Fully embrace autumn with a bowl of hearty chili, filled with seasonal vegetables, apples, beans and warming spices.

Vegan Autumn Harvest Chili

And suddenly summer was over just like that. Hopefully everyone had their fair share of sunshine, camping, and swimming the past few months, accompanied by fresh cherries, peaches and plenty of ice cream. As sad as it is for the warm weather to be gone again for another year, thankfully autumn has a colorful bounty of fruits and vegetables lined up for us to soften the blow of summer leaving us.

Chili has got to be one of my favorite comfort foods that doesn’t involve mashed potatoes. Any dish that contains beans, spice and more vegetables per bite than a snail has teeth, is guaranteed to make a regular appearance in my diet.

Vegan Autumn Harvest Chili

Recently, I got a free armload of corn thrown at my feet (literally), and a wave of ideas began flowing through my head. After two days in a row of pouring down rain, the decision was final; chili had to be made. It’s nice when the weather helps guide your food choices, especially when you’re as indecisive as me and take longer to figure out what to make, than you actually do cooking it. So, thanks rain!

Chili is easily customizable, depending on what you have on hand. The butternut squash can easily be substituted for pumpkin or sweet potato, and even using pear instead of apple would be a pleasant flavor to go along with this dish.

Vegan Autumn Harvest Chili

Autumn Harvest Chili
Serves 6
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 Tbsp Olive Oil or other oil
  2. 2 small Sweet Onions, diced (or 1 medium)
  3. 4 cloves of Garlic (2 Tbsp when minced)
  4. 2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
  5. 1 small Butternut Squash (peeled and cut into ¾" cubes)
  6. 1 large Carrot, peeled and diced
  7. 1 Green Pepper, seeds removed and diced
  8. 1 Apple, cored, seeds removed and diced
  9. 1 can (798ml) diced Tomatoes, (or 2 cups fresh)
  10. 1 can (540ml) Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can (540ml) Black Beans or Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  12. 2 ears of Corn, (1 cup corn kernels, can also use frozen)
  13. 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  14. 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  15. 2 Tbsp Cumin
  16. 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  17. 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  18. ¾ -1 tsp Sea Salt (will vary depending on salt amount in broth)
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and saute 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the celery, carrot, squash, green pepper and apple. Stir. Cook for 7-8 minutes until they begin to soften. If they start sticking to the bottom, add a splash of water and stir.
  3. Add the spices, stir and cook for a minute. Pour in the tomatoes and their juices, beans, corn and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and place lid on halfway to allow liquid to reduce. Check on it often and stir.
  4. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
  1. *The smaller you cut the squash, the faster it will cook. If you want bigger chunks, add the squash in at the same time as the onions so they finish cooking with the other vegetables.
  2. **Start with the lesser amount of salt listed. I used a homemade broth that wasn't overly salty, in combination with beans and tomatoes containing no salt at all. So you may need more or less depending on your ingredients.
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12 thoughts on “Autumn Harvest Chili (Vegan)”

  1. I love this chili! I make vegetarian chili often, but I’ve never put apples in it. Sounds so delicious and will be trying for sure!

  2. Hi Nicole, I just love your vegan chili. That corn looks so sweet which would be a fantastic way to take a bit of the heat off the chili. RYou are so right about chili being a comfort food, and I love a plethora of vegetables in mine. I especially love some good rustic bread that ghas been warmed up and you break pieces and dip it into the chili, yummy right? It is sad to see summer leaving and colors turning, but as food bloggers we see the light at the end of the tunnel by creating wonderful comfort recipies like this chili you have done.
    Have a most wonderful; weekend.

    1. Sounds like we eat our chili the same way. You can’t go wrong with a big bowl of beans, vegetables, some heat, and the perfect piece of bread to accompany it. Hope you have a great weekend as well!

  3. I will never forget the first time I heard of vegetarian chili and then the first time I had it. When I first heard about it, I did the whole “THAT’S not chili!” But even before going pescetarian, I was able to develop a love for veg chili because seriously, IT’S SO GOOD. I love what you’ve done here. So hearty and flavorful! It also looks nice and thick; I love me a spoon-standing chili.

    1. I know exactly what you mean!! I had that same thought process years ago, but now can’t imagine chili any other way.

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