Quick & Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

You will not believe the big flavours in this simple butternut squash chili and your meat-eating friends will not even notice it is vegan!

Portrait close up image of a steaming hot butternut squash chili served with snipped chives and a dollop of sour cream

Vegan Pumpkin Chili Anyone?

This pumpkin 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.

Flavours like cumin, tomato, beans and of course chili but the sweet earthiness of the pumpkin remains the star of the show.

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

It is different and when I am cooking food sans meat I like to celebrate the difference rather than turn the key ingredients into meat substitutes.

This recipe can be made with pretty much any member of the pumpkin family by adding shifting the cooking time a little.

Portrait image of a butternut squash chili served with snipped chives and a dollop of sour cream in a white bowl

Using Up Leftover Butternut Squash.

I used to avoid cooking with ingredients like butternut squash because as a family for two there was always leftovers.

And if I were to be honest, I really dislike eating the same thing over and over again. I am also terrible at using up stuff I freeze for later.

But with a bit of planning then I can make a whole butternut squash the focus of 3 different meals over three days and never get close to bored.

Pureeing any leftovers is the simplest route, just drizzle with oil and season with salt and roast for an hour.

I use the puree in both my pureed pumpkin risotto and my roast butternut squash soup.

But leaving it chunky I can head to Italy with a delicious spicy butternut squash pasta, Burma with my pumpkin Curry or North Africa with my butternut Squash Tagine.

The key to making squash last is to just cut what you need leaving a small cut edge.

Wrap that cut edge immediately in cling film and store in the crisper drawer in the fridge. It should last an east 5 days doing this, maybe as much as 7.

I always slice off the thin exposed edge before using the next bit.

Portrait image of a steaming hot butternut squash chili served with snipped chives and a dollop of sour cream in a white bowl

Serving Suggestions.

I usually serve this with brown rice, and as I am not vegan, a dollop of sour cream and some snipped chives.

You could also add a sprinkle of sharp Cheddar cheese if that is your thing.

But this works equally well with toasted millet and so long as you are not bothered about skipping “culinary” borders it is delicious with buttered couscous.

And so long as you keep it nice and dry it works amazingly wrapped in a flour or corn tortilla with some crispy lettuce!

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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


  • 350 g Butternut Squash
  • 100 g Onion
  • 1 Red Chilli Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 200 g Tomato Passata
  • 1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 100 g Cooked Kidney Beans
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Peel and cut the butternut squash into 2.5cm cubes.
  2. Cut the onion into a 5mm dice.
  3. Slice the chilli pepper as finely as you can.
  4. Mash the garlic cloves.
  5. Heat the oil over a medium heat.
  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 pumpkin, coriander and cumin and stir to combine.
  9. Finally add the remaining ingredients, cover with a lid and allow to simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
  10. I like this to be a dry chunky chili, if you want more sauce add a splash of water, 50-100ml will be fine.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 312mg Carbohydrates: 48g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 13g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

45 thoughts on this Recipe:

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

    • It’s a good un, my wifes favourite at the moment… I try and stick to seasonal ingredients, primarily because they are free and I am tight ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Sounds delicious! like that the pumpkin is so well seasoned as I’m a fan of strong flavors in my comfort food (usually)

  3. Wow! And I thought our days were short! 3:45… yuck! Anyways, this chili looks diving. I’m sure the pumpkin adds an awesome flavor and texture!

    • Thank you, I quite like the early nights… We fire up the log burner curl up on the sofa with a glass of something nice and relax, it does get a bit taxing by the end of winter though.

  4. I adore chili…any kind of chili! And this pumpkin chili looks completely amazing – can’t wait to give this a try … especially with it being pumpkin season here!

  5. I haven’t tried pumpkin chili yet, but I definitely want to try it after seeing your recipe. This looks so delicious and the photos are beautiful!!

  6. Your post and photos convince me to try vegetarian dishes, and to be more adventurous with pumpkin, which is my childhood nemesis….chili is definitely the way to go!

    • Cheers Ange… Despite being a committed carnivore I cook loads of vegetarian food, it is typically cheap (even cheaper now I grow it all) and usually pretty quick and easy to cook… I have a recipe for a beef chili that takes 6-8 hours to cook this is done and dusted and on the table in 40 or so minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. LOL, pumpkin and sweet paprika – this chili has traveled! And sounds delicious… That will be a very nice Something Different to do with my red beans…

  8. Pumpkin is awesome…it can be used in both savoury and sweet. Works well in this dish….lots of flavour and good for you too!!

    • It certainly is Gloria, however I have never eaten pumpkin in anything sweet… It seems to be very common on the other side of the pond but not something I have experienced here in Europe.

    • Thank you Jacqueline, rice with chili was just the way it was served when I was growing up and it is such a favourite I rarel waiver, buzt I do like whole grain rice over white due to the nutty flavour it has.

  9. Oh my, this is not only super flavorful with pumpkin but spicy, too – love it, Brian! The ingredients are so enticing and love that you included a little honey. I don’t eat much pumpkin during this pumpkin mania time but I will gobble this down in a heartbeat! Thanks for a great recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you very much Robyn, it is definitely a corker in many ways I prefer this to a traditional beef chili… It is fresh and simple but full of bucket loads of flavour ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ooh, I love a veggie chilli and this one looks delicious! I like that you’ve used big chunks of pumpkin. This will be great now that the nights are drawing in ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Cristie, we love this one… So much so that my wife demand I post the recipe ahead of schedule so that she can make it and it is not just stuck in my head ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. I have Hawaiian friends who eat rice with EVERYthing and they totally turned me on to serving chili over rice. Love it!

    • Thank Meaghan, I was always bought up with chili and rice either that or smothered over a baked potato but I figured rice for this as baked potato and pumpkin was not the nest idea ๐Ÿ˜‰


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