Butternut Squash and Beef Chili with Beans is a healthy dinner packed with veggies and rich in fiber and protein. It's a great alternative to traditional chili and makes a hearty meal in the fall and winter.
Butternut squash is a winter squash with a sweet and nutty flavor, and it works great in a chili recipe! Did you notice that many recipes for a classic chili include a pinch of sugar? It's usually done to offset the flavor of the tomato sauce or tomato sauce. Well, the butternut squash adds just the perfect amount of subtle sweetness to contrast the tomatoes in a chili recipe.
This healthy recipe features butternut squash and beef as the main ingredients. The butternut squash chili is gluten-free, packed with veggies, and rich in fiber and protein. The ingredients also include red kidney beans, green bell pepper, corn, garlic, and tomatoes. This healthy comfort food makes a hearty dinner in the fall and winter. The butternut squash chili will also be a great addition to your holiday menu, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.
Butternut Squash Chili is Winter Comfort Food
This chili combines cooked beef with cubed butternut squash, chopped green bell pepper, minced garlic, kidney beans, corn, and canned tomatoes. It's seasoned with chili powder and cumin. Then, it's topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream). It's perfect comfort food on the cold winter nights.
This butternut squash chili is very filling. It's a great choice for dinner or lunch to take to work the next day.
Healthy Chili Recipe
- This chili has tons of veggies (butternut squash, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes). It's made with quality ingredients, and it's gluten-free!
- Butternut squash is a great source of fiber and potassium.
- The recommended topping for the butternut squash chili is plain Greek yogurt - a good source of probiotics and calcium.
Toppings for Chili
I garnished the butternut squash chili with a dollop of Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese, and everybody agreed that it was even better than topping the chili with sour cream!
Here are more ideas:
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Avocado
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Crushed Tortilla Chips
How to store chili
- Cooked chili tastes even better the next day, after being refrigerated overnight.
- Refrigerate the chili in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to make butternut squash chili
1) Cook ground beef in olive oil in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain the ground beef of any fat.
2) To the same pan with cooked ground beef, add cubed butternut squash.
3) Add chopped green bell pepper, minced garlic, and kidney beans.
4) Add corn kernels.
5) Add canned tomatoes. Use a spoon to break all tomatoes into small bites.
6) Add 2 cups of water. Season with chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt to taste (at least ½ teaspoon of salt). Mix everything well, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer.
7) Cook on a low simmer for about 25 minutes until the butternut squash is tender. Remove from heat. Season with extra spices and extra salt, if needed.
8) Serve butternut squash chili topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
What to serve with Butternut Squash Chili?
- Garlic and Bacon Green Beans sautéed in olive oil and butter. These crunchy beans make a great side dish!
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is one of the best side dishes you’ll ever try! It’s healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian, and rich in fiber!
Other Chili Recipes
Butternut Squash Recipes:
Butternut squash is an amazing vegetable, and it works well in many other recipes, such as salads, lasagna, tortellini, and a casserole. Here are my favorites:
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Tortellini
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Pomegranate Seeds
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole
Butternut Squash Chili with Beef and Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 lb butternut squash peeled and chopped into ¾ inch cubes (¼ of whole squash or 2 cups chopped squash)
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 15 oz red kidney beans from the can, rinsed
- 7.5 oz corn from the can, rinsed
- 28 oz tomatoes from the can (I used peeled tomatoes Cento San Marzano brand)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt at least
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 green onions chopped
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the ground beef of any fat.
- 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 ½ 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.
- Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This recipe was originally published on October 21, 2014, and republished with updates in November 2019.