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Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

This recipe packages rich fall pumpkin, bursting corn, meaty and mellow black beans, bright tomatoes, nutty farro and a host of warming spices into one gift of a chili. It’s lunchtime as I’m writing, and the pot is simmering for tonight’s supper. I can barely contain myself! I hope you’ll feel the same. And I hope you’ll cook this for someone you love.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili


  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, or about 1 1/2 cups, diced
  • 1 cup farro, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans
  • 2-4 teaspoons chili powder, more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pumpkin seeds for garnish

Farmers market & garden ingredients:

  • oil
  • onion
  • tomato
  • beans
  • oregano
  • chili flakes
  • pumpkin

Supermarket ingredients:

  • farro
  • spices


Heat a 4-quart pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and onion. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes or just until beginning to brown. Add the farro and cook another 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring heat to a simmer, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes. Add the black beans (do not drain the liquid) and maintain the simmer.

Add the spices and stir to combine. Maintain the simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure none of the farro is sticking to the bottom. Taste a piece of the farro to see if it is nearing desired tenderness. It should have a soft bite, like cooked brown rice or oats. If the farro needs additional cooking, leave the heat at a simmer and continue stirring, checking the farro for desired tenderness in 2-5 minute increments.

Add the diced tomatoes, pumpkin puree and garlic. Stir to combine. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve.

Recipe and photo by Amber Stott.

Recipe originally published in Awake at the Whisk.

Your Sandwich Can Save the World! Food Literacy Curriculum. 

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