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Butternut Squash Chilli or Chili Sans Carne

Butternut squash chilli, or chili sans carne as I like to call it is loaded with warming spices, beans & earthy-sweet pumpkin.

It is vegan and easy simple to cook, 10-15 minutes work then you can walk away and let it simmer for an hour!

Butternut squash chilli served with brown rice, and sour cream.

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chilli Con “Carne”

This veggie butternut squash chili recipe is definitely a winter-warming favourite in our household. It is a really quick and simple meal that can be on your table in 40 minutes and 10 minutes of that is preparation time.

It is full of all the flavours you associate with a good Chili Con Carne but completely meat-free, much like my vegan chickpea chilli recipe.

Flavours like cumin, tomato, beans, and of course, chilli pepper but the sweet earthiness of the butternut squash remains the star of the show.

Of course, this is no better, or indeed worse than a beef or pork chilli.

It is different! When I am cooking food sans meat I like to celebrate the difference rather than attempt to substitute meat.

This recipe is a celebration of squash and pumpkin. It joins recipes like roasted butternut squash pasta, pumpkin Curry and butternut Squash Tagine.

This recipe can be made with pretty much any member of the pumpkin family. Although I would avoid stringy varieties like spaghetti squash.

Overhead butternut squash chilli served with brown rice, and sour cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of squash?

Yes… But they do all take different amounts of time to cook, depending on ripeness and moisture content.

To be honest the same is true of squash ort pumpkin within the same type. I usually give myself an hour to make this recipe but start checking whether it is cooked after half an hour.

Will this recipe store?

This vegan chili con carne will store in the fridge for around a week. Reheat it in a sauce pan over a medium-low heat covered with a lid, adding just a splash of water.

What can I do with leftover squash?

Buying squash and pumpkin for a small family or a couple can be difficult, they are often large beasties!

I usually drizzle any leftover pumpkin with oil and season with salt and roast for an hour then mash and freeze. I use the puree in my butternut squash risotto it is also great in butternut squash soup.

It will freeze for up to 3 months.

I also have links to a few other recipes for squash littered throughout this recipe.

Close up butternut squash chilli served with brown rice, and sour cream.

Serving Suggestions

I usually serve this with brown rice and some snipped chives. I’m not vegan so will often add a satisfying dollop of sour cream too.

You could also add a generous sprinkle of sharp Cheddar cheese.

This cashew nut cream would make for a great vegan substitution.

This works equally well with toasted millet or bulgur wheat.

It is also amazing wrapped in a flour or corn tortilla with some crispy lettuce!

Butternut squash chilli served with brown rice, and sour cream in an earthenware bowl.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 24cm or 10″ saucepan or Dutch oven with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
Butternut squash chilli served with brown rice, and sour cream in an earthenware bowl.
Yield: 2 Servings

Vegan Butternut Squash Chilli con "Carne" Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Who said chili needs beef? This spicy vegan butternut squash chili will surprise and delight even the most committed of carnivores!


  • 350g (2 Heaped Cups) Butternut Squash
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 1 Red Chilli Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • ½ Tsp Sweet Paprika
  • ½ Tsp Spicy Paprika
  • 225g (1 Cup) Tomato Passata
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Water
  • ½ Tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 200g (1 Cup) Cooked Kidney Beans
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • ½-¾ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Peel and cut the butternut squash into 2.5cm (1") cubes.
  2. Cut the onion into a 5-6mm (¼") dice.
  3. Slice the chilli pepper into rounds as finely as you can.
  4. Mash the garlic cloves.
  5. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a medium (20cm or 8") saucepan or dutch oven.
  6. Add the onion and chili then cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Throw in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  8. Then add the squash, coriander, paprika, cumin and oregano stir and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Pour in the passata and water followed by the cocoa powder, kidney beans, honey, salt and pepper and stir.
  10. Add a lid and cook on a gentle simmer for 55-60 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 895mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 16gSugar: 19gProtein: 13g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Gina Strauch

Sunday 20th of November 2022

I made this a few days ago, and while I used an acorn squash, and had to substitute canned cooked tomato for the passata, it was a truly lovely meal especially for a cold nasty night. The passata would have given it a lighter and fresher flavor. Next time I will use that, and may use either cranberry beans or black beans.

Brian Jones

Monday 21st of November 2022

So glad you enjoyed it Gina, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!


Wednesday 14th of March 2018

Yum! I love how thick this recipe is and you can pair it with brown rice. Well done!

Brian Jones

Thursday 15th of March 2018

Thanks Amanda

Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Wednesday 14th of March 2018

YUM! Pumpkin is such a nice addition to this recipe. It snowed here again today so a bowl of chili sounds delightful!

Brian Jones

Thursday 15th of March 2018

Thanks Julie


Wednesday 14th of March 2018

Thank you for sharing this recipe, we are always looking vegetarian recipe for Fridays and this Pumpkin Chili is perfect.

Brian Jones

Thursday 15th of March 2018

Thanks Melve.


Saturday 28th of November 2015

Never would have come up with something like this myself. And of course, it looks fabulous.

Brian Jones

Saturday 28th of November 2015

Thank you, a favourite of ours!

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