Wooden spoon in a pot of Butternut Squash Chili alongside ingredients used to make it
4.82 from 43 votes

1-Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

Incredibly delicious, 1-pot chili with butternut squash, fire-roasted tomatoes, quinoa, and two kinds of beans! Hearty, flavorful, and so easy to make!

Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6 (Entrée servings)
Category: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-6 Days



  • 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil (sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (minced // remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (DIVIDED // plus more to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder (DIVIDED // chili powder should be a blend of spices, not entirely ground chilies)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin (DIVIDED)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 15- ounce cans fire-roasted (or regular) diced tomatoes (if unsalted, add more sea salt to taste)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (sub up to half with water for lower sodium // plus more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 15- ounce can kidney beans (slightly drained)
  • 1 15- ounce can black beans (slightly drained)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (for heat) (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped kale (or other sturdy green) (optional)

FOR SERVING optional


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, and jalapeño pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

  2. Add garlic and sauté (stirring occasionally) for 2-3 minutes more, or until onion, pepper, and garlic are softened and slightly browned.

  3. Add butternut squash, 2/3 of the chili powder (2 Tbsp as original recipe is written), half the cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), smoked paprika and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.

  4. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.

  5. Once boiling, add quinoa (see photo) and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it's at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don't want it boiling. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa is mostly tender. As it's cooking you may need to add more vegetable broth or water if it's looking too dry and the quinoa isn't submerged (I didn't find that necessary).

  6. Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and chili powder (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), coconut sugar, and stir to combine. If adding the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (optional), add now.
  7. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), cover, and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.

  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.
  9. Add kale (optional), cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Serve as is, or garnished with lime, chili cheese fritos (or tortilla chips), fresh jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, and/or avocado (all optional).

  10. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado oil and lesser amount of coconut sugar, and without optional ingredients or toppings.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 6 Bowls)