A cozy Kabocha Two Bean Chili simmered in a chipotle and poblano base with fire roasted tomatoes and warming spices. No Kabocha? No problem! Sub pureed pumpkin! Dinner in 30 minutes? Helloooo weeknight vegan chili! vegan + gluten free
If you asked me two years ago what Kabocha is, I would have told you a fizzy, fermented tea. Have you tried it? Kabocha, not kombucha. hehe.
Kabocha is a sweeter cousin of pumpkin, with flavor somewhere between a sweet potato, butternut squash and a sugar pie or winter luxury pumpkin. The flesh is edible too.
All of the above pair well with bold chili spices because it balances the kick of chili peppers with subtle sweetness. But I love kabocha for its extra sweet notes! It pairs perfectly in this gluten free chili recipe.
So, if I don’t have any pureed kabocha on the ready, pureed pumpkin makes a fabulous vegan pumpkin chili. However, roasting kabocha is easy and it’s freezer friendly too. I tend to stock up this time of year along with pumpkin puree.
Here’s a tutorial on How to Make Pumpkin Puree and How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds if you need. Kabocha can be roasted and frozen the same as pumpkin.
How to Make Kabocha Two Bean Chili:
For this vegan chili recipe, I use poblano and onions to build flavor. Poblanos can vary in their heat, so if you’re feeling timid about spicy things, still use the poblano but reduce the chipotle and adobo a bit.
- First, saute the poblano and onions. Add warming spices like cumin, chili powder and smoky paprika. After the spices release their fragrance, add garlic, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, broth, beans and the kabocha puree.
- Simmer for 10 minutes and easy sweetish and spicy vegan chili is ready.
This is a perfect weeknight gluten free chili I lean on hard during the cold winter months.
Share this vegan pumpkin chili with guacamole, avocado slices or Chili – Lime Pepita Crema and plenty of jalapeño slices. A big slab of cornbread is really nice too.
For another mouthwatering gluten free and vegetarian (or vegan) chili recipe, check out my Vegetarian Chili Tater Tot Hotdish recipe!
Kabocha Two Bean Chili
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil, unrefined, virgin
- 1 1/2 C (200g) Yellow Onion, large dice
- 1 C (125g) Poblano Chili Pepper, large dice*
- 1 tsp Cumin, ground
- 1 1/2 Tbs Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Chipotle Chili, minced
- 1 Tbs Adobo Sauce, from can of chipotle chilis, look for gluten free if needed
- 2 C (465g) Vegetable Broth
- 14 1/2 oz (411g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes, + juice
- 15 1/2 oz (440g) Cooked Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz (425g) Cooked Pinto or Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 C (270g) Kabocha Puree, or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
- 1 tsp Oregano, dried
- Chili - Lime Pepita Cream
- Fist Full of Fresh Cilantro
- Avocado slices
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot add the coconut oil and heat on medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and poblano pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low and saute for 8-10 minutes or until slightly softened. Some charing is good!
- Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle chili and adobo sauce (for a milder chili, reduce the chipotle chili and adobo sauce to taste). Stir for 1 minute or until the spices release their fragrance. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir to deglaze, then add the tomatoes, beans, kabocha, garlic, black pepper and oregano. Bring to a simmer, turn to low and cook for 10 minutes until warmed through.
- Serve with fresh herbs, avocado and jalapeños. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or up to three weeks in the freezer.