Warm up this winter with a bowl of Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili! This classic vegetarian crock pot chili recipe adds sweet butternut squash cubes for a hearty fall twist thats perfect for a cold day!
Just because there's no meat in this chili does not mean it's not super hearty and satisfying! This easy chili recipe contains beans, vegetables, and chili spices that are both smoky with a kick of heat.
The star of this chili is the butternut squash! Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is long and oval-shaped with thick, inedible skin. The flesh of the butternut squash is orange or yellow and is very soft and sweet. This squash is in season during the fall and winter months, making it the perfect addition to this chili.
The slow cooker is the best way to make chili because it cooks the ingredients low and slow, allowing all the flavors to meld together. It also couldn't be easier to make! Simply add all of the ingredients to the crock pot, give it a stir and let it cook to perfection. A true dump-and-go meal!
Serve this flavorful chili on a fall or winter evening or make it for a game day party! It's sure to be a hit with everyone! And leftovers reheat well, so you can enjoy it all week long.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This chili is hearty and satisfying for vegetarians and meat lovers alike!
- The ingredients are simple and can be found in any grocery store year-round.
- The butternut squash adds a hint of sweetness that balances out the smokiness and spiciness of the chili spices.
- Chili makes great leftovers and even tastes better the next day, making it great for meal prep!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Butternut Squash - You can find butternut squash in the squash section at the grocery store or at farmer's markets.
- Chili Vegetables - A mix of yellow onion, green peppers, jalapeno, and minced garlic make up the aromatic vegetable portion of this easy chili recipe.
- Canned Tomatoes - You'll need crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes to add an acidic tomato flavor and make a flavorful broth for the ingredients.
- Canned Beans - Red kidney beans and pinto beans are classic chili beans that are easily accessible when canned.
- Tomato Paste - Helps concentrate the deep tomato flavor in the chili.
- Vegetable Broth - Thins out the chili while adding even more flavor and nutrients.
- Brown Sugar - Gives the chili a hint of sweetness that enhances the natural sweetness of the butternut squash.
- Spices - A mix of salt, ground black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and paprika come together to give this chili its classic smoky flavor.
How To Make Butternut Squash Chili In The Slow Cooker
Prepare the ingredients: Wash your vegetables thoroughly, then chop them according to size with a sharp knife.
Drain the beans: Add the beans to a colander and rinse with cold water to remove the canning liquid. Let them drain thoroughly.
Assemble the chili: Add all of the ingredients, including the spices to the crock pot and stir to combine fully.
Cover, cook, and serve: Add the lid to the top and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or until the butternut squash is cooked through and fork tender. Enjoy hot with your favorite toppings!
- Cutting butternut squash can be dangerous if you're not cutting it with a sharp knife. Use a sharp knife and be extra careful when cutting through the thick skin.
- Alternatively, save some time by purchasing pre-cut butternut squash which can likely be found at your local grocery store.
- This chili recipe is cooked on LOW and not high as cooking on high would not leave enough time for the butternut squash to cook all the way through while developing the flavors properly.
- If you're short on time, make this recipe in the Instant Pot! Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then do a natural release for 15 minutes.
- If you don't like butternut squash, you can substitute it for another type of winter squash such as acorn or kabocha.
- This chili is great served with shredded cheese, diced avocado, green onions, and/or sour cream on top!
- If you don't like spicy chili, feel free to leave out the jalapeno or only add half.
- The seasonings can be adjusted to your personal tastes. If you want more spice, add more chili powder or cumin. If you want it saltier, add more salt to taste.
- If you want a creamier chili, feel free to add a can of coconut milk or some heavy cream towards the end of cooking time.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Leftover butternut squash chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freezing: This chili recipe can be frozen for up to three months. Let the chili cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container. When you're ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop.
While the skin is edible, its best to peel it as it has a much different texture than the flesh of the butternut squash.
Watery butternut squash is often the result of over-cooking. To avoid watery squash, cook it just until its fork tender.
Yes! If you want a bean-free chili, simply leave them out or substitute them for another type of protein such as tofu, tempeh, or add more vegetables.
More Cozy Slow Cooker Meals
- The Best Crock Pot Chili (with beef)
- Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Crock Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Crock Pot Taco Soup
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Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pound peeled and cut into ½ pieces)
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (seeded and finely diced)
- 4 tsp garlic (minced)
- 2 green peppers (seeded and diced)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1½ tbsp brown sugar
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until butternut squash is tender.
- Serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy.