Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

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Black Bean and Butternut Squash Vegan Chili from The New Nourishing cookbook photo credit: Clare Winfield

I love the idea of easy family traditions. This got me thinking about Jenny Rosenstrach’s (of Dinner, a Love Story) annual pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party for adults. Friends drop by for a quick bite and a cocktail while the kids get stoked. It was so simple, but so perfect-sounding: A big pot of chili, some toppings, and drinks — low-key, satisfying, and fun.

In the vein of this ideal Halloween pre-game meal, I’m sharing my butternut and black bean chili recipe from The New Nourishing, in case you’re looking for a flavor-packed plant-based version.

Cubes of butternut squash and black beans make this chili hearty and satisfying. And the good news is, the leftovers taste amazing since the flavors deepen when it has time to sit, so make it ahead of time or enjoy the leftovers after a candy spree.

If there are meat lovers around, you can cook up some crumbled chorizo sausage to serve on the side as an add-on.

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili

Dress up this hearty plant-based chili with some diced avocado or guacamole, plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), chopped large spring onions/green onions and/or corn chips.


  • avocado or olive oil for frying
  • 1 medium onion , diced 375 g/3 cups peeled
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash , cut into small 1.5-cm/ ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée/paste
  • 1 large garlic clove , finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 x 400-g/14-oz. can crushed or chopped tomatoes in juices
  • 2 x 400-g/14-oz. cans black beans in their liquid
  • salt , to taste

To Serve (optional)

  • diced avocado or guacamole
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • chopped large spring onions/green onions
  • corn chips


  1. In a large saucepan with a lid, heat enough oil to cover the base of the pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato purée/paste and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the tomatoes and black beans along with the liquid from the cans. Season with salt and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butternut is tender. You may need to add 120 ml/½ cup or more water, if the chilli becomes too dry or thick for your liking. Serve with desired toppings.
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