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Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

Fall squash, veggies, and hints of chipotle powder and cinnamon make this vegan Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili a hearty and warm autumn chili!

top down view of black bean and butternut squash chili in a serving bowl with spoon.

The BEST Butternut Squash Chili with black beans is loaded with hearty veggies that soak up the flavorful spices of chili, cinnamon, and cumin. This delicious chili will please all types of eaters!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s made in one pot. Butternut squash chili is a fantastic one-pot meal that comes together easily and is ready in about one hour from start to finish!
  • Healthy and nutritious. Made with wholesome ingredients, this hearty vegan chili is full of fiber and protein. Plus, it’s low-fat with an option to be oil-free! See the nutrition in the recipe card below.
  • This is an easy meal prep idea. Leftovers taste even better, and this recipe can easily be doubled for later meals.

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!

top down view of ingredients needed to make vegan butternut squash chili with black beans.

Ingredient Notes

In this recipe, onion and garlic are sauteed and then simmered with butternut squash, beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, and spices, creating a warm and wonderful fall-flavored chili.

Here’s everything you’ll need (measurements are in the recipe card below):

  • 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 are perfect in this butternut squash chili. If you prefer, use 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 use a flavorful mix of chili powder, cumin, and a touch of cinnamon. It’s a marvelous combination, and I know you’ll love it!
  • Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes are easy and convenient (I used fire-roasted), or feel free to use 2 – 3 diced roma tomatoes instead.
  • Broth – I typically use broth concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Veg Concentrate (affiliate link), 1/2 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!
top down view showing the process of making butternut squash chili with black beans on the stovetop.

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 sauteing 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! Crockpot instructions are in the recipe card below.

Serving Suggestions

Take your black bean and butternut squash chili over the top with any of these toppings and sides:

top down view of a freshly made pot of vegan butternut squash with black beans.

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 are 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 Easy Chili Recipes!

side angle view of black bean and butternut squash chili in a serving bowl with spoon.

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.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 17 reviews

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!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • 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 1/4 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, or to taste
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cinnamon, start small
  • 1 small (1 1/2 – 2lb.) butternut squash (about 45 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
  • 23 teaspoons cocoa powder or 1 oz of dark chocolate, optional
  • himalayan salt, to taste

garnish options


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.

Serve with garnish of choice. Pairs great with my favorite vegan cornbread or jalapeno cornbread muffins!

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

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  1. Pam Richardson says:

    Delicious recipe! I was short on squash so I added some sweet potato along with some Merlot and it was delicious. Thank you, thank you.

  2. Team Betts says:

    This was delicious with cornbread. We added the corn and really enjoyed this recipe. We will be making it again!

  3. So delicious! I omitted the peppers because I just don’t like the taste of them, but it was still super tasty. I cut the squash into super tiny pieces to save time and it only ended up needing about 20 minutes to simmer which was great. Definitely will be making again:)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, glad you enjoyed the squash chili! It’s one of our favorites. Thank you for sharing, Natalie!

  4. very good! Will be making this again. Thank you

  5. Love this chili!

    I have made this often. I have made it to share with non vegan friends and they love it

    I also make your vegan sour cream, great addition to the chili.

    I made a batch of chili and sour cream this morning, guess what I’m having for dinner.

    1. This is out of this world delicious!! I made it yesterday for my non-Vegan friends, they loved it. I substituted 1/2 red bell pepper for a jalapeño pepper, and I used only water to sauté!
      It’s even better today! Thank you!

      1. Soooo delicious! I’ve made this 5x now in less than two months. I used yellow onion instead of red. Twice, I used chickpeas instead of black beans and it came out just as amazing (I might try half chickpeas and half black beans next time). Oh and I also added some TVP and crumbs from a bag of soy curls I had for added protein and chili texture. THANK YOU!!!

  6. Courtney Hopkins says:

    So good and the whole family loved it (kids included)!! I used my instant pot and sautéed the veggies in the beginning. Can’t wait to make it again!

    1. I used dried black beans (1 cup / 140g dry) that I cooked and 5 roma tomatoes with an extra cup of water in place of the canned stuff and cacao powder in place of the cocoa. I also added some rehydrated TVP for extra protein. It turned out delicious! I love the sweet and savory flavor. Will definitely be making again!

  7. I bought butternut squash and I wanted to somehow make with black beans. So I searched for recipes and this one seemed to have the flavors I like. I tossed cumin seeds in the pot because I don’t like a strong taste of cumin. Seriously… this recipe was amazing! I will make again and again!

  8. I made this today. It was delicious:)
    The only thing I did was cooked it in my instapot for an hour. It turned out perfect! I love this recipe.

  9. This is such a tasty recipe! I did everything but add the cocoa. I put in a little jalapeño with the red bell peppers for some extra spice too. Thanks for sharing this delicious dish with us!

  10. I’m not a vegan- but if everything tastes this good, I could be! Added corn, because we had some leftover. Used crushed red pepper instead of chipotle, because that’s what I could find in the spice cupboard. Other than that, stuck to the recipe. Yum!

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