Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili / @loveandlemons

Are you as excited as I am that it’s soup season? Soups, stews, chili – whatever you call it – I love making a big batch on Sunday and eating it for lunch all week. This one is hearty & healthy, warming and slightly spicy. It’s also one of those that gets a little better every day so unlike most leftovers, I loved repeating this one just about every afternoon last week.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili / @loveandlemons

You don’t need 3 butternut squashes for this recipe. (I had these tiny ones – how cute are they!) Just cube up enough squash to equal about two cups.

Poblano peppers are usually mild, but just a heads up – if you are in Austin and using these little guys from JBG – they’re quite spicy. I used a little apple cider vinegar in this soup because I love the bright balanced flavor it adds, but also helps tone down the spice if you overdo it.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili / @loveandlemons Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili / @loveandlemons

I topped my bowls with leftover cashew poblano cream, crispy tortilla strips and cilantro. Feel free to top yours with whatever you like – cheese or diced avocado would also be delicious.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili / @loveandlemons

5.0 from 12 reviews
Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: soup
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced, about 1½ cups
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed, and diced*
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder*
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle paste or powder*
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of ½ to 1 lime
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional toppings:
  • grilled corn kernels
  • handful of cilantro
  • baked tortilla strips (or crumbled chips)
  • lime slices
  • dollops of poblano cashew cream
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, carrots, poblano, butternut squash, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables just start to become tender and the onion is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  2. Add the chile powder, chipotle powder, and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and black beans and then add 2 cups of vegetable broth (or enough to cover everything). Simmer until the butternut squash and carrots are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, adding more broth, as needed.
  3. Add a big squeeze of lime. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and spices to your liking. If you’re chili is too spicy, stir in a small splash of apple cider vinegar. If it's too thick, add another cup of broth.
  4. Serve with grilled corn, cilantro, tortilla strips, lime slices, and poblano cashew cream.
Notes
*if you're sensitive to spice, start with less, you can always add more. If you chili is too spicy in the end, add more lime juice and/or splashes of apple cider vinegar to tone it down.

 


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

73 comments

  1. Katrina from warmvanillasugar.com on said:

    I am totally with you on this soup season excitement!! And a chili like this sounds great! Yum.

    • Brett B on said:

      For the people asking about using a crockpot (my preferable cooker, as I have two kids under two), this is what I did. It made so much that I made half of it into soup using my immersion blender, and I served the other half over pasta. And I froze half of those halves, if that makes sense. Win, win, win, win! My husband said this was one of the best things I’ve ever made – the soup AND the pasta dish! Awesome recipe, slightly tweaked for the current chaotic state of my life. ?

      32 oz vegetable broth
      1 can black beans – strained and rinsed
      1 can pinto beans – strained and rinsed
      2 small butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
      One yellow onion, chopped
      3 carrots, peeled and chopped
      28 oz stewed or diced tomatoes
      1 bay leaf
      Tsp of chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
      3 garlic cloves – minced
      2 TBSP Olive oil
      Salt and pepper to taste

      Sauté onions, garlic and squash in olive oil (not cooked – just a few minutes)

      In crock pot, add vegetable broth, both cans of beans, carrots, tomatoes, chipotle chile powder and bay leaf.
      Add sautéed onions, butternut squash and garlic to crock pot.
      Cook for 6 hours (or 4 on high).

      Use immersion blender to make soup out half of the crock pot mixture. After blending, add 1/2 cup (more or less, depending on how much you blend) of heavy cream, let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

      Serve other half (unblended) over pasta for veggie pasta.

      Side note: to serve to my kids, too, I didn’t add the pepper. That means I also didn’t add the apple cider. Still turned out amazing.

      • Laura from Www.laurakatemusic.com on said:

        Delicious. I ended up adding a bit more of this and that as my supplies required, but the flavor combinations were a wonderful creation. Thank you!

  2. Yes, I look forward to soup season every year and in that regard I feel lucky I live somewhere it’s cool much of the year 🙂 I also love pairing apple cider with smoky flavors like chili powder. This looks like a beautiful rendition of chili.

  3. natalie from catalinacreative.com on said:

    I’m obsessed with chili! I can’t wait for this time of year. I’m absolutely saving this recipe to make soon.

  4. Kari from sweetteasweetie.com on said:

    I just did several soups this weekend that I could freeze up and have ready at a moments notice. Not going to lie, two of those included butternut squash! So good!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  5. Kelley from vegetarianpdx.com on said:

    Oooh, yum. Do the butternut squash pieces fall apart when re-heating? Not that it would taste any different.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Kelley – they get softer over time but in a very delicious way – butternut squash tends to hold it’s shape (more than sweet potatoes, which I sometimes use here).

  6. I’m loving this dish! Butternut pumpkin is my favourite of all pumpkins 🙂 I love it’s deliciously nutty sweetness – which I think will work perfectly with your list of ingredients here.

  7. Kristina from ohthegoodies.com on said:

    I love the colours of this soup, it looks so happy. I will definitely try this one, maybe leave out the cillantro as I am not a big fan.

  8. I am SO excited for soup season. And butternut squash is my favorite of the fall squashies, so I’m loving this soup! Pinned 🙂

  9. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com on said:

    Soup season is my favorite. I’m always on the lookout for good vegetarian chili recipes, and this looks phenomenal- I can’t wait to try it out.

  10. Jessie on said:

    Do you think this would work in the crockpot? I was thinking of sauteing the onions and garlic first then adding those and all other ingredients to crockpot. How long would you cook it?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Jessie, I’m not sure because I’ve never used a crockpot – but I don’t see why it wouldn’t (if you sauté the onions and garlic first, like you say). I’m not sure how long, maybe someone else reading this thread will have some crockpot advice!

  11. Bri on said:

    Ahhh this looks so yummy! We are headed back up to 90 this weekend in Los Angeles so it’s not soup season yet. I’m hoping we’re only a couple of weeks away because soup season is my favorite. Can’t wait to try this one!

  12. Casey DeMarsico on said:

    Looks delicious! Should there be a note about the broth? In the ingredient list there are double asterisk ** but no note underneath. Just wondering!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      oops, nope 🙂

  13. How cute are they? Super Cute!! Haha. My grandfather had soup every.single.day – 365 days a year…NO EXCEPTIONS. So I don’t know from soup season…in my house everyday is soup season. I don’t know how you accomplished creating a soup that looks both warming and refreshing at the same time…so great!

  14. julie on said:

    I am having this for dinner right now and I am in love!

  15. I’ve been looking for a good vegetarian chili recipe and this one looks amazing. Love the cashew cream too!

  16. Ann on said:

    Hi there-

    Can you freeze this soup? How does it hold up?

    Thanks!

    Ann

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Yep! It’s great – the vegetables get softer, but in a good way (not as pretty as the above photo, but delicious)

      • Ann on said:

        Thanks! I just made a batch and it is delicious!!!! Thanks!

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  19. May CXC from chefxchange.com on said:

    It’s restaurant festival in London right now too but we don’t have the variety of restaurants like those in Austin. Visiting Austin is definitely on my bucket list. Will keep this as a reference.

  20. Butternut squash + black beans = perfect comfort food. I can’t wait to make this now that there’s a chill in the air! xo

  21. I just made this for dinner and it is AMAZING!!! The lime juice at the end really does the trick! So good!

  22. Alanna from bojongourmet.com on said:

    We made this for dinner tonight – yum! The most light, fresh, delicious chili I’ve ever had, and super easy to boot. A perfect summer-to-fall recipe. Will definitely make this again and again. Thanks for the killer recipe!

    • Jaqui on said:

      Hi Alanna,

      I’m making this now and just waiting for the carrots to cook a tad bit longer. Does yours have quite a bit of liquid left in it? I was expecting the broth to burn down some, but it really hasn’t.

      Thanks!

      • Alanna from bojongourmet.com on said:

        We eyeballed the broth, so I can’t be of much help there. Sorry!

      • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

        Mine was quite thick after it simmered with 3 cups, (which is why I added the 4th)

  23. lynda fitzgerald on said:

    I made this soup today. Wow, wow, wow! Easy and amazing. It is delicious. Thank you for posting such a great recipe. Can’t wait to have it for dinner again tomorrow night!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I’m SO glad, thanks for coming back to let me know!!

  24. Victoria on said:

    This soup was amazing! A new favorite!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Love hearing that – thanks!

  25. Kat on said:

    Lovely looking chili and tableware! Can I ask where you got the bowls from?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Kat, thanks! the bowl is from clamlab.com (the pot is from west elm)

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  40. lynda artesani on said:

    I made this for dinner this evening. OMG is it delicious! I made it more chili-like by adding some quinoa to thicken it a bit. I love the cashew sauce on top. Once again, thank you Jeanine!

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  42. Brett B on said:

    For the people asking about using a crockpot (my preferable cooker, as I have two kids under two), this is what I did. It made so much that I made half of it into soup using my immersion blender, and I served the other half over pasta. And I froze half of those halves, if that makes sense. Win, win, win, win! My husband said this was one of the best things I’ve ever made – the soup AND the pasta dish! Awesome recipe, slightly tweaked for the current chaotic state of my life. ?

    32 oz vegetable broth
    1 can black beans – strained and rinsed
    1 can pinto beans – strained and rinsed
    2 small butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
    One yellow onion, chopped
    3 carrots, peeled and chopped
    28 oz stewed or diced tomatoes
    1 bay leaf
    Tsp of chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
    3 garlic cloves – minced
    2 TBSP Olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Sauté onions, garlic and squash in olive oil (not cooked – just a few minutes)

    In crock pot, add vegetable broth, both cans of beans, carrots, tomatoes, chipotle chile powder and bay leaf.
    Add sautéed onions, butternut squash and garlic to crock pot.
    Cook for 6 hours (or 4 on high).

    Use immersion blender to make soup out half of the crock pot mixture. After blending, add 1/2 cup (more or less, depending on how much you blend) of heavy cream, let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

    Serve other half (unblended) over pasta for veggie pasta.

    Side note: to serve to my kids, too, I didn’t add the pepper. That means I also didn’t add the apple cider. Still turned out amazing.

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  50. Fiona Mackay on said:

    I absolutely loved making this recipe – all elements work so well together, healthy and nutritious, as always on L&L. As partner can’t have nuts, except almonds (don’t ask me why?) used sunflower seeds for base to cashew nut cream. As with cashews, it tasted beautiful, rich and silky. The lime takes it to another level. Have dropped so many unsubtle ‘hints’ for your new book for Christmas Janine. Thank you for creating and sharing such inspiring ideas – healthy food that I enjoy making – that my family actually wants to eat!

    • Hi Fiona, I’m so glad you loved the recipe! Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment 🙂

  51. Nadine on said:

    Made this for a crowd yesterday to satisfy the vegan (me) along with salmon and pot roast for the ones I have not yet converted.The chili was excellent and enjoyed by all, but it was the cashew cream that was the hit of the night. It was used by everyone on every type of food! So glad I took the time to make this, and will be making it again and again. Thank you for another great recipe!

    • Ha, love hearing that – so glad the cashew cream was so versatile 🙂

  52. Laura Doyle on said:

    Really tasty, highly reccomend

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