Chilly nights can’t stand up to this warming, healthy butternut squash chili!
This recipe is the perfect combination of squash, beans, peppers, and tomatoes all slow-cooked in a savory broth. This healthy chili is guaranteed to satisfy!
A cold weather favorite, this is a delicious veggie chili is comfort in a bowl just like our traditional homemade chili.
Hearty & Healthy Chili
Butternut squash has great texture, a sweet taste, and is pretty versatile. You can eat it roasted in salads (with amazing warm apple cider vinaigrette), pasta, and of course in butternut squash soup.
- This chili is packed with healthy, fiber-filled beans and veggies and makes for a great work or school day lunch as well!
- Easy to adjust for different diets! For a paleo version leave out the beans and add some chicken or beef instead. A vegetarian version is super easy, just use vegetable broth instead of chicken!
- Hearty Crockpot soups and chilis are quick and easy to make! Serve with toppings and a loaf of homemade French bread or some buttermilk biscuits and let everyone help themselves!
- A great way to use up small bits of protein like beef, chicken, or turkey to stretch this dish even further!
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Chili
Butternut Squash is healthy and has a buttery, sweet flavor. Other squashes to try are acorn or even sweet potatoes.
Beans bring the flavor and the fiber! We use black beans and red kidney beans. Add garbanzo beans, pinto, or great Northern (cannellini or white beans) in place if you’d like.
Vegetables add flavor and texture to this recipe. Red bell peppers and onions are our favorite additions but try spinach, mushrooms, kale, or zucchini!
Optional: Ground beef or ground turkey can be added to this recipe. Brown in a skillet and drain fat before adding to the slow cooker with the other ingredients.
Spice it up! This is a mild chili, if you’d like to spice it up, add some chipotle peppers, chipotle powder, or red pepper flakes.
How to Make Butternut Squash Chili
It’s so simple to make, just follow a few easy steps!
- Chop the butternut squash and add it to the slow cooker with the other ingredients in the recipe below.
- Cover & cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
- Mash the chili slightly with a wooden spoon or potato masher to thicken it.
Serving Suggestions: Serve as is with some crusty bread and a fresh salad. Butternut squash chili can also be served over quinoa, brown rice, orzo, and even macaroni noodles.
Toppings – We love a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt! Try a sprinkle of cilantro, some tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, avocados, jalapenos, pumpkin seeds, and a splash of fresh lime juice make the perfect toppings for butternut squash chili! Or make homemade croutons, naan bread for dipping, jalapeno or homemade cornbread.
- Stove Top: Simmer all ingredients in a large pot on the stovetop until cooked through and the squash is tender, about 45-60 minutes.
- Instant Pot: Cook onion & squash in a little butter using the saute function. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, & cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. Let naturally release for 5 minutes.
Keep leftover chili covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop. Freeze portions in zippered bags for up to 8 weeks.
More Belly-Warming Bowls of Chili
- Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe – so hearty & filling
- Savory Pumpkin Chili – the perfect fall meal
- White Turkey Chili – best way to use up leftover turkey
- Homemade Lentil Chili Recipe – a healthy favorite
- 15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili – budget-friendly
Did your family love this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
For the Chili
- 1 butternut squash approx. 2 pounds, peeled, cut into half inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 15 ounces black beans 1 can drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces kidney or great northern beans 1 can drained and rinsed
- 14 ounces petite diced tomatoes, with juices 1 can
- 2 bell peppers, any color diced
- 1 onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each
For the Toppings
- sour cream
- Drain beans and rinse well.
- Place all chili ingredients in the slow cooker, mix, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until butternut squash is tender.
- Remove 2 cups of the chili and mash, return to the pot and stir in.
- Serve with desired toppings.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Looks like a tasty option. Healthy too. I’m going to give it a try, but I believe it will be a winner for dinner. :)
Holly, I’m starting with frozen, cubed squash. Your recipe calls to start with 2 pound whole. How many ounces/lbs/cups would you say I need?
Hi Liz, this will yield approximately 3 cups of cubed butternut squash. Enjoy!
This is a great recipe! I have made it before. Can you use frozen squash instead of fresh?
Sure you can! If you put the squash in frozen, you may need to increase the cooking time slightly.
Not this recipe! Even better than regular chili! To my vegetarian friends with the same response.
Correction loved recipe
Very good veggie chili. I used fresh tomatoes so added a teaspoon of salt. As most chili’s, better heated up the second day.
So happy you enjoyed it, Lynne! And I couldn’t agree more, leftover chili is the best.
Could you add ground beef or ground chicken cooked separately in fry pan on stove and add to butternut squash chili? Thank you. Tammy
Sure, that sounds delicious Tammy!
He recipes look amazing can’t wait to see more
I baked the squah 40 minutes at 350° and let it cool to make peeling and chopping easy.
Can you cook this recipe on low for 8 hrs?
That should work just fine!
How much water do I use
This recipe uses broth, water is not required.
Hey! I’m just in the process of making. I don’t have the northern beans. I could add another black bean. But wondering about a can of chickpeas? Would they become too mushy?
Do you recommend more black beans or go with chickpeas?
If I wanted to add quinoa. When would I do so?
Thanks so much
Chick peas would work great! THey tend to hold their shape well when cooked. I’ve never added quinoa, so my suggestion would be to serve the chili over the quinoa. Enjoy Kris!
Butternut squash chili was absolutely delicious and very easy to make even thhe kids ate it I recommend you try it I’m sure you will like it
Excellent recipe! I decided to make this at the last minute to use up a butternut squash and poblano pepper in my fridge Didn’t have Great Northern beans, so used 2 cans of black beans. Also didn’t have red bell pepper, so added 1 cup of frozen corn for variety. Used veggie stock to make this meatless for Lent. The squash gives it a slight sweet flavor. Served with some shredded Monterey Jack cheese and tortilla chips. Delicious!!
Can you substitute the great northern beans out for red lentils?
Hi Liz, we have only made this recipe as listed but would love to hear how it turns out with lentils! Enjoy!
i loved the results of this soup. the roasted garlic and cooked down shallots gave it depth. I used two medium butternut squash and it came out to about 6 quarts of soup, most of which is gone now! Thanks
I am so glad you liked this chili recipe Moses!
This chili turned out for me to make two dishes in one. I discovered I didn’t quite prefer the taste of the butternut squash inside the chili and decided I would make it again leaving out the squash. Then I fished out the butternut pieces, sprayed them with butter, salt, and pepper and it tasted AMAZING. So I decided I will make it again exactly the same way, butternut included, but will separate from the chili before serving. The chili without squash was DELICIOUS served with some fresh salsa and sweet onions. Superb!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I’m so glad you loved the chili Diane!
Could you please recommend a substitute for the maple syrup?
Hi Pat, this recipe doesn’t contain maple syrup.
Totally Awesome! I did not bother to cut the Squash into squares but after using a potato peeler I used a Meat Cleaver to cut the Butternut Squash into slim circle shapes. After cooking for a while, I did find that the Butternut Squash circles easily broke into two with just a spoon. Before cooking it was so picturesque that I share pictures of it on my email, facebook, and Twitter. It tasted so good. A thousand thanks.
I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe Earl!!
I made this and added cayenne pepper, 1/3 cup quinoa and a sprig of fresh rosemary and some coriander! Sooooo delicious!
how many ounces for the can of tomatoes?! thanks! this looks awesome
This recipe needs 14.5oz can of tomatoes.
Do you know if this butternut chili could be frozen?Same goes for chicken chili and pumpkin soup. I like to make these kinds of things and freeze for another dinner or lunch. Thanks
Yes, this recipe would freeze well.
This is brilliant! I just had spaghetti squash at a restaurant last night – and I couldn’t think of how they cooked it so well! This must be how! So glad to have read this – perfect timing!
Glad we could help Victoria! Enjoy!