SWW™ Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

SWW™ Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

This chili freezes well, so think of it as making a gift for your future self. Feel free to use whole, crushed, or diced tomatoes (although note that each will have a different texture). If you prefer more of a soup than a chunky chili, use more water or broth as it cooks down or when you reheat it. You can also use chicken, beef, or veggie broth. This recipe will work with any type of ground meat like beef, chicken, or turkey.


SWW™ Butternut Squash Chili Recipe



1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 small onion, finely diced

1 pound of ground meat

1 pound butternut squash, diced 

1 clove garlic, crushed 

4 cups water or broth, plus more as needed

1 28-ounce crushed or chopped tomatoes

2 tsp. cumin 

1–3 tsp. chile powder*

1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika (optional)

1/8 tsp. sea salt 

2–3 cranks of freshly ground pepper



  • Saute the onions in the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot like a Dutch oven for three to five minutes on medium-high heat or until they have some golden color on the edges. Add the butternut squash, ground meat, garlic, and spices and cook for another two to three minutes (careful not to burn the garlic). 

  • Add the water and canned tomatoes and let simmer on medium heat for 35 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender. You can also cook this on medium-low heat for up to an hour. This also works in a slow cooker or in an Instant Pot. Follow the directions for cooking chili. 

  • Garnish with toppings of choice. Store for up to five days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. 

    *FAMILY NOTE: Adding the chili powder is your personal preference. Taste and adjust as needed. Serve with rice, polenta, or quinoa. You can also make this vegetarian by using whatever cooked beans or legumes you have on hand: Kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, black beans, or lentils all work well.



  • Store bought butternut diced squash works well. Cooking pumpkin and kabocha squashes also work. 

  • Craving greens? Add greens like a bunch of chopped kale or a box of baby spinach, or at the end of the cooking process. 

  • Chili topping + serving ideas: Plant-based yogurt, cilantro, scallions, thinly sliced radishes, grain-free tortilla chips, avocado, or a squeeze of lime juice. 

  • Want a more substantial meal? Serve it on top of a bed of spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. 

  • Pro tip: Don’t have the spices? A taco seasoning packet also works well; Siete Foods is delicious. 

  • To freeze, store in an airtight container. Note: Add greens when warming up.


Recipe developed for SWW by Carla Contreras