Butternut squash is in season, and the chilly weather is perfect for butternut squash chili. Although I make different types of chili often, I like to mix up new flavors and combinations. For instance, beans and specific vegetables give the chili a unique and interesting taste and texture. This vegan butternut squash chili is loaded with lentils, beans, vegetables and has a special ingredient that gives it extra love.
For this particular butternut squash chili recipe, I focused on vegetables in season. Not only does this chili with butternut squash taste fabulous, but it's also cheaper to make because of the vegetables in season.
Butternut squash, like sweet potatoes, has a sweeter taste. Despite the sweetness, however, butternut squash also has a nutty flavor. This, with the hearty kidney beans (or pinto beans), vegetables, tomatoes, and a few secret ingredients, makes this chili recipe all come together.
Although I love most beans, dark red kidney beans and pinto beans are my favorites; they have a ton of flavor. The best part about this recipe, however, is it all cooks in the Crockpot, or for a quicker option, check out the new Instant Pot option.
Cutting Butternut Squash for Chili with Butternut Squash
Sometimes, people struggle cutting butternut squash. To maximize the squash without wasting any squash, I always cut it into equal-sized slices.
Then, I cut the rind closely around each slice, avoiding wasting any of the squash. Next, cut the butternut squash into similar bite-sized pieces, so the squash cooks evenly in the Crockpot.
Cooking Butternut Squash Chili in the Crockpot.
Today, I used my Crockpot because I was gone all day and wanted dinner waiting for me when I get home. But, the Instant Pot also provides a quick and easy way to have dinner in no time.
Another bonus to using the Crockpot is I can do everything the night before. Just chop everything, add it to the Crockpot's ceramic container, and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
When I wake up in the morning, I put the ceramic base inside the metal crockpot, cover it, and turn it on.
What ingredients are in my favorite butternut squash chili recipe?
- Butternut squash
- White onion
- Organic diced tomatoes (canned)
- Tomato sauce
- Vegetable broth
- Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
- Dark kidney beans or pinto beans
- Vegan chili seasoning mix
- Corn (frozen or fresh)
- Dry or pre-cooked lentils (I used pre-cooked Trader Joe's Steamed Brown lentils )
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (the secret ingredient)
- Cut cherry tomatoes
- Avocado chunks
- Sliced Jalapenos
Cooking Vegan Butternut Squash Chili Recipe
Then, cook the chili on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours; you get to pick your time frame. Even if you go past the 8 hours, the chili will be the perfect temperature when you get home.
What to eat with vegan butternut squash chili recipe
Even though you can eat this butternut squash chili by itself, I served it with my Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread. Then, with the leftovers, I made two bowls of chili and two baked potatoes stuffed with chili—dinner and four lunches, all in 30 minutes prep.
If you love chili and quick and easy chili recipes, check out these other chili recipes.
- Vegan White Bean Chili
- Lentil Chili Recipe
- Vegan Chili Mac
- Vegan Chili Recipe
- Crockpot Three-Bean Mega Veggie Chili
- Vegan Coney Chili Sauce...The Real Deal
Vegan Butternut Squash Chili
- 1 medium butternut squash (yields 4 cups diced in ½ inch cubes)
- 1 large white onion diced (yield 1 ½ cups)
- 2 jalapeños seeds removed, and diced small
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 stalks celery yield 1 cup, chopped
- 1 14.5 ounce cans organic diced tomatoes
- 1 29 ounce can organic tomato sauce
- 2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 9 ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
- 2 15.5- ounce cans organic dark kidney beans or pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 package vegan chili seasoning mix
- 1 cup corn frozen or fresh
- 2 cups dry lentils I used brown
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sliced grape tomatoes
- Sliced Jalapeno
- Cilantro optional
- Crockpot Directions
- Cut butternut into even slices and then cut around each piece, removing the peel.
- Cut the rest of the vegetables. I saved a lot of time using my vegetable chopper; it helps keep my vegetable uniform in size.
- Put the squash and other vegetables in the base of the crockpot
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Stir all the ingredients together; cover the crockpot, and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Instant Pot Directions
- Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot*
- Once hot, add ¼ cup of water, the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and celery.
- Add the seasoning packet
- Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is translucent and fragrant.
- Add a little bit more water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Turn off the sauté function by pressing "Cancel."
- Then add diced butternut squash and the remaining ingredients.
- Put on the Instant Pot lid and turn to seal. Pressure cook on HIGH for 20 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, let the steam release naturally, or carefully press the quick release if in a hurry.
- Serve with sliced tomatoes, jalapeños, avocados, cilantro, or any other toppings you wish.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂