Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest
I first shared this slow cooker lentil and pumpkin chili recipe in October 2012 – over 4 years ago! A few people mentioned to me that it was too spicy, so I retested it and made a few changes that improve the chili’s overall flavor.
First I doubled the traditional chili powder and cut back on the chipotle powder, which is much spicier. I also made the chipotle powder optional, although I do love the spicy, smokey flavor it adds. If you choose to leave it out, I recommend having some Chipotle Tabasco on hand so everyone can customize their bowl.
I also swapped the water for vegetable broth and increased the amount. This adds more flavor and results in a vegetarian chili that isn’t as thick as my original recipe was.
Oh, and I took new pictures. Because my photography skills have definitely improved over the years. You can still see the original photos at the end of this post!
My slow cooker has been a lifesaver this fall. Life has been insanely busy, and I haven’t had much time or energy to cook. Being able to come home from work to a hot and ready meal is basically the only thing keeping me from eating take out every night.
You guys have to try this slow cooker chili recipe! The lentils give the stew a nice, meaty flavor and the pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness and really thickens everything up. It’s warm and cozy and perfect for fall. (Make sure you use 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened and has all sorts of spices in it. If you can’t find it in the baking aisle, look by the dog food. I know that sounds insane, but apparently that’s where our local Whole Foods keeps it when it isn’t pumpkin pie season. I never would have found it if I didn’t ask!)
In addition to a simple, no fuss dinner this slow cooker lentil and pumpkin chili is great for football season – and we all know how hard it is to find healthy tailgating recipes, right? I love this chili tucked inside a baked potato and topped with a little cheese or sour cream (accidental bonus: it even looks like a football served this way) but it’s also great on top of a hot dog or as the base for some epic sheet pan nachos.