salad like this kale apple Pecorino combination or an apple cabbage slaw, and possibly some grilled sausages for anyone craving some meat. Yum!

Recipe FAQs & Expert Tips

How can I thicken my slow cooker chili?

The one complaint I sometimes have with Crockpot chilis is that they are more difficult to thicken up than stovetop versions. You can fix this either by leaving the lid off for a little while at the end of the cook time, or, if you’re in a hurry, adding a cornstarch slurry.

A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of 1 Tablespoon cornstarch dissolved into 1 Tablespoon of cold water, which you then pour into the chili while it’s still hot. The slurry will thicken things up, and you can always add more, using the same ratio, if desired.

I have also read that mixing in 1/4 cup or so of instant mashed potato flakes will thicken up Crockpot chilis, but I haven’t tried that myself just yet!

Can you overcook chili in the slow cooker?

In short, yes; traditional chilis can be overcooked in a Crockpot if they include meat, which can dry out, and even a vegetarian chili such as this one can go from tender vegetables (yay!) to mushy vegetables (yuck!) if left to cook too long. Follow the recommended cooking times for best results, and take advantage of your automatic keep warm setting if you have a programmable Crockpot.

Storage & Freezing

Pumpkin chili keeps so well, either in the fridge or the freezer, that it’s perfect to enjoy as an easy, nutrient-dense lunch throughout the week.

  • Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in any airtight container for up to 5 days. (These are our favorite meal prep boxes for the fridge.) Reheat as needed in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat. Since there is no meat, you don’t need to worry too much about anything drying out.
  • Freezing: Pumpkin chili freezes well. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, or thaw and rewarm quickly in the microwave on 50% power, stirring frequently until heated all the way through.
Side view of an orange bowl filled with slow cooker pumpkin chili topped with avocado and Fritos.

Related Recipes

If you’re in need of more slow cooker recipes, don’t miss our favorite Crockpot balsamic pork tenderloin, creamy Crockpot chicken gnocchi soup, slow cooker shredded Mexican chicken, and slow cooker teriyaki chicken. All so good and so easy!

Craving more chili? We also love white bean chicken chili, this black bean sweet potato combination for another vegetarian option, and blue ribbon ground beef chili for a tried and true classic.

If you try this Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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5 from 4 votes

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

A perfect set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meal. It’s a vegetarian chili with a cozy mix of beans, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato or butternut squash, and plenty of spices to ensure a flavorful bowl.


  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped
  • 2 bell peppers any color, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans of beans drained and rinsed, such as pinto, kidney, black beans, or chickpeas
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes regular or petite, with juices
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For serving:

  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime juice or wedges
  • sliced avocado
  • corn chips or cornbread


  • Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker and stir well to combine. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  • When the veggies are all tender, turn chili to the keep warm setting and remove the lid while you prepare toppings and serve. Enjoy!


  • Spice Level: This chili has a pretty mild heat as written. I find it kid-friendly, and it’s easy to add jalapenos on top or a little hot sauce for someone who likes more spiciness. If everyone likes more spiciness, feel free to add extra chili powder, a diced jalapeno, a diced chipotle, or 1-2 teaspoons of ancho sauce straight into the mix.
  • Beans: My favorite combination is 1 can each of pinto beans, dark red kidney beans, and black beans, but this is really flexible depending on what you like and have on hand. I do like to get at least two different varieties in the mix if possible.
  • Sweet Potato: This is also good with peeled and cubed butternut squash.
  • Nutrition and Servings: The nutrition estimate here is just that: an estimate, based on dividing the entire batch into 6 servings. In my experience this makes 6 generous servings for adults, and we often stretch it across 8 or more, but this will obviously depend on your family.
  • Recipe: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Recipes, with some minor changes to the ingredients and some tweaks for slow cooker cooking, mainly to reduce the amount of liquid.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 432 kcal, Carbohydrates: 85 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 856 mg, Potassium: 1752 mg, Fiber: 27 g, Sugar: 13 g, Vitamin A: 18443 IU, Vitamin C: 70 mg, Calcium: 198 mg, Iron: 8 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!