Fall squash, veggies and hints of chipotle powder and cinnamon make this vegan Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili a really wonderful warm autumn chili!
The BEST Butternut Squash Chili with black beans is loaded with hearty veggies that soak up the flavorful spices including chili, cinnamon and cumin, this healthy chili is delicious and sure to please all types of eaters!
Why you’re going to love this vegan chili! Its:
- Easy. Butternut squash chili with black beans is a fantastic one-pot meal that is easy to put together and ready in about 1 hour from start to finish.
- Healthy. This hearty vegan chili is made with wholesome ingredients and full of fiber and protein. Plus, it’s low-fat with an option to be oil free!
- Amazing Meal Prep: Chili is a superb meal prep idea because it can easily be doubled and leftovers taste even better. This particular recipe serves 4 – 6 and if doubled can be kept in the freezer for later!
It’s the perfect warm and comforting weekend dinner on cold and rainy days. And is especially amazing when paired with homemade jalapeno cornbread muffins!
Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe we’ll sauteeing onion and garlic, then simmering with butternut squash, beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, and spices creating a warm and wonderful fall flavored chili.
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Butternut Squash. Rich in beta carotene and vitamins, this golden squash simmers up soft and tender.
- Black Beans. Full of protein and fiber, black beans perfect in this butternut squash chili. If you prefer, substitute with kidney, pinto or tri-blend beans.
- Red Bell Pepper. Adds a punch of color and heartiness. Feel free to use any color bell pepper you like.
- Onion. Any color will work, use your favorite or what you have on hand.
- Garlic. Use fresh or powdered.
- Spices. We’ll be using a flavorful mix of chili powder, cumin and a touch of cinnamon. It’s a marvelous combination and I know you’re going to love it!
- Tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are easy and convenient (I used fire roasted), feel free to use 2 – 3 diced roma tomatoes instead.
- Broth. I typically use broth concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Veg Concentrate (affiliate link), ½ teaspoon is more than enough for the 2 cups of water called for. Feel free to use water or your favorite vegetable broth.
- Cocoa. One of my favorite secret ingredients when making chili is adding a little cocoa, whether 2 – 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder or a few small chunks of dark chocolate. It adds a nice depth of flavor and is perfect with the cinnamon, chili powder and butternut squash!
How To Make Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili
Making butternut squash chili on the stovetop is super easy and only requires a few simple steps. The hardest part is prepping, the rest is sauting and simmering.
- Start with a large heavy-based pot (or casserole pot) and saute the onions and bell peppers, until fragrant.
- Stir in your seasonings and spices, then add the butternut squash, beans, diced tomatoes, and liquids. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Can I make this chili in a slow cooker? Yes, and it’s even easier, just set it and forget it! Find crock pot instructions in the recipe card below.
Take your black bean and butternut squash chili over the top with any of these toppings and sides:
- Toppings: Some of my favorite chili toppings include avocado, vegan sour cream, green onion, red pepper flakes, vegan cheese, and/or cilantro.
- Cornbread: Pair with this homemade Easy Vegan Cornbread, Sweet Chia Cornbread, or Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. Cornbread is fantastic broken into chunks and crumbled on top of your bowl of chili!
How Long Will Leftovers Keep?
Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Simply re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. Leftovers are even better and is perfect for weekly meal prep!
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Chili?
Yes, it’s freezer friendly and stores beautifully in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months! One of my favorite ways to freeze chili is in individual serving size, freezer safe containers (affiliate link). You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers. Let thaw before reheating on the stovetop or microwave.
More Hearty Recipes You’ll Love
- The Ultimate Tempeh Chili
- Red Beans And Rice
- Quinoa Verde Chili
- Easy Vegetable Chili
- Cuban Black Bean & Mango Bowl
- Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili
If you try this vegan chili recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & BLACK BEAN CHILI
Full of fall squash, veggies and hints of chipotle powder and cinnamon, this vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili makes a really wonderful warm autumn chili!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: simmer
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ¼ cup water, for water saute
- 1 medium onion (any color), diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 heaping Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder, or to taste
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cinnamon, start small
- 1 small (1 ½ – 2lb.) butternut squash (about 4 – 5 cups), peeled, seeded & diced
- 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
- 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 cups home cooked black beans
- 1 can (15 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes + juice
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 – 3 teaspoons cocoa powder or 1 oz of dark chocolate, optional
- himalayan salt, to taste
- diced onions
- lime wedges
- vegan sour cream
Stovetop: In a large 5 – 6 quart pot, heat oil/water over medium high heat, saute the onion for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the spices, saute for 1 minute more. Add the butternut squash, bell peppers, beans, tomatoes and vegetable broth and optional cocoa, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Will be done when the butternut squash is tender. Taste for flavor. Chili will thick upon cooling.
Slow Cooker: Place ingredients into your slow-cooker, finishing with the vegetable broth and give a good stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings as needed.
Serves 4 – 6
Store: Keep leftovers stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. For longer storage, store in the freezer in freezer safe containers for up to 2 – 3 months.
- Add 1 can sweet corn, drained
- Use 2 small sweet potatoes in place of butternut squash
- Use your favorite color bell peppers
Keywords: butternut squash chili, black bean chili
Updated: Black Bean & Butternut Chili recipe originally published October 2012. Updated October 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. No changes to the recipe – it’s still delicious as is!