Butternut Squash Chili

It seems like before the first leaf even hits the ground, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING has completely taken over. It’s in lattes, hand soap, donuts… I’ve even seen pumpkin spice dog treats!

Pumpkin spice is great, if that’s your thing. But pumpkin is just one of many types of squash that are in season each fall. Oh, yes! All those crazy looking gourds and mini pumpkins and weird and wonderful… things taking over your grocery store produce section? Not just decorative! Also delicious!

Even better, squash is also a powerhouse of nutrition. Depending on the type you choose, it can be packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium and more. It’s also an amazing source of fiber.

Squash has been even found to have anti-inflammatory properties, helps regulate blood sugar and contributes to better heart health.

Also? It tastes amazing (despite the unappetizing name). You can make it sweet or savoury, roast it, mash it, puree it, steam it or bake it into a pie. And bright orange squash like pumpkin, acorn or butternut gives vibrant and super appetizing colour to any dish.

Butternut squash chili is one of my favourite ways to incorporate squash into a healthy (but still flavour filled) diet. It’s warm and filling and the incredible spices give it all the flavour you need to feel truly satisfied. I always say that eating healthy really can be delicious and this recipe is absolute proof of that.

Here’s how to make butternut squash chili that’ll knock your pumpkin spice socks off:


2 cups vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes*

1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)

1 can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)

1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cumin

1 tsp red chili flakes

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Optional toppings: cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips or grated cheese

*Pro tip: If you don’t have the time or inclination to peel and chop a squash, you can use a bag of frozen, cubed squash.

How to:

  1. Heat 2 Tbsps of vegetable broth in a large pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the garlic and the squash.

  3. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if the pot gets dry.

  4. Add the bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add both cans of beans, diced tomatoes (including the liquid in the can), remaining vegetable broth, quinoa and all spices. Mix well.

  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

  7. Serve in a bowl and garnish with your favourite toppings.

This chili reheats really well, so leftovers are great for lunch for the next day.

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