This chili is one of my favorite one-pot recipes! Just dice up some garlic and an onion, then toss in the rest of the ingredients. Whoo-hoo! Let it cook on its own, and you have a great meal in 30 minutes!

I bumped up the nutritional value of this cozy comfort food with pumpkin! Plant-based chili is an ideal anti-aging food with its abundance of fiber-, protein, and antioxidant-rich legumes, tomatoes, and now pumpkin! Here’s why pumpkin is the secret to more youthful skin. And better yet, this recipe can feed six for about $10!

What’s In It


  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin avocado or olive oil
  • 1 can kidney beans (15.5 oz), no salt added, drained (not rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 oz), no salt added, drained (not rinsed)
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (15 oz), no salt added
  • 1 can pumpkin purée (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup orange (a.k.a. red) lentils*, uncooked
  • 1/2 of 6-oz can tomato paste (5 tablespoons)
  • 2-1/2 cups water

Garnish: chopped green onions and/or cilantro, diced avocado

Chili Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico ground chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, optional

Karen’s Fit Tip: Red (orange) lentils make a great base for dips and are ideal for thickening soups and stews while boosting the fiber, protein, and iron content. Unlike other lentils, orange lentils soften during cooking, and do not hold their shape and bright color. They break down, almost “melt”, and become a purée.

How It’s Made

  1. Add the garlic, onion, and olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven (5 quarts). Sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining chili ingredients to the pot. 
  3. Add chili seasonings, and mix well.
  4. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer. Cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender and the flavors combine. Stir occasionally.
  5. After simmering for 30 minutes, adjust the seasonings to taste, if desired.

Serving: 1.25 cup | Calories: 259 kcal | Sodium: 359 mg | Carbohydrates: 45.9 g | Fiber: 19.8 g | Protein: 16.3 g | Fat: 2.3 g | Saturated Fat: 0.4 gm

Karen Owoc

I’m a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Exercise Physiologist certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, KRON 4's weekly health expert, speaker, and author of my book on functional longevity, “Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100".

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