Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The perfect meal to make once and have at least twice, this butternut squash quinoa chili is filled with plant protein for a filing and delicious meal. Don’t tell anyone but I also eat it like nachos with my favorite grain-free tortilla chips! 




  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 1  cup quinoa, rinsed and drained*
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • A little bit of salt to taste
  • optional toppings: sliced avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, micro greens, pumpkin seeds, cheese



  1. In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic, chili powder, chopped chipotle peppers, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the bay leaf, black beans, tomatoes and their juices and broth.
  4. Stir to combine and cover for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In the last 15 minutes, add the quinoa and stir to combine.
  5. You’ll know your chili is done when the butternut squash is nice and tender and the liquid has reduced a bit, producing a thicker, hearty chili. Remove the bay leaf and add salt to taste.
  6. Serve the chili in individual bowls, top with avocado. I added microgreens for extra nutrition and a pop of color.


**If you already have cooked quinoa on hand, add it to the chili in the last few minutes of cooking.