PP: Butternut Squash Chili

Chili with squash #2.jpg

Chef:  Jean Hayes
Makes:  6-8 Servings
Prep time:  15-30 min
Cook time:  30 min
Total time:  45 min - hour



  • Veggie broth or Water for sautéing veggies (a few tablespoons)
  • A few cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
  • A chopped bell pepper or two, any color you like. I like red for this chili
  • 1-2 chopped onions (1 if it’s large)
  • 1-2 chopped jalapeno peppers (I remove the seeds)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of chili powder
  • A few tablespoons of oregano
  • A couple of shakes of Mrs Dash extra spicy and Mrs Dash Southwest chipotle seasoning if desired. You can also just use a few shakes of crushed red pepper instead.
  • 28 oz can of low sodium or no sodium added  crushed tomatoes or a box of Pomi strained tomatoes
  • A box of Pomi chopped tomatoes or 2 -15 oz cans of no salt or low salt diced tomatoes or fire roasted diced tomatoes.
  • 15 oz can of red kidney beans, juice and all
  • 2 or 3 cans of beans of your choosing- black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Frozen corn, ½-1 cup
  • Chipotle tabasco, a few shakes
  • ½ of a 6 oz can of tomato paste if your chili needs some help thickening
  • A butternut squash or your favorite squash, peeled and cut into cubes. I love hubbard squash but it is hard to find and very huge! Look it up! You can often buy squash already cubed in the produce section to make the job easier.
  • A fresh lime
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for the table


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Roast the squash chunks on a tray covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat until it is soft and sl brown. The time will vary depending on the squash and size of your chunks, about 30-40 min, but keep an eye on it. If you hate squash or don’t have any, just leave it out!
  3. While the squash is roasting, chop the onions, garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper and line up your spices and open your containers of tomatoes and beans.
  4. Heat up a nonstick pan, sauté the onion and peppers a couple of minutes and then add the garlic. If they stick, add just a little veggie broth or water.
  5. Add your spices and heat them up a bit. Add your tomato paste here also if you like your chili thickened.
  6. Add the tomatoes, beans, and corn and after the chili starts to bubble, turn it down to simmer. It really doesn’t have to cook long. It just needs to heat up and cook down slightly.
  7. When your squash is ready, just add it to the chili and stir in gently. You may want to leave some out for snacking or adding to salads!
  8. I add the juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime at the end. It adds a nice fresh flavor.
  9. Garnish your bowls with some fresh cilantro or let everyone add their own at the table. Those who think it tastes like soap will thank you for the option to add it!

Tips:  You can serve your chili by itself or over rice or pasta or with some corn muffins. Be creative! Don’t forget to put your favorite hot sauce on the table, too!

If you’re not sure how spicy you want your chili, use a little less of the spices and taste as you go. You can always add more at the end.

My favorite quote from Jane Esselstyn—When asked what kind of pan to use for plant-based dishes, Jane replied, “One with a bottom!”

Remember, have fun with your food and enjoy!

The Plant-based Nurse

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