Vegan Cincinnati Pumpkin Chili

 I grew up in the south, so Cincinnati chili is not something I had ever even heard of until I was a teenager. It seemed very odd to me to be topping pasta with chili and cheese, and I could not get behind this idea. That was until I was an adult and a friend served it to me. I HAD BEEN SO WRONG. Not only does it work, but it’s delicious. I hate to admit it, but obviously we don’t know everything here in the south, because we didn’t know about this magic! Also, don’t worry about the pumpkin in this Cincinnati chili recipe. It just makes it a little less acidic since we are using less tomato than usual. It adds a thickness we need, and along with the cauliflower and beans, makes for a super healthy and hearty chili! So if you are from the south and have never had Cincinnati chili either, just do it. I promise we will not revoke your southern card!

I grew up in the south, so Cincinnati chili is not something I had ever even heard of until I was a teenager. It seemed very odd to me to be topping pasta with chili and cheese, and I could not get behind this idea. That was until I was an adult and a friend served it to me. I HAD BEEN SO WRONG. Not only does it work, but it’s delicious. I hate to admit it, but obviously we don’t know everything here in the south, because we didn’t know about this magic! Also, don’t worry about the pumpkin in this Cincinnati chili recipe. It just makes it a little less acidic since we are using less tomato than usual. It adds a thickness we need, and along with the cauliflower and beans, makes for a super healthy and hearty chili! So if you are from the south and have never had Cincinnati chili either, just do it. I promise we will not revoke your southern card!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package spaghetti noodles (regular or gluten free)

  • 2 cups vegan cheddar shreds (I use Follow Your Heart)

  • 1/2 diced yellow onion

  • I batch pumpkin chili

Pumpkin Chili

  • I 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatos

  • 1 15 oz can of black beans

  • 1 15 oz can of red kidney beans

  • 1 small head of cauliflower

  • 1/2 yellow onion

  • 1 4 oz can green chilis

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon

  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder

  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash and finley chop the head of cauliflower. You can also take larger pieces and toss them in your food processor, pulsing a few times until its all chopped up.

  2. Dice the onion. Half will be used in the chil,i and the other half will be used to top the chili once it’s done.

  3. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add a few teaspoons of oil to the pot. Once oil is hot, add 1/2 of the onion and all of the cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes, until onions become translucent.

  4. Drain and rinse the beans and add along with the remaining chili ingredients to the pot. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. While the chili is cooking, cook the noodles according to package instructions.

  6. Once chili and noodles are done, serve by topping noodles with the chili, cheese and 1/2 of the diced onions.

  7. The chili will freeze really well, so if you have any leftovers, just pop them in a gallon size freezer bag, and freezer for up to a month. You can quickly thaw it later for an even quicker Cincinnati chili weeknight dinner!

Serves 6