This vegan butternut squash chili is an easy one pot meal to make for a week of healthy eats. It’s a comforting dish that everyone will love!
I’ve been making a version of this plant-based chili for years. I usually use sweet potato in this recipe, but I decided to mix it up and try butternut squash instead! This version came out deliciously, and I might be sticking with butternut squash from now on.
Usually, chili is a meat-heavy dish. But I promise you won’t miss the meat in this butternut squash chili! There is still plenty of comforting chili spice flavor, plus meatiness from beans and mushrooms.
Why you’ll love this butternut squash chili
One pot meal. Just add all the ingredients into a single pot and let it cook!
Affordable ingredients. This recipe utilizes affordable ingredients, including canned goods, seasonal produce, and spices you likely already have in your pantry.
Perfect for meal prep. This is a great meal prep recipe, because it is easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and tastes great when reheated. It usually tastes even better the next day, because the flavors come out more!
Packed with fiber and protein. Between all the veggies and beans, this meal is a great source of plant-based protein and filling fiber!
Tips for making this recipe
Have your mise en place set before you start cooking. You need just one pot for this recipe, but the cooking process is faster and more seamless if you have all your ingredients ready to go before you begin. Chop all the vegetables, open the cans, drain and rinse the beans, and have your spice jars ready before turning on the stove.
Add more cayenne if you like heat. I don’t do well with super spicy foods, but if you like your chili spicy, add more cayenne pepper to your liking.
Sub sweet potato for butternut squash. As I’ve mentioned before, I make this recipe with sweet potatoes all the time, and it is delicious. Swap the butternut squash for 2-3 large sweet potatoes if you can’t find the squash.
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, diced, for serving
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
Heat avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Add garlic plus a generous shake of salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add all spices, cocoa powder, and an additional shake of salt and pepper. Stir so garlic and onion are well coated with spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, butternut squash, and the can of diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir so everything is well combined. If mixture is very thick, add up to 1 cup of water to thin it out a bit.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
Cook for 20-30 minutes, until butternut squash is fork tender.
Add black and kidney beans, stir to mix, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Use a ladel to spoon portions into bowls, and top with diced avocado and cilantro.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.