Butternut Squash Chili with White Beans

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeOFOil FreeVVegan
4.85 from 39 votes
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This Butternut Squash Chili is cozy, hearty, and made from simple plant-based ingredients to keep you nourished during soup season. Serve with homemade cornbread and your favorite toppings. Gluten-free and Vegan.

This Butternut Squash Chili with White Beans is filled with fresh squash, creamy white beans, bold spices, and a savory broth that melds all of the flavors together. It’s creamy, smoky, and the perfect cozy bowl of chili to warm you up during the cold days of fall and winter.

Table of Contents
  1. White Bean Chili with a Fall Twist
  2. What You Need for this Butternut Squash Chili
  3. How to Make Butternut Squash Chili
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Butternut Squash Chili
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Recipe FAQs
  8. Butternut Squash & White Bean Chili Recipe
butternut squash white bean chili served in a white bowl topped with slices of jalapeno and cilantro with a spoon dug in

White Bean Chili with a Fall Twist

In the past, I typically steered toward tomato-based chilis (see Classic Chili, Vegan Chorizo Chili, and Vegan Chipotle Black Bean Chili) for their thick, hearty, great depth of flavor. But when I first started experimenting with this Vegan White Bean Chili with Jackfruit, I realized that white bean chilis can be just as thick and creamy without the need for any cream at all. Now, don’t get me wrong. Classic chili is still a hearty meal I welcome year round, but white bean chili is an extra kind of special. This butternut squash chili ticks every box, and then some. It’s creamy from the combination of butternut squash and white beans, plus has amazing, deep, smoky flavor thanks to the toasted nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and fresh cilantro stems. Whether you serve it for a quick and easy dinner, make it for meal prep, or prepare it for a crowd on game day, this vegetarian chili is sure to be a hit!

What You Need for this Butternut Squash Chili

This chili is the epitome of minimal ingredients and maximum ingredients. It’s made start to finish with just 10 nutritious ingredients and 10 minutes of hands-on time. Here’s the main components:

ingredients for the butternut squash white bean chili laid out on a marble kitchen countertop
  • Butternut squash: Unlike my Pumpkin Chili that’s made with pumpkin puree, this butternut squash chili is made with fresh, cubed butternut. This squash can be found year-round in large chain grocery stores, but is most abundant during fall and early winter. 
  • White beans: I prefer navy beans in this chili, but Great Northern beans or cannellini beans would also work well. In a pinch, you could also use pinto beans or black beans. 
  • Nutritional yeast: Toasted nutritional yeast adds a deep, smoky flavor that truly makes this recipe. It’s cheesy without the dairy and contributes to the creamy, dreamy flavor. 
  • Broth: Vegetable broth works, but I highly recommend vegan chicken broth if you have access to it. Vegan chicken broth is filled with natural umami-rich flavors that add additional depth and savoriness to the chili. My favorite is Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base. 
  • Jalapeños: Despite this chili being made with 2 diced jalapeños, it’s on the milder side as we are de-seeding the peppers. If you’d like your chili to have more of a kick, leave a few of the seeds in and cook them into the chili, then serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for additional heat.

How to Make Butternut Squash Chili

side-by-side images of the butternut squash white bean chili in a pan before and after simmering
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, toast the nutritional yeast until darkened and fragrant. Remove from the pot and set aside. 
  2. Next, warm the oil in the pot, then add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown. 
  3. Add the cilantro stems, bell pepper, jalapeños, cumin, smoked paprika, and toasted nutritional yeast. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Season with additional salt and pepper, then serve immediately while warm and creamy.

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Dried beans must be cooked beforehand. This chili is made with 4 cups of cooked white beans. If you are using dried beans, cook 1 1/3 cups of dried white beans separately before adding them to the chili. Cooking beans from scratch requires a significant amount of water and time and won’t cook through properly during the short simmer. 
  • Adjust the consistency, as needed. White bean chili is meant to be thick and creamy, but if you prefer a thinner recipe, add an additional tablespoon of broth at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
a zoomed in photo of butternut squash white bean chili

Serving Suggestions

Just like my Classic Vegan Chili, I love enjoying this white bean chili topped with fresh herbs like cilantro or green onions, jalapeño slices, and an additional sprinkle of nutritional yeast. It’s the perfect hearty chili for weeknights, wholesome lunches, rainy weekends, or any occasion that could use a cozy bowl of goodness. Enjoy it as a standalone meal, or pair with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins or Classic Cornbread to take this hearty meal to the next level. 

If you’re looking for more cozy squash recipes, you’ll also love this Roasted Honeynut Squash, these Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells, and these Stuffed Acorn Squash with Mushrooms. You’ll also love these 20+ Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes

How to Store Butternut Squash Chili

Leftover chili will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months in the freezer. 

Once chilled, this chili will thicken considerably. Add a splash of broth before reheating in the microwave or a pot over medium-low heat on the stovetop until warm.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Oil-free option: Sauté the onions and peppers in 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth instead of avocado oil. Add more liquid to the pan as necessary if the aromatics begin to stick to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Milder option: Reduce the jalapeños, or replace with a milder pepper such as Anaheim peppers, roasted poblanos, or green bell pepper for a completely mild variation. 
  • Butternut squash substitution: Use another hard-skinned squash such as pumpkin, delicata squash, kabocha squash, or even acorn squash. The color of the soup will be slightly different, but it will be a similar creamy, nutrient-rich squash chili.
butternut squash white bean chili served in a white bowl topped with slices of jalapeno and cilantro with a spoon dug in

Recipe FAQs

Is this chili vegetarian?

This easy butternut squash chili recipe is not only vegetarian, but 100% vegan and gluten-free, too. It’s a great fall chili for all kinds of eaters.

Do I need to peel butternut squash?

Yes. Unlike sweet potatoes or acorn squash that don’t need to be peeled before eating, it is recommended to peel butternut squash before eating. If you’re new to cooking with fresh squash, check out this helpful tutorial: How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash.

Can I make this chili in the Instant Pot or slow cooker?

 I haven’t tested this specific chili recipe in a pressure cooker or slow cooker, but readers have shared success making this chili in the Instant Pot under manual high pressure for 5 minutes. If you are interested in Instant Pot or slow cooker recipes, you’ll like this Instant Pot Black Bean Soup and Slow Cooker Bean Quinoa Chili.

Can I use frozen or pre-cut butternut squash in the chili?

Absolutely. Both frozen and pre-cubed butternut squash are great options when you’re short on time and need a quick and easy meal prep. If using frozen, your chili may be slightly thinner, as frozen produce contains excess water.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Butternut Squash & White Bean Chili

4.85 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -5 Servings
This Butternut Squash & White Bean Chili is cozy, hearty, and made from only 10 plant-based ingredients! A yummy Vegan & Gluten-Free entree for chilly days.


  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro stems and leaves divided
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 large jalapeños deseeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups navy beans cooked and rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups butternut squash diced into 1/2” cubes
  • 3 1/2 cups vegan “chicken” broth or sub vegetable broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Toast the Nutritional Yeast (Optional): For a deeper flavor I highly recommend toasting the nutritional yeast! Warm a large pot over medium heat and add the nutritional yeast. Stir frequently and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until the yeast darkens in color and becomes fragrant. Remove from the pot and set aside; return the pot to the heat.
  • Aromatics: Warm the oil in the pot, then add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the cilantro stems, bell pepper, jalapeños, cumin, smoked paprika, and toasted nutritional yeast to the pot. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Simmer: Add the beans, butternut squash, and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to help break things down and reduce sticking.
  • Serve: Remove from the heat and season the chili with additional salt and pepper to taste, as necessary. Divide the chili into serving bowls and garnish with the chopped cilantro leaves, plus any additional toppings as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to two months.

Recipe Notes

  • Oil-Free: Sauté the onion and veggies in 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth instead of oil, adding more liquid to the pan as necessary if things start to stick


Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 18gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 956mgPotassium: 1329mgFiber: 24gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 14786IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 198mgIron: 6mg
Keyword: Dairy-Free Chili, vegan chili, White Bean Chili, White Chili
Course: Main
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine: American

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. 4 stars
    I made it in my instapot. It has good flavor and was easy. Once done in the instapot I just used a whisk by hand and it creamed the butternut squash but left everything else. If you divide into 5 servings each serving is 2 cups (I made it for the week for me).

  2. 5 stars
    Very satisfying, healthy fall meal. I used only one jalapeno but added extra spice with chili powder as was quite mild. Threw 2 minced cloves of garlic in with the peppers. Pureed half of pot in a blender which thickened it up nicely. Added a can of corn. Topped with cilantro and avocado. Nom!

  3. Hi, I just have bragg’s nutritional yeast (which is more like a powder, rather than flakes), would this still work? And if so, do I need to toast it still?

    1. Toasting will help develop a different flavor, and using more of a powder type nutritional yeast is fine and should still be lightly toasted!

  4. I am Terri Edwards, the blogger behind EatPlant-Based, and I love your website. Next month, I am planning to do a roundup of squash recipes for the upcoming fall season. I would love to include your Butternut Squash White Bean Chili recipe, if that is okay with you. This would mean using a photo, summary, and providing a link to your website for the recipe.

    Hopefully, this inclusion will be permissible, as we get ready to provide the best plant-based fall cooking resources with readers. Thank you for your consideration.

    Blessings & Kale,

  5. Obsessed!!! found this on pinterest this morning and it brought me to your blog! Went shopping and bought all the ingredients this morning and I am making it now for dinner. Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious and simple to make!!! We made it for lunch today – pureed half to make it more of a soup, and ate it with some crusty bread. Such a hearty and warming meal during the crazy Canadian weather we’re having here in Toronto! I am so excited to check out more recipes on your blog 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This is sooo good!!! It definitely has an almost-cheesy quality to it. It’s really satisfying. I lightly crisped some sliced jalapeños in a pan with a dash of salt until they were golden brown and topped my chili with them, along with the freshly chopped cilantro. It was great!

  8. I have celiac and my daughter made this for me as I have to pretty much gluten free. It was delicious so needless to say I saved the recipe

  9. I absolutely adored this! I blended half the soup with an immersion blender at the end for a more creamy feel. This is my new favorite, so flavorful and delicious!

  10. 4 stars
    I made this recipe last night…but I pureed the heck out of it and made a smooth, cozy soup. Made so much that I passed on a bit to my neighbor. Everyone loved it. Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! Even my non-vegan hubby loved it and he’s not always a fan of my vegan meals. I’ve forwarded the recipe on to my extended family so they can try it too. This is a new favorite and will definitely go onto my “Vegan Keeper Recipes” Pinterest board. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and it’s super great! For anyone wondering I used one med-large butternut squash and I had a bit left over. ???????? Thank you so much for this recipe Caitlin!

  13. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and really liked it! Super comforting and nice and healthy. It did turn out a little more soupy than I wanted so I think next time I’d use less broth.

  14. Out of curiosity, would it be possible to substitute the butternut squash cubes for puree from a can? If so, do you have a recommendation for an amount? Can’t wait to meal prep this for next week’s dinners!

    1. Hmm…that would be a very different end product, but it should work! I would add 2-3 cups of puree in with the vegetable broth, depending how thick and smooth you’d like the Chili to be x

  15. Chili is a comfort food that I’ve gained interest in only very recently because of my rekindled love for beans. I adored butternut squash since first trying it, but beans were always somewhat neutral to me. Didn’t love them, but I’d eat them if they were on my plate. Anyhow, I guess after becoming vegan, I realized how truly versatile and delicious beans are, not to mention nutrient-dense! This is such a fabulous recipe to marry butternut squash and white beans together. Can’t think of a more supreme combination for the cold sweater weather!