Fresh Ideas

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

Fall is upon us, and let me tell you, I am SO excited! I’m definitely a summer girl, but one reason I live in Minnesota (instead of Southern California) is for the crisp Minnesota fall days. I suffer through below-freezing temperatures and ice-slicked roads for fall days where the leaves are a perfect golden yellow and burnt orange color—and it’s just cool enough for a sweatshirt, but still warm enough to wear shorts. It’s the best.


Another reason why I love fall is for the food! Obviously, pumpkin is the front-runner for favorite fall veggies, and you know that the moment people begin posting pumpkin spice latte photos that fall has officially begun. I have made quite a few sweet pumpkin recipes in my day, but I’ve tried to incorporate it more into healthy, savory dishes this year.

Like this Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili. There are so many amazing ingredients in this dish — three different kinds of beans, crushed tomatoes and many delicious spices. But the star of this Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili (after the pumpkin, of course) is the heavy cream from a carton. As you can see from the recipe, the last thing you add to the simmering chili is the pumpkin and cream, because that’s when the magic happens! A little cream goes a long way, as it gives you a little boost of tasty, healthy fats and helps bring out those celebrated chili flavors.


When grocery shopping for ingredients in this recipe, be sure to select fresh, quality items — like your favorite heavy cream in a carton. Buying a product in a package that is recyclable*, renewable and reliable — like FreshHouse cartons — can give you an extra pep in your step! FreshHouse cartons by Evergreen Packaging have four walls and a roof that help protect contents from light and moisture — things that can negatively impact nutrients and taste. Moreover, choose FreshHouse cartons because after you’re done with the carton, it can be recycled* instead of going to a landfill.

Happy Fall, everyone!


Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili
Serves: 6
Time: 20 minutes

2  tablespoons olive oil
½  cup yellow onion, finely diced
1  tablespoon minced garlic
1  28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1  6 oz. can tomato paste
1.5  cups vegetable broth
1  15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
1  15 oz. can white navy bean, rinsed
1  15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1  4oz can green chiles
2  tablespoons maple syrup
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
3  tablespoons chili powder
1  teaspoon smoked paprika
⅓  cup heavy cream
1  cup pumpkin puree


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium/high and sauté onion and garlic.
  2. When onions are translucent, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot — except for the pumpkin and cream — and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Finally, add pumpkin and cream. Stir.
  5. Let cool and enjoy.


*Recyclable only where facilities exist. Visit to see if you can recycle in your area.


Lee Hersh

Lee Hersh is a foodiepreneur, fitness pro, and full-time blogger. Lee is blessed to be living her dream of running a small business, while inspiring the world one bite at a time. Lee strives to live as holistically as possible, balancing her life between work, family, travel, and self love! She loves yoga, the sun, traveling, sweating, peanut butter, crocheting, and of course, cooking! Her blog, Fit Foodie Finds, is all about balance and being the best version of yourself. It’s a positive space where readers can come to get inspired to eat clean, sweat often, and live healthy!

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