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Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Chili

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 4 large servings (2 quarts) 1x


For a rainy summer day, substitute zucchini for a seasonal version. The recipe doubles well, and a double batch will use most of a medium butternut squash. Makes 2 quarts.


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, diced 1/4″
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped medium
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped medium
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded if desired, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 T ground cumin
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (more or less to preference)
  • 3/4 t epazote (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 C vegetable broth or stock
  • 4 oz. can diced green chiles (mild or hot)
  • 2 C cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 C butternut squash, measured after dicing into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 C canned tomato sauce, low or no sodium
  • 1 T finely ground cornmeal or masa
  • 2 T chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 lime
  • Optional (but highly encouraged) toppings: grated cheddar, chopped avocado, sour cream, minced red onion, sliced scallions, lime wedges, crumbled tortilla chips


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high. Add carrot, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, until spices are fragrant and sticking to the pan.
  2. Pour in the diced tomatoes with juice, vegetable broth, diced green chiles, beans, squash, and tomato sauce. Stir and raise heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until squash is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a small dish, mix cornmeal or masa with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Pour into chili, stir well, and simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add cilantro and juice from the lime. Season to taste with more salt.


Since cooking this for a bland-food-loving toddler, I omit the jalapeno and cayenne pepper and it’s STILL delicious. Try adding hot sauce to individual bowls.

You can substitute kidney or pinto beans, if that’s what you have or you don’t like black beans.

Before toppings, recipe is gluten-free and vegan (confirm ingredients in spices, stock, and other packaged items to be certain).

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex