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Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili is the most Halloween recipe ever. Chili at Halloween is a tradition in my house…to try to balance out all the sugar the kids are gobbling down.
My annual ChiliFest is coming at work, and I need a chili for a friend who turned militant vegan after reading Forks over Knives. I usually make a vegetarian multi-bean chili, but I wanted to try something new. I saw a recipe for Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili in the newsletter for my local farmers market, was intrigued, did some Googling, and found yet another Internet sensation that I completely missed. 3
The easy way to make pumpkin chili is with a can of pumpkin puree (see the Notes section). I had a pie pumpkin from my CSA, so I did a lot of peeling, scraping, and chopping. 4
Once the pumpkin was ready, I made my own pumpkin puree using Modernist Cuisine’s pressure roasting technique. That’s where they combine the high boiling point you get under pressure with the fact that food browns at lower temperatures if it’s a little alkaline. Sprinkle the pumpkin with some baking soda and it will brown as it cooks in the pressure cooker. Science!

After that, the recipe is straightforward – stir everything into the pot, pressure cook for five minutes to bring it together, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Inspired by: Larkin Rogers, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili
and Modernist Cuisine at Home’s pressure browning technique

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Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili recipe – vegetarian chili from the pressure cooker, with the sweet, earthy flavor of pumpkin.



Pumpkin Puree

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (5 pound) pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes (yields about 2 1/2 pounds of pumpkin cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo puree or 1 large chipotle en adobo, minced, with sauce
  • 8 cups cooked black beans, with their liquid (preferably homemade, or 4 (15 ounce) cans)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pressure brown the pumpkin puree: Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until shimmering (sauté mode in my electric pressure cooker.). Stir in the onion, garlic, and pumpkin to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and baking soda, and stir again to evenly coat the pumpkin with spices. Add the water, lock the lid on the pressure cooker, and bring the cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain the pressure, and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes (24 minutes in an electric PC). Quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  2. Pressure cook the chili: Stir in the chipotles en adobo, black beans with liquid, diced tomatoes and chiles, and brown sugar. (The pumpkin will be completely cooked, and should dissolve into the other ingredients.) Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, and bring it back up to high pressure. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes (6 minutes in an electric PC). Quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  3. Serve: Taste the chili, and add salt and pepper as needed. (If you used homemade canned beans, you’ll definitely need more salt – I added an additional two teaspoons of kosher salt.) Serve with your favorite chili toppings. I went with diced avocado; onions, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce are some of my other favorites.


Don’t have a whole pumpkin? Substitute a 28 ounces of canned pumpkin. Skip the pie pumpkin, baking soda, and 1/2 cup of water in the Pumpkin Puree ingredients. Instead of pressure cooking in step 1, sauté the onion garlic, salt, chili powder, and cumin, and oregano over medium-high heat (sauté mode in an electric PC) until the onions are softened. Move to step 2 and stir in the canned pumpkin puree with the beans and tomatoes. Continue with the recipe as written – pressure cook on high for 5 minutes stovetop PC/6 minutes electric PC.

No pie pumpkins available? Don’t use a regular pumpkin – the flesh is too watery. Substitute peeled and seeded butternut squash. The flavor is remarkably similar. (And, a shortcut if you don’t like peeling, seeding, and cubing squash: check your grocery store’s produce section for pre-cubed butternut squash.)

No pressure cooker? No worries. For step 1, saute the pumpkin puree ingredients (except for the water) over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven. Once the onions are softened, add 1 cup of water (instead of the half cup), bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer until the pumpkin is softened, about 30 minutes. For step 2, stir in all the chili ingredients, bring to a simmer, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chili has thickened.


  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
Seeding the pumpkin

Seeding the pumpkin

Pumpkin and spices, ready to pressure cook

Pumpkin and spices, ready to pressure cook

Stirring in the beans and tomatoes

Stirring in the beans and tomatoes


What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Pressure Cooker Pork Chili with Beans
Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili with Chorizo and Pinto Beans
Pressure Cooker White Chicken Chili
Click here for my other pressure cooker recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Miguel says

    Trying this one out today. It has vegetable oil listed in the ingredients for the puree, but the directions mention melting butter. Do you think using vegetable oil (to keep this totally vegan) would work? Maybe 3Tbsb instead of 4?

    • Miguel – cut and paste got me. That is supposed to be 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, heated until shimmering, instead of the butter. Updated the recipe instructions, and my apologies.

      • Miguel says

        No worries at all! Thanks for another great recipe! It came out great!

        I tried the trick listed in the comments about pre-cooking the pumpkins to avoid slicing/peeling. I only needed 6 mins under pressure in an electric pc and the pumpkin skin lifted right off. I It probably cost a little bit of clock-time, but saved some frustrating knife-time. I compensated by knocking 4 minutes off the puree cook time.

  2. I made this yesterday. It is amazing! I have a 6 qt. pressure cooker and only used one can of tomatoes, which made for a somewhat thicker chilli (which my family prefers). I will certainly make it at Halloween!

  3. Charlie says

    Thanks! That used to be an issue when I lived in Colorado, but we’re moving to San Antonio shortly, so that’s that.

  4. Charlie says

    Fantastic, thanks. I’ll be looking into electric PCs soon – any particular recommendation as far as brands and models, or are you happy with the Instant Pot?

  5. Debbie says

    hey, Mike! if you have the pressure cooker, you have the world’s easist pumpkin cooker. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape it out. if you can fit it all in the cooker, do it. I can do 1/2 at a time. With 1 c. water in the bottom, put pumpkin cut sides down on a rack and cook at highpressure 10 min. The skin falls off and its easily pureed. You will never buy another can of pumpkin again. forget the peeling and chopping.

  6. I add 20% to standard PC cooking times for my electric PC. I’m a big fan of the ease of use in electric PCs. I use my electric except when I need the extra space in my (jumbo) Kuhn Rikon 12 quart.

  7. Charlie says

    So I’m probably going to buy a pressure cooker sometime soon, as we’re having a kid and cooking time is going to get limited. The electric models have a certain appeal from an ease of use standpoint. Is there a good conversion factor for cooking time, to account for the slightly lower pressure the electric models are capable of? Or should I simply buy the cheaper standard type?

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