Butternut Squash Chili is a hearty, flavorful vegetarian chili made with tender butternut squash, white beans, chili spices, and tomatoes.
This Butternut Squash Chili is an easy vegetarian recipe that is packed full of nutrients, fiber, and bold flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
It may sound odd to add butternut squash to chili, but the sweetness from the squash balance out the heat from the chipotle peppers in this recipe.
And not to mention the squash adds fiber, vitamins, and nutrients as well.
This chili recipe may be incredibly healthy, but it is layered and nuanced in flavors. The heat from the chipotle peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes paired with the creamy white beans and tender squash is a match made in heaven. A little bit of beer adds tang and balance to the chili but is completely optional.
And while this Butternut Squash Chili recipe is a perfect dish for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy, even the meat-eaters love this recipe. Just ask my husband and son whom both LOVE this recipe!
Notes on Key Ingredients
- Butternut Squash: You will need 1 medium butternut squash or about 3 cups. Pro-Tip: Check out the cost of cubed butternut squash in the produce section. Sometimes it is CHEAPER than a full squash--and the work is done for you!
- Beans: Any beans work in this chili, but I find the white beans are mild enough to not overtake the butternut squash's flavors.
- Diced Tomatoes: I love to use fire-roasted tomatoes for an extra kick of flavor, but regular diced tomatoes work. And if you have picky eaters that despise the texture of diced tomatoes, use tomato sauce in its place.
- Beer: Beer adds an amazing dimension to chili, but by all means use vegetable or chicken stock in place of beer. For Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Chili, be sure to use stock in place of beer.
- Chili Seasoning: My homemade blend of chili seasoning is better than any packaged blend out there, so be sure to use that for the best results.
How to Make Butternut Squash Chili
Butternut Squash Chili can be prepared on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot, making this recipe incredibly versatile
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Place all ingredients in a large slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place all ingredients in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. Hit manual/pressure cook and then adjust the cooking time using the +/- buttons for 8 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
Stove Top Directions
- Heat a large stock pan over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to become translucent.
- Add in the garlic and toast for another minute or two.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and turn the heat to high.
- Once the chili is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, being sure to stir as needed.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Leftover chili can be stored for up to 4 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. You can also place the cooled chili into a freezer-safe container, being sure to leave room for expansion, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before heating and serving.
- In place of fresh butternut squash, feel free to use frozen butternut squash puree. Add the frozen squash directly to the chili. The cooking time will need to be reduced since the squash is already cooked through. Reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes if using the instant pot, simmer for only 15-20 minutes on the stove, and cook for 2-3 hours on high in the slow cooker.
- Butternut Squash Chili is deliciously served with shredded cheese, crumbled feta, chips, cilantro, pico, or cornbread.
More Favorite Chili Recipes
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Vegetarian Lentil Chili
- Slow-Cooker Classic Chili
- Instant Pot Chili
- Crockpot Chicken Chili
If you enjoyed this Butternut Squash Chili, please leave a comment and review below. I love hearing how much you enjoy my recipes!
Butternut Squash Chili
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 onion finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups white beans or 2 (16 ounce) cans rinsed and drained
- 16 ounces can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can
- ½ cup bottle dark amber beer
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon Chili Seasoning Mix
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and set to low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours, or until squash is tender.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place all ingredients in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. Hit manual/pressure cook and then adjust the cooking time using +/- buttons for 8 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
Stove Top Instructions
- Heat a large stock pan over medium heat and add in 1 teaspoon of oil*. Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to become translucent. Add in the garlic and toast for another minute or two.
- Add the squash, stock, beer, tomatoes, white beans, and chili powder.
- Add in remaining ingredients and turn heat to high. Once the chili is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, being sure to stir as needed.
Annie @ Annie's Noms
This is beautiful! It just looks like the perfect bowl of comfort on a cold evening!
Thanks Annie, It is pretty comforting!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan
Haha - my daughter does the same thing sometimes - if she doesn't like the look of it, I have a hard time convincing her to eat it! Though sometimes, the smell does the convincing more than I do and she is digging into it - I bet this would be one of those recipes - it sounds so incredibly flavorful!
It is usually the kids, isn't it? My dad and husband are my worst offenders 🙂
Hahaha, it can be difficult to cook for Dads sometimes 😉
My brother and sister (while in their chef's apprenticeship) had a tough time with trying new dishes. This looks awesome though, I'd love to try your butternut squash chili!
Howie, I hope you try it and love it! There is always someone (be it Dad or Brother or Child) that is a difficult eater in the family, isn't there?!
Charlene @ That Girl Cooks Healthy
This looks like typical comfort food. I could certainly do with a bowl with this terrible cold that I have right now.
Great and healthy comfort food!
Thansk Angela. I hope you love it!
Cannot wait to try this one! Perfect comfort food. Sounds yummy!
I love butternut squash, and this chili looks perfect for Fall comfort food!
Thanks Stacey, It is perfect comfort for me!
MyCookingSecrets.com | Krystallia Giamouridou
It is time to take full advantage of those 3 butternut squashes I bought this morning! We usually cook the squash without adding any legumes, but going to give it a try. Thank you for sharing.
Perect timing for this recipe. I would highly suggest adding the beans, it helps to complete the squash' protein profile and fill you up better!
We have so much winter squash from our garden this year, this is a great addition to the recipes I am collecting to use it all up! 🙂
Well if you need to send some my way, I will accept all donations! Love any kind of squash and I have a black thumb!
Joanie @ Zagleft
Butternut Squash Chili made with beer sounds like a grat idea. I bet the flavors all came together beautifully.
The beer really adds a unique depth to the chili.
David @ CookingChat
Yum! I haven't tried butternut in chili but like the sound of your recipe...beer and all!
Thanks David! It is really quite surpirising how well squash works in chili!