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Vegan Butternut Squash Chili Sans Carne

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 my pureed pumpkin risotto ait is also great in 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!

Square image of a steaming hot butternut squash chili served with snipped chives and a dollop of sour cream in a white bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

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:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 13gSugar: 13gProtein: 9g

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!

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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!

Byron Thomas

Thursday 26th of November 2015

I have GOT to try this - love the idea of using seasonal ingredients.

Brian Jones

Thursday 26th of November 2015

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 ;)

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