Thanksgiving Mixed Bean Chili With Corn and Pumpkin Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Thanksgiving Mixed Bean Chili With Corn and Pumpkin Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours 15 minutes (includes 2 hours unsupervised simmering)
Rating
5(323)
Notes
Read community notes

A third riff on the Native American combination of beans, squash and corn for this week of vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish recipes. This is a straightforward vegetarian chili, one that is a favorite around my house throughout the year. You can turn up the heat if you wish, adding more chile, a chipotle, or fresh chopped chili peppers.

Featured in: Beans for Your Thanksgiving Table

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Ingredients

Yield:Yield: Serves 6 generously

  • 1pound mixed dried beans, such as pintos and black beans, pintos and red beans, or heirloom beans such as San Franciscano, Good Mother Stallards, and Sangre de Toros (see note), washed, picked over, and soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight in 2 quart
  • 2onions, 1 halved, 1 finely chopped
  • 4garlic cloves, 2 crushed and peeled, 2 minced
  • 1bay leaf
  • 2tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 3tablespoons mild ground chili (or use hot, or use more)
  • 1tablespoon cumin seeds, ground
  • 114-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 2cups diced winter squash (about ¾ pound)
  • 1cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½cup chopped cilantro
  • Grated or crumbled cheese for serving (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

397 calories; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 65 grams carbohydrates; 23 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 22 grams protein; 665 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Thanksgiving Mixed Bean Chili With Corn and Pumpkin Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Place beans and soaking water in a large, heavy pot. Add halved onion and bring to a gentle boil. Skim off any foam that rises, then add crushed garlic and bay leaf, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt and continue to simmer another 45 minutes to an hour. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove and discard onion and bay leaf.

  2. Step

    2

    . Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, stir in chopped garlic, stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant, and add ground chili and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture begins to stick to pan. Add chopped tomatoes with juice, pinch of sugar, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and mixture is beginning to stick to the pan, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste dissolved in water and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and fragrant.

  3. Step

    3

    Stir tomato mixture into beans. Add winter squash and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt. Simmer, stirring often so that the chili mixture doesn’t settle and stick to the bottom of the pot, for 45 minutes. Add more water if chili seems too thick. Stir in corn and simmer for another 10 minutes. The beans should be very soft and the chili thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  4. Step

    4

    Shortly before serving stir in cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls. If you wish, top with grated cheddar, Monterey jack, or crumbled queso fresco. Serve with biscuits or cornbread.

Tips

  • Heirloom beans are available online from several sources. I use Rancho Gordo for my heirloom purchases. It is really worth getting to know these delicious, beautiful beans.
  • Advance preparation: The beans can be simmered 3 or 4 days ahead through Step 1. The chili will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. This freezes well.

Ratings

5

out of 5

323

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Christa

Millions do not sleep on empty stomachs, and you can do whatever the heck you want.

Zoe

This worked great in the instant pot! I quick-soaked the beans (5 mins on pressure + natural release for ~10 mins) and skipped Step 1 entirely. Drained the beans and kept them aside while I did Step 2 on saute in the instant-pot pot. Added the beans back in + squashed, then pressure cooked for 15 mins + natural release (~10 mins). Came out delicious!

SM

I don't like the wasteful act of throwing away half the onion when millions in our land sleep on empty stomachs. Can I leave the onion in the chili?

JAldcroft

I remember the mums saying this and thinking it was a load of rubbish. Whether or not you use or throw away an onion is irrelevant to whether or not people will go hungry. If you use it, people will still be hungry. If you throw it away, people will still be hungry. No difference whatsoever.

Raje Wolf

Sadly, I believe you are correct. Having worked with the lower socioeconomic classes for most of my life, children are the ones who go hungry. Without food banks, head start programs and public school free breakfast/lunch programs we would literally see millions of starving kids. As far as the soup, I would dice the onion and not use it whole. Otherwise you may have problems getting the onon diced nicely for eating.

Nancy

I had the same questions as Jim. I soaked the beans in 2 quarts of water, cooked them in that same water and did not drain them. At step 3 I added the tomatoes right into the bean pot and proceeded. This was apparently correct because it came out great. You could make the beans a day or 2 ahead and just reheat them before proceeding. Don't rush the cooking in step 2 because that's where all the flavor comes from.

Mary

A poorly written recipe, especially for beginning cooks. "...overnight in 2 quart." Two quart container? Oh, 2 quarts of water -- I had to read the notes to get that.Minced garlic is later referred to as chopped garlic -- those are different, right?"Mild ground chili" -- give examples: chili powder, ancho chili, ground cayenne? "Or use hot, or use more" is not very clear.How much salt? I kept "salting to taste" and ended up emptying the salt cellar in by the end.Tasted good though.

Marina

This yields at least 10 servings!

Michelle

Regarding the extra half onion, i always keep chopped onion in the freezer - it keeps great and is so useful when you need a small amount for another recipe. No need to throw it away,

Heather Miller

You recently published a substitutions guide. Unfortunately it did not include gluten, which is really pretty rampant as an allergy. Please publish how to cook without gluten, biscuits, roue, etc. Thanks.

Brenda

I used sweet potato instead of winter squash and it was delicious. Left the onion in as it fell apart and was incorporated into the mix. Lovely vegetarian meal.

Michelle

Regarding the extra half onion, i always keep chopped onion in the freezer - it keeps great and is so useful when you need a small amount for another recipe. No need to throw it away,

Bobbi

Very yummy. I used yams which were awesome. I plan on using sugar pumpkins when in season.

Marina

This yields at least 10 servings!

kites

I always keep the extra half of onion (or other veggie) for a salad or dish the next day or two. I rarely use a whole onion - many are so big in my grocery store. What's the big deal?. No one said you had to toss it. Cooking is personal.Enjoy your recipes.

Kaydee

This is delish, hearty, and excellent leftover.I soaked beans for 6 hrs. with water 2" above the dried beans, equiv. to 2 quarts water in my Dutch oven. Don't worry about discarding the 1/2 onion in step 1. Its best life is lived here - you'll see. Step 2 for ground chili I used chili & ancho chili powders, smoked paprika, some red chili flakes & 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Step 3 added a few quick shakes of both low-sod. soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. I used butternut squash (skin removed).

coconut chickpea modifications

jimmy nardello and fresno

kate sf

Who said throw the onion half away? I often only need half an onion for a recipe and use the other half in salads, fried breakfast potatoes, sandwiches, and pickled onions are fantastic.

Mary

A poorly written recipe, especially for beginning cooks. "...overnight in 2 quart." Two quart container? Oh, 2 quarts of water -- I had to read the notes to get that.Minced garlic is later referred to as chopped garlic -- those are different, right?"Mild ground chili" -- give examples: chili powder, ancho chili, ground cayenne? "Or use hot, or use more" is not very clear.How much salt? I kept "salting to taste" and ended up emptying the salt cellar in by the end.Tasted good though.

Nancy

I had the same questions as Jim. I soaked the beans in 2 quarts of water, cooked them in that same water and did not drain them. At step 3 I added the tomatoes right into the bean pot and proceeded. This was apparently correct because it came out great. You could make the beans a day or 2 ahead and just reheat them before proceeding. Don't rush the cooking in step 2 because that's where all the flavor comes from.

Maureen Kerber

Would this recipe work in a slow cooker?

Jim Krasas

I’m confused on the beans. Is that soak with 2 qts of water? Then cook beans in soaking water. When adding tomatoes to beans - is that with what water is left over with the beans or drained? Kind of ambiguous.

Zoe

This worked great in the instant pot! I quick-soaked the beans (5 mins on pressure + natural release for ~10 mins) and skipped Step 1 entirely. Drained the beans and kept them aside while I did Step 2 on saute in the instant-pot pot. Added the beans back in + squashed, then pressure cooked for 15 mins + natural release (~10 mins). Came out delicious!

JAldcroft

I remember the mums saying this and thinking it was a load of rubbish. Whether or not you use or throw away an onion is irrelevant to whether or not people will go hungry. If you use it, people will still be hungry. If you throw it away, people will still be hungry. No difference whatsoever.

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Thanksgiving Mixed Bean Chili With Corn and Pumpkin Recipe (2024)
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