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The BEST Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

It’s fall, so it’s time for chili. This delicious butternut squash chili recipe is perfect for those cool nights to warm you up.

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My husband loves making chili and it’s normally his job to do it.  It’s usually on a Sunday that we’re laying around or working in the yard.  We had some butternut squash that was about to go bad, so I talked him into adding it in the chili.  I know butternut squash chili isn’t what most people think of when they think of chili, but this turned out really well!

Cast iron pot with butternut squash chili with a bowl of chili topped with sour cream and green onions

Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

I try to do a couple of meatless meals every week.  It takes me a little more time to plan because I didn’t grow up eating vegetarian.  I find it hard to get in the protein we need without having a similar tasting meal every time.  This worked out perfectly because I got some beans in there for protein, but also some extra veggies with the butternut squash.

Vegetarian butternut squash is full of vitamin A and C which is great going into winter when you are wanting a strong immune system. It may not be the best if you are watching your carbs, but it’s a healthier side dish than white or sweet potatoes.  It’s nice to add that in during the fall and winter months to break things up a little.

Kitchen Tools for Chili Recipe

Cutting Board Mats– I think I put this on almost every single recipe I post because I literally use them every day. These are one of the favorite things I have in the kitchen. They don’t take up much space so they’re easy to store. They’re easy to clean and great for adding ingredients to mixing bowls and hot pots.

Cast Iron Pot– Of course, you don’t need a cast iron pot for this recipe, but if you have one make sure you break it out for this chili. This is a link to one like I have.

Strainer– You’ll need to drain your beans and these are great. I love that they collapse and save space in your cabinet. I’m all about keeping things organized.

Wooden Spoons– You can never have too many wooden spoons. I have an entire drawer full!

Cast iron pot with vegetarian butternut squash chili and 2 bowls of chili topped with sour cream and green onions

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Chili

  • Cubed Butternut Squash
  • Olive Oil– This is used to cook the onions and garlic
  • Onion– Red onion is GREAT in chili.
  • Chopped Bell Peppers– You’ll need two, orange and red bell pepper. Green bell peppers will work too.
  • Garlic– minced
  • Black Beans– drain and rinsed
  • Red Kidney Beans– drained and rinsed
  • Diced tomatoes (2 -15 ounce cans)- you don’t need to drain these. Pour the juice in too.
  • Beer– Use what you have in your refrigerator.
  • Red wine– You can use what you have on hand.
  • Balsamic Vinegar– This gives the chili a sweeter taste.
  • Spices– paprika, chili powder, cumin

You can take a shortcut on this recipe by buying pre-cut butternut squash in the produce department of your grocery store.  I normally don’t spend the extra money on precut things, but I do buy this.  It always takes so long to peel and cut it and I can never get it to look nice.  You can also find frozen butternut squash in some stores.

Tip #1

This is a vegetarian chili, but you can add a pound of ground turkey or ground beef.

Tip #2

You can also cook this in a slow cooker. Just throw everything in and cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Bowl of butternut squash chili with sour cream and green onions

How to make Butternut Squash Chili

Step 1

Add oil to a large pot or dutch oven and cook onions and garlic over medium heat.

Step 2

Add all ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until the liquid has reduced, stirring occasionally. It doesn’t have to be covered. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

Top with sour cream or plain greek yogurt and chopped green onions.

Cast iron pot with butternut squash chili and 2 bowls of chili topped with sour cream and green onions

Here’s a little trick my neighbor told us about and we’ve started doing it too.  When we have a lot of people over, instead of making more chili, we cook rice or make mashed potatoes and top with the chili. It’s such a good idea.

I’m not sure why I never thought of that.  It’s a great inexpensive way to make the chili go a little further and perfect for leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Butternut Squash Chili

It's fall, so it's time for chili. This delicious butternut squash chili recipe is perfect for those cool nights to warm you up.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author Holly- Keeping Life Sane


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 orange pepper chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lb. butternut squash cut into 1” cubes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Top with sour cream and green onions


  • Add olive oil to large pot set on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in all other ingredients and stir well.
  • Cover and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes.  Uncover and continue to simmer until some of the liquid is reduced.
  • Serve with sour cream and green onions.
Recipe Rating