Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

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Enjoy this chili recipe from our colleagues at NC EFNEP.


  • Non-stick cooking spray 
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (about ½ of a medium squash)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef 
  • 1 cup or 1 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans 
  • 1 cup or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 3 cups or 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • Shredded cheese and non-fat sour cream for topping (if desired)


  1. Spray Dutch oven or large pot with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Peel and chop butternut squash into a medium dice (discard the skin and seeds) and set aside. 
  3. Peel and dice onion. 
  4. Place chopped onion and ground beef in skillet. 
  5. Cook ground beef and onion over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until meat is browned and onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Drain. 
  6. Add butternut squash, undrained red kidney beans, undrained black beans, tomatoes, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, red chili flakes, and chopped cilantro stems to cooked ground beef and onions. Stir to mix well.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes. Stir several times to be sure chili is not sticking to the pot. (Temperature should reach 160°F.)
  8. Top with cheese and non-fat sour cream if desired. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Nutrition Information per Serving

Recipe serves 4

  • Serving Size: approximately 20 ounces
  • Calories: 430 calories
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Sodium: 970 mg *
  • Carbohydrates: 63 grams
  • Fiber: 20 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams (Includes 0g Added Sugars)
  • Protein: 32 grams

*You can rinse and drain canned beans to reduce the amount of sodium

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8 thoughts on “Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

  1. This was delicious! No skillet or oil needed, though — choose a large non-stick pot (not a pan) so you can fit everything easily, and by browning the beef along with the onion, it won’t stick. If you use a low-fat ground beef you probably won’t need to drain it (I didn’t). I used the canned fire-roasted tomatoes from Whole Foods, and just one can of black beans (rinsed, as suggested to reduce sodium). I added smoked paprika to the spice mix. Served with chopped avocado, cilantro, and a bit of sour cream. I will definitely make this again!

    1. Hi Susan, so glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and adapted it to your preferences. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Step 4 is to “Place chopped onion and pepper in skillet”, but I don’t see any pepper in the ingredients list. Should there be some green pepper? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathleen, thanks for pointing this out. This is a typo, there is not green pepper in the recipe.

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