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Butternut Squash Chili

Butternut Squash Chili is a delicious twist on the classic chili recipe. Tender and sweet butternut squash paired with peppers, beans, and spices in a savory tomato broth.

slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

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Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

This chili is the perfect cozy meal. It is packed with nutritious vegetables, sweet and savory butternut squash and nutrient packed beans. It is also vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free making it a great option to serve at holiday gatherings, get togethers, and game days as an option for those with dietary restrictions.

This recipe comes together in one pot making clean up a breeze! Chili is a great budget friendly meal, not to mention it is so easy to make! This recipe includes cooking instructions for stove top, slow cooker and instant pot!

What is Butternut Squash Chili?

Butternut squash chili is a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free version of the classic chili recipe. Instead of the traditional ground beef, the main ingredient in this chili is butternut squash. This recipe is packed with healthy vegetables, nutrient packed beans and a savory tomato based broth.

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Chili

slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl and slow cooker

What is in Butternut Squash Chili?

ingredients to make butternut squash chili in a slow cooker
  • Butternut Squash – the star of the show in this chili! One of my favorite squash varieties. It has a natural sweetness to it and it is hearty enough that you don’t miss meat in this recipe!
  • Bell Peppers – you can use any color of bell pepper you like. I like to use yellow, red or orange as they are the sweetest and the color is beautiful in this chili.
  • Jalapeno – these mild peppers add a nice pop of green color and a delicious flavor. Don’t worry about them being spicy, once the seeds and ribs (white lines inside the pepper that the seeds grow on) are removed they are mild.
  • Kidney & Pinto Beans – you can really use any variety and combination of beans but my personal favorite for this recipe is kidney beans and pinto beans.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – store bought or home canned crushed tomatoes can be used for this recipe. You can also use diced tomatoes if you prefer a chunkier tomato based chili.
  • Vegetable Broth – to keep this recipe vegan and vegetarian vegetable broth is used. You can however use chicken broth or even a chicken bone broth for added nutrients and protein!
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Spices
    • Chili Powder
    • Oregano
    • Cumin
    • Paprika
    • Cinnamon
    • Chili Flakes
    • Salt
slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

How to Make Butternut Squash Chili

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

making butternut squash chili in a slow cooker
  • Drain and rinse the beans well.

Slow Cooker Cooking Method

  • Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Gently mix and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or 4-5 on high or until butternut squash is tender.

Stove Top Cooking Method

  • In a large pot, add all of the ingredients except the beans. Gently mix to combine and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid. Bring to a simmer on medium heat for about 45 – 60 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Instant Pot Cooking Method

  • Turn on sauté mode. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pot. Add the onion and squash. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients except the beans. Gently mix to combine and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid (ensure the ingredients do not go past the max fill line on your instant pot. A 6 or 8 quart pot in recommended).
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock in place. Turn the pressure valve to SEALING. Cook on high pressure using the MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK button (or Soup Button) setting for 8 minutes.
  • When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes by leaving the Instant Pot alone and not removing the lid. Once the screen reads L00:05, indicating a 5 minute natural release has been completed, carefully turn the pressure release valve to the VENTING position to release any remaining pressure. Make sure that the pressure valve has dropped down and then carefully remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Add in the beans and stir the chili.

Serve

  • Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!
slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl and slow cooker

Topping Ideas

There are so many great ways to top butternut squash chili:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly Toppings
    • Tortilla chips
    • Avocado
    • Green onions
    • Cilantro or parsley.
    • Hot sauce
  • More Toppings
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

Tips for the Best Butternut Squash Chili

  • Butternut Squash – for the best texture and a hearty chili, chop the butternut squash into bite sized cubes. The cubes will stay in tact while cooking and will have a ‘meaty’ texture. To cut down on prep time you can purchase peeled and cubed butternut squash from the grocery store. It is usually cut into small bite sized pieces that is perfect for this chili recipe.
  • Broth – to make this chili vegan and vegetarian the recipe calls for vegetable broth. You can swap this for chicken broth if you prefer and you can even use a bone broth for added protein and nutrients!
  • Additional Vegetables – this recipe is versatile and customizable. You can use any veggies you like in the chili. Such as, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, celery and more. Use your favorite veggies! This is also a great way to use up leftover veggies you have in the fridge. You can simply chop everything up and add it into the chili!
slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

FAQs Butternut Squash Chili

How to reheat Butternut Squash Chili?

Reheat stove top in a small pot on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through. To reheat in the microwave, transfer to a microwave safe container and heat for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through.

How to store Butternut Squash Chili?

Store the cooled chili in air tight containers in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days. You can also transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I make Butternut Squash Chili ahead?

Yes! This recipe is perfect for make ahead. The chili lasts in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and can also be frozen.

Can I freeze Butternut Squash Chili?

Yes! This chili can be frozen. Once the chili has cooled transfer to freezer safe containers or Ziploc bags. You can measure out single serving sizes or multiple serving sizes. Freeze for up to 3 months. Tip: if freering in Ziploc bags, lay the bags flat to take up less space. That in the fridge overnight and reheat stove top or in the microwave per the above notes.

Is Butternut Squash Chili healthy?

Yes! This chili is packed with nutritious vegetables and is a low calorie, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free meal.

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili

This recipe is vegetarian.

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

This recipe is vegan.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Chili

This recipe is gluten free.

Dairy Free Butternut Squash Chili

This recipe is dairy free.

slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

Looking for More Soup Recipes

Enjoy!

– Sab

slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

Butternut Squash Chili

Butternut Squash Chili is a delicious twist on the classic chili recipe. Tender and sweet butternut squash paired with peppers, beans, and spices in a savory tomato broth.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 76 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno, seeded, ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or chicken broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 28 ounce, 3.5 cups
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained, 14 ounce
  • 1 can pinto beans, or bean of choice, rinsed and drained, 14 ounce
  • 4 cups butternut squash, about 1 medium butternut squash, peel and cubed into bite size pieces

Instructions
 

  • Drain and rinse the beans well.

Slow Cooker Cooking Method

  • Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Gently mix and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or 4-5 on high or until butternut squash is tender.

Stove Top Cooking Method

  • In a large pot, add all of the ingredients except the beans. Gently mix to combine and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid. Bring to a simmer on medium heat for about 45 – 60 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Instant Pot Cooking Method

  • Turn on sauté mode. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pot. Add the onion and squash. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients except the beans. Gently mix to combine and ensure all ingredients are submerged in liquid (ensure the ingredients do not go past the max fill line on your instant pot. A 6 or 8 quart pot in recommended).
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock in place. Turn the pressure valve to SEALING. Cook on high pressure using the MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK button (or Soup Button) setting for 8 minutes.
  • When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes by leaving the Instant Pot alone and not removing the lid. Once the screen reads L00:05, indicating a 5 minute natural release has been completed, carefully turn the pressure release valve to the VENTING position to release any remaining pressure. Make sure that the pressure valve has dropped down and then carefully remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Add in the beans and stir the chili.

Serve

  • Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Reheat
Reheat stove top in a small pot on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through. To reheat in the microwave, transfer to a microwave safe container and heat for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through.
Storage
Store the cooled chili in air tight containers in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days. You can also transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Make Ahead
This recipe is perfect for make ahead. Follow the recipe as usual and store in the fridge. The chili lasts in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Freezing
Once the chili has cooled transfer to freezer safe containers or Ziploc bags. You can measure out single serving sizes or multiple serving sizes. Freeze for up to 3 months. Tip: if freezing in Ziploc bags, lay the bags flat to take up less space. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat stove top or in the microwave per the above notes.
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NUTRITION

Calories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 517mgPotassium: 546mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 9005IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 2mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
slow cooker butternut squash chili in a bowl

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