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black bean & butternut squash chili

by Jackie Newgent  |  November 29, 2012  |  3 Comments

Makes 4 servings: 1 3/4 cups each

I’m a big football buff! And what food goes best with gameday? Chili, of course. I’ve created one that’ll be sure to please every palate. This full-flavored black bean & butternut squash chili is100% plant-based … and meat eaters may never realize it!

serving tips

For serving, you can top this black bean & butternut squash chili off with whatever toppings you like, such as plant-based sour cream and treenut cheese. But I think you’ll find this intriguing chili—with the surprise sweet-savory additions of butternut squash and pumpkin pie spice—doesn’t need to be over-accessorized. The creamy avocado on top is a perfect finish.

I love this recipe. Hope you do, too. Let me know what you think!


black bean & butternut squash chili

Makes 4 servings: 1 3/4 cups each


  • 2 teaspoons unrefined peanut or avocado oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño with or without seeds, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups finely diced butternut squash (10.5 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro + 4 cilantro sprigs
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans organic black beans, drained
  • 1 small Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and sauté until the onion is lightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the broth, vinegar, tomatoes, butternut squash, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all vegetables are softened, about 25 minutes. Stir in the beans and simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and adjust seasoning.
  3. Transfer to individual bowls, top with the avocado and cilantro sprigs, and serve.

Per serving: 300 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 720mg sodium, 54g total carbohydrate, 15g dietary fiber, 16g sugars, 13g protein

tasteover tips

  • Add intrigue, not just “heat” to chili. Try pumpkin pie spice, Chinese five spice powder, or a combination of cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Beans are so hearty and satisfying—double them up and no meat is required.
  • Add more volume to chili (and increase portion size!) with a seasonal veggie of choice, like butternut squash in fall or wintertime.
  • Rethink chili toppings. Hass avocado works beautifully in place of cheese and sour cream due to its luxurious quality.

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