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Butternut Squash Chili with Beef and Beans

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Delicious Butternut Squash, Bean, and Beef Chili – perfect combination of flavors! Other ingredients include red kidney beans, green bell pepper, corn, garlic, tomatoes – there is really nothing NOT to like in this chili.

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My whole family loved it, and I will soon be making another large pot of it. It’s very filling, which makes it a perfect “man food” 🙂 and a great choice for dinner or lunch to take to work the next day (which is what I’ve been doing for 2 days in a row now).

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I love that this chili is so healthy: it has tons of veggies, minimum amount of fat, it’s made with quality ingredients, and it’s gluten free!

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I garnished the chili with a dollop of Greek yogurt and grated cheddar cheese, and everybody agreed that it was even better than topping the chili with sour cream! Talk about healthier toppings!

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Butternut Squash Chili with Beef and Beans

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Butternut Squash Chili with Beef and Beans


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 or 1/4 pound butternut squash (1/4 of whole squash), cut into 3/4 inch cubes, or 2 cups chopped squash
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 can (7.5 oz) corn, rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz) tomatoes (I used peeled tomatoes Cento San Marzano brand)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste (at least 1/2 teaspoon)
  • For garnish:
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onions
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the ground beef of any fat.
  2. To the same pan, add cubed butternut squash, chopped green bell pepper, minced garlic, kidney beans, corn, and canned tomatoes. Use a spoon to break all tomatoes into small bites. Add 2 cups of water. Season with 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and salt to taste (at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt). Mix everything well, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook on low simmer for about 20-25 minutes until squash is tender. Remove from heat. Add extra chili powder, if you want more heat. Season with more salt, if necessary.
  3. Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
  4. The chili only gets better the longer it sits. If you let it sit for 2 hours, covered, after cooking, it absorbs all the flavors and tastes much better than if you eat it right after it's cooked. It tastes even better the next day, after being refrigerated overnight.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Matt @ Runner Savvy October 21, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Looks delicious!

  • Monica October 22, 2014, 10:42 pm

    This is great…so hearty, and a nice healthy, delicious chili! It’s so chilly right now…I wish I had a big pot to share with my family. Great idea using the butternut squash here.

  • [email protected]'s Recipes October 23, 2014, 5:41 am

    Such a warming and comforting stew!

  • Laura Dembowski October 23, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Chilis like this are so comforting this time of year! Love how you mixed it up with squash. That makes it heartier and healthier.

  • sarah k @ the pajama chef October 23, 2014, 1:11 pm

    i’ve been wanting to try butternut squash in a chili. it looks fab!

  • Robin D September 21, 2015, 8:26 am

    In the picture it looks like you used a green herb (maybe cilantro or parsley) but it is not specified in the recipe. What did you use? Thanks, I’m making this RIGHT NOW

  • LuLu October 15, 2015, 4:19 pm

    Can you make this in a crock pot? Will the squash get overcooked?

  • Viktoriya April 13, 2016, 5:03 pm

    Made this last night and I was so excited to have it again today as leftovers! I added some extra spices because it’s fun to 🙂

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