Homemade Chili Recipe

creamy homemade chili recipe topped with vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, jalapeno, onion and cilantro with cornbread on the side

Is there anything better than homemade chili on a cold day? Better yet, while watching the big game? I think not! This creamy homemade chili recipe is sure to knock everyone’s socks off. As written the recipe is top 8 allergen free; be sure to view the recipe modifications section for how to prepare this recipe to meet your needs.

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This creamy homemade chili can be ready in as quick as 30 minutes (though I like to let it simmer for a little longer to really pick up all of the flavors and spice). This recipe is too spicy for the kiddos, but can be made without the poblano pepper and cayenne for a milder version. The secret to this creamy chili is the addition of pumpkin puree. The pumpkin doesn’t add any additional flavors to the chili, but provides a nice creamy texture. Not to mention all of the important nutrients that pumpkin provides to boost your immune system! The other important ingredient is ancho chili powder as it provides an authentic Mexican flavor; if you’re unfamiliar, it’s a little bit sweet and mild.

To make the chili, start by sauteing the garlic, onion, poblano pepper and meat (if using) in a medium dutch oven over medium heat. When the meat is done and/or the onions are tender, add the sugar and spices: chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add in tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the beans, un-drained tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add in the pumpkin puree and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve warm with all of the toppings on the side. I like to provide hot sauce (like tobasco), shredded cheese or cheese alternative, diced red onion, vegan sour cream, cilantro and jalapeno slices. For the vegan sour cream, my family really likes the Kite Hill brand; it tastes delicious and meets our allergy needs (no cashew, no soy). Please note that Kite Hill is made of almonds and coconuts, if those are concerns for you. And don’t forget the quintessential chili side- corn bread!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Homemade Chili Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef (90%) or Beyond Beef, ground ‘beef’ (contains soy)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on spice preference
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-15 ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green peppers, un-drained
  • 1-1/4 cups broth (beef or vegetable if vegan/ vegetarian)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

For the toppings:

  • Diced red onion
  • sliced jalapeno pepper
  • shredded cheese or cheese substitute
  • fresh cilantro
  • dairy free sour cream (kite hill brand)
  • fresh cornbread
  • tobasco

Homemade Chili Recipe Instructions

  1. Warm oil in a medium dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, poblano pepper, garlic and meat (if using). Saute until meat is done or onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the sugar and spices (chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne) and stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add in un-drained tomatoes, broth and rinsed kidney beans, stirring to combine. Bring to a soft boil and reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with toppings on the side to allow for customization.

Recipe Modifications

  • Vegan/ vegetarian: Substitute the ground beef with your preferred meatless crumbles. Be mindful of ingredients, as many contain allergens like soy, gluten or legumes.
  • Vegan/ Vegetarian without potential allergens: I’ve made this as a full bean chili and it is equally delicious. Substitute the ground beef for another bean of your choice. I would recommend white beans or black beans for diversity, rather than 2 cans of red kidney beans.
  • Mild/ Kid friendly: Ditch the poblano pepper and the cayenne pepper and the base chili should be appropriate for the heat averse. Serve with hot sauce, jalapenos, crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne on the side for those who like the heat
  • 30 minute chili: After adding the broth, beans and tomatoes, simmer for 15 minutes. Add in the pumpkin and simmer for another 5-10 minutes and serve.

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