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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Butternut Squash Chili (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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This vegan butternut squash chili is a comforting dish made with savory warm spices, protein packed black beans, crunchy corn, and acidic tomatoes. It’s a filling winter meal that you’ll come back to again and again. 

butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions with a spoon top view

Ok guys, this vegan chili is pretty freakin’ awesome 🙂

This is one of those recipes that you think will be really complicated because of the long ingredients list, but once you have everything bought and on your counter, it’s actually pretty easy to make! And thanks to the flavorful spices, this chili is guaranteed to please meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions

It’s vegan and gluten free, and for those of you who are vegetarian and love cheese, feel free to top each bowl with 1 tbsp shredded cheese as well! It’s slow-cooker friendly too – I’d just saute the onion and garlic beforehand, and then you can throw everything else into the slow cooker and let it simmer all day. The longer it cooks, the better the flavors will be.

My kids loved this recipe and literally asked for it 4 days in a row. I hope you love this as much as we did!

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You’ll Need to Make Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

ingredients for vegan butternut squash chili

How to Make this Butternut Squash Chili – Step by Step

Step 1: Peel the squash and cut into 1 inch pieces. Peel the carrots and cut into 1 inch pieces. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the butternut squash, carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

veggies sauteed in a large pot

Step 2: Add the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and corn. Stir in all the spices (chili powder through cayenne).

black beans and spices added to chili

Step 3: Bring back to a simmer then reduce the heat and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the squash and carrots are tender. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors will be!

butternut squash added to pot with vefggies

Step 4: Serve hot with chopped green onions and 1 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese per bowl (optional!)

butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions with a spoon

What makes this Vegan Butternut Squash Chili healthy?

  • High in Vitamins and Nutrients: Butternut squash is high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. It also helps with digestion and blood pressure. Carrots contain beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, and potassium, and antioxidants. They have been shown to help with cholesterol and improve eye health. Black beans are a heart healthy food. They contain fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, phytonutrients, and are high in plant protein. 
  • High in fiber: One giant bowl of this chili has 10g of fiber – over 30% of your daily needs!
  • Plant Protein: Who says veggies can’t have protein? One serving of this chili has 10g of plant protein, thanks to the black beans.
  • Low Calorie: One serving of this butternut squash chili has only about 200 calories. That means you can go back for seconds, or even thirds, totally guilt-free and be completely satisfied after dinner is over! 

Will kids enjoy this Butternut Squash Chili? 

Your kids will love this vegan butternut squash chili. It’s loaded with veggies, but still kid friendly since it isn’t overpoweringly spicy. Carrots, corn, and black beans are kid friendly ingredients. If your kids have never had butternut squash before, they are likely going to love it since it has a natural sweet flavor and creamy texture. If your kids are sensitive to spice you can always cut down on the quantity of the spices in this recipe as much as you need!

butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions with a spoon

How do you cut a butternut squash?

Cutting a butternut squash is tricky if you don’t have a good method. They are dense, round, and thick. But if you have a good strategy going into it, you’ll have yourself a perfectly cut butternut squash without pulling your hair out. Here is how to cut a butternut squash in 6 easy steps:

  1. With a sharp knife cut off both the top and bottom of the butternut squash. 
  2. Using a vegetable peeler secure your butternut squash in one hand, starting from the top peel down to the bottom all the way around. 
  3. Cut the squash in half lengthwise by standing it upright on your cutting board. It should be secure since the squash should have a flat bottom. 
  4. Using a spoon scrape out the seeds from the middle.
  5. Cut each half of the squash into another half making 4 quarters. Cut into 1 inch slices. 
  6. Stack the slices and cut again making 1 inch cubes

Do you have to peel butternut squash?

Yes, you do have to peel butternut squash if you’re putting it into a chili or making it into soup. The outside of the butternut squash is too tough to eat. If you are roasting halves of the butternut squash you do not have to peel it and can scoop the soft inside of the squash away from the skin. However, in this recipe you will want to peel and cube the butternut squash.

What to Serve with this Butternut Squash Chili

This is a hearty and filling recipe on its own, so it is served best with a toppings bar including:

  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Diced green onions
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced olives
  • Salsa
  • For non-vegans: Shredded cheese, Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions

Top Tips for Making Butternut Squash Chili

  • You can make this recipe on the stove top or in the slow cooker. If you choose to make it in the slow cooker sauté the onions and garlic before adding to the slow cooker. Everything else can be thrown in.
  • If using the stovetop method cook for at least an hour. Using a fork, check to see that the butternut squash is fully cooked. It should easily pierce with a fork. 
  • If using the slow cooker method cook for 6-8 hours. 
  • Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces. If you’d like to save time buy pre-cut butternut squash.
  • Use different colored bell peppers to add some color to this dish.
  • Feel free to switch out the vegetables for any you like or have on hand
  • For kids, feel free to adjust the spices as needed!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER HEALTHY Chili RECIPES!

If you have tried this Butternut Squash Chili recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Made with sweet butternut squash, savory and warm spices, fiber and protein-packed black beans, crunchy corn, and acidic tomatoes, this chili has just about every flavor you could possibly want!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Peel the squash and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Peel the carrots and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Stir in the butternut squash, carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and corn.
  • Stir in all the spices (chili powder through cayenne).
  • Bring back to a simmer then reduce the heat and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the squash and carrots are tender. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors will be!
  • Serve hot with chopped green onions and 1 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese per bowl (optional!)

Notes

Top Tips for Making Butternut Squash Chili
  • You can make this recipe on the stove top or in the slow cooker. If you choose to make it in the slow cooker sauté the onions and garlic before adding to the slow cooker. Everything else can be thrown in.
  • If using the stovetop method cook for at least an hour. Using a fork, check to see that the butternut squash is fully cooked. It should easily pierce with a fork. 
  • If using the slow cooker method cook for 6-8 hours. 
  • Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces. If you’d like to save time buy pre-cut butternut squash.
  • Use different colored bell peppers to add some color to this dish.
  • Feel free to switch out the vegetables for any you like or have on hand
  • For kids, feel free to adjust the spices as needed!
Adapted from The Kitchn

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.3g | Protein: 9.7g | Fat: 2.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Sodium: 355.8mg | Fiber: 10.4g | Sugar: 4.8g

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20 responses to “Butternut Squash Chili (Vegan, Gluten-Free)”

  1. This recipe was excellent! It was a clean out the fridge/pantry/freezer kind of meal! Did not use peppers, and used the HOT tomatoes with green chiles…quite spicy, but amazing! Also used canned/sliced carrots which I would definitely do again.

  2. The weather here in is SF is so rainy and cold! (Sad for a March day :)). This recipe looks perfect for my dinner tonight!

    • Awwww that is sad for an SF March day!! This soup is definitely perfect for cold and dreary weather 🙂 I hope you liked it when you tried it!

  3. This recipe is WONDERFUL!!! Great for the fall or really anytime! My husband and I are not vegetarians but love vegetables and I was looking to do something different with my butternut squash. I added a jalapeño, some green bell peppers, and went heavy on the chipotle. We loved it and my husband was shocked at how great it was. A keeper!!! Thanks!!

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