Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili
Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili- cooked in just one pot, this hearty vegan chili is easy to make, nutritious and satisfying! (gluten-free)
Chili season has officially arrived and boy, have I got one bangin’ chili for you! This recipe is actually an oldie that I revamped and made even better.
Really the biggest change I made was leaving out a few ingredients that were hard to find, like jicama. Six years ago it seemed like such a great idea but now that I live in a smaller town in Georgia, I realize that wasn’t the most practical decision.
The good news is that you shouldn’t have any issues finding the ingredients for my new and improved version and it tastes just as good, if not better. Here’s what you need to make it:
Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili Ingredients
- Onion, Garlic and Jalapeno- This trio creates the base of the chili. I like to use jalapeño for a very mild spice but you can sub any kind of pepper you prefer for more or less spice.
- Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano and Ground Chipotle Pepper- I prefer to use this combo of spices for optimum flavor however I know ground chipotle pepper might not be a common ingredient. It is smoky like Smoked Paprika but has a little more spice to it. A combo of smoked paprika and cayenne will work well in its place.
- Vegetable Broth- My go to is Better Than Bouillon for the best flavor.
- Diced Tomatoes (with their juices)- Any kind will work. Fire roasted or just regular diced tomatoes are both good.
- Tomato Paste- Tomato paste really enhances the savory flavor so I don’t recommend leaving it out.
- Quinoa- I prefer to soak the quinoa for at least 6 hours prior to using it in this recipe. This step helps reduce the phytic acid, making it easier for our bodies to absorb all of the great nutrients quinoa has to offer. To soak it all you have to do it place it in a bowl and fill it with water so that it covers the quinoa by a few inches. Then just drain and rinse before adding to the chili.
- Butternut Squash- The mild sweet flavor of cubed butternut squash pairs so well with the smoky spices in this chili. Feel free to buy it precut to save time.
- Pinto Beans- I like to use canned beans to make this recipe go faster. Pinto or kidney beans are both great options.
How to Make Butternut Quinoa Chili
This chili comes together in just one pot and super simple to make!
- Sauté the onion, garlic and pepper with the spices, until soft.
- Add the quinoa, squash, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and broth.
- Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until quinoa and squash are soft.
- Stir in the pinto beans and cook until heated through.
- Serve warm with desired toppings and enjoy!
I hope you get a chance to give this one a try because it’s sure to keep your body warm, your stomach full, and your taste buds happy.
Also, I highly recommend serving it with my Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins. YUM.
Looking for more chili recipes?
- The Best Vegan Chili
- One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- Chipotle Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili
- Best Ever Quinoa Chili
Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeños (or 1 poblano pepper), cored and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium-size butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1-inch cubes (yields about 3 cups squash)
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans
- In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, pepper and seasonings then continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- To the pot, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, butternut squash and quinoa. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until squash and quinoa are tender.
- Lastly, add the beans to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, until heated through.
- Serve warm with desired toppings and enjoy!
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This sounds tasty! I made a butternut squash chili earlier this year and I really love the slightly sweet with the spicy. I see jicama all the time but have never tried it (I’ve even purchased it and it went bad sitting on my counter, ugh) – perfect excuse to try a new-to-me veggie :)
Comfort food at it’s finest. Looks delicious Sarah! I’ve never cooked with jicama but you have me intrigued.
The first time I had jicama was when I was 16. An old lady across the street from my Grandma’s introduced it to David and I. I was never really a fan of it raw, but I’ve never had it cooked like this! I’d definitely give it another try.
I love jicima when I do eat it, but I’ve never actually bought it myself. I’m totally craving chili now!
Hell yeah for jicama!! Root vegetables are fabulous in chili – bravo, my dear!! And butternut squash makes THEBEST chili INALLTHELAND! ;) Let’s eat all of this!
Yessssss. I love the sound of this chili! Butternut squash chili is my favorite in general and I love all the spices and everything going on here! I’ve had jicama before but never used it myself. Time to change that. Happy happy weekend friend!
Can I come over for a photography lesson? …followed by lunch? ;)
Sounds so tasty! Can you just mail me some though? My kitchen isn’t large enough for all these ingredients! Sounds crazy but I often can’t cook certain things or own kitchen tools because our kitchen is too tiny. This will be on my list of recipes to try when we upgrade to a larger apartment in April!
You’re the second person to say this looks too difficult to make but I promise it’s not! It’s made in one pot and the only tool you need is a knife to cut the veggies. The ingredient list just looks so long because of the spices.
If you’re looking for a good spice holder, IKEA has these awesome little magnetic ones that I use and love. You can put them on your fridge to save space too.
Okay, that was probably WAY more info than you wanted. :)
You know, Dave and I have been on the hunt for jicama to add to our Sunday night tacos, but have not yet found it. It’s not always available I don’t think. This dish sounds lovely, as usual. I have a reader request … could you make something a little bit easier? I would LOVE a slow cooker recipe with less ingredients, for someone like me to be able to whip up and impress others. Okay thanks. :) ahhaha!! Happy Friday!
You’re so funny! This is actually pretty easy to make. If you buy pre-cut butternut squash then all you have to do is chop the peppers and onion and throw it in a slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. The list just looks so long because of the spices.
But yes, I will definitely try to keep that in mind for my future recipes. Thank you for the request! :)
I think I just like saying the word ‘jicama’. Can you find them at Whole Foods? I’ll search next time.
Yep, that’s where I found it! And it is fun to say, huh? ;)
Have a great weekend, girly!
Loving the look and sound of this quinoa chili, love how you used liquid smoke as well – I just bought a bottle and have been wanting to open and use it.. this recipe is therefore perfect for me!
Thanks, Thalia! Liquid smoke is such an easy way to add more depth to vegetarian and vegan dishes. All you need is just a touch! :)
A beautiful and nutritious dish. I would love to try jicama!
I am a big chili fan and can’t wait to try your version! With all those warming spices, liquid smoke, and creamy butternut squash, this sounds like the perfect dinner on a winter day. I love jicama and don’t think it’s used often enough, so I was excited to see it featured in your recipe!
Thank you, Julia! I hope you like it! :)
Haha, love quinoa and chili so I think this is right up my alley. And jicama! The first time I tried jicama was when I worked at Trader Joe’s (they have this kind of snack pack with veggies). It’s really good, the texture actually being similar to a watery apple (if that even makes sense . . . ). Anyway, great post girl!
Thanks, Aya! I’ll have to keep an eye out for the snack pack at TJ’s. It sounds really good!
Wow this looks seriously delicious and so comforting!!
This is lovely Sarah! I’ve been meaning to experiment with jicama for a while now, you’ve inspired me!
Thanks, Karen! :)
Awesome, I love recreating great meals I’ve gotten out somewhere at home! Want to hear something nutty? I haven’t eaten ANY butternut squash this fall. I need to get one stat!
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Oh I just posted quite literally the very same thing….but Butternut squash chili is just so perfect right now! Great minds think alike! :)
Your version sounds delicious too! Thanks for stopping by Kate! :)
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Love the use of real poblano and jicama, but wondering about the ratio of 1 cup raw quinoa to a medium butternut (~2cups). Especially when cooking the quinoa in the chili, not adding it at the end to guage the amount. A similar recipe calls for 1.5c squash to 1/4 c quinoa and states to add it during the last 45 min so not too mushy by slow cooker. (http://www.thekitchn.com/vegetarian-recipe-black-bean-sweet-potato-and-quinoa-chili-166739) Appreciate any suggestions there?
Hi John, great question! The link you attached is actually for a stove top recipe, not a slow cooker recipe. In addition, they’re using dried beans which take a long time to cook so that’s why they are adding the squash and quinoa at the end.
For the stove top version of my recipe, the squash doesn’t come out mushy at all. It takes just as long to cook as the quinoa (when you presoak it) so it works out perfect.
However, if you throw everything in a slow cooker, it does yield a softer texture to the squash. I prefer the stove top method for a firmer texture but for the sake of convenience, the slow cooker method still tastes great.
If you’re worried about it being mushy, you can always add the squash in the last hour of cooking or cook it separately. I hope that helps!
I can only speak to the “revamped” recipe but I made this last night and it was delicious! I didn’t have chipotle powder so I used the suggested substitute of paprika and cayenne. It did take a little longer to cook the squash than indicated, so I ended up adding another cup of liquid about halfway through. So yummy, I love finding meatless meals to include in our rotation. I think you could easily stretch this a bit with another can of your favorite kind of bean.
This is delicious! I added roasted corn, and I also roasted the butternut squash first because I love the way roasting enhances the flavor of vegetables. What a great, easy meal, and it’s so full of nutrition!
Absolutely love this recipe. I added a bell pepper, an extra can of beans, and some kale. This is super easy to throw together, flavorful, and satisfying. Thank you!