This Butternut Squash Chickpea Chili recipe can easily be made in your slow cooker or over the stove, and is packed full of veggies and protein. It's delicious on its own, or better yet, with a spoonful of mac and cheese!
Ohhhhh how I love chickpeas and today specifically, chickpea chili.
Are we still on the squash train? I know I am. Spaghetti squash, acorn squash and most definitely butternut squash—I want ALL of it. In recent years, I've come to really love butternut squash, as you may have noticed by my butternut squash smoothie or my butternut squash bread.
This butternut squash chili recipe is vegetarian and super cozy. All chili is cozy and warm in my opinion, but this is one more than others because it's topped with mac and cheese! Yes really. You can use store-bought or homemade mac and cheese, or keep it dairy free by whipping up my creamy vegan mac and cheese.
Better yet, this recipe can be easily be made in a slow cooker or over the stove, depending on your preference!
Butternut squash: Buying pre-cubed butternut squash will make your life a lot easier. I feel like the whole point of slow cooker/Crock Pot meals is to make the prep and cook time quick and efficient, and if you have to spend time cutting a whole butternut squash, it kind of defeats the purpose. Plus, most groceries stores sell pre-cubed squash.
Chickpeas: I always use canned chickpeas--just make sure to rinse them with water before dumping them into your slow cooker or the dutch oven.
Diced tomatoes: Technically speaking, any canned diced tomatoes will work. However, I've found that fire roasted diced tomatoes are the way to go if you want to add extra flavor to any dish.
Spices: Spices are key in any good chili recipe. This one calls for adobo sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. If you can't find adobo or don't have any on hand, harissa paste will work too.
Step 1: Place all ingredients into your slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until squash is tender.
Step 1: Sauté the vegetables. Add onions and garlic to a dutch oven or large saucepan, then add a little olive oil and sauté them over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Step 2: Add spices. Add the chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin and sauté for about 1 minute.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients and simmer. Pour the butternut squash, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, adobo sauce, and vegetable broth into the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork.
- sour cream or yogurt
- chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper
- vegan mac and cheese
If you're feeling extra like I was, you can add mac n cheese to your chili! No seriously, it's SO good--I highly recommend! It's not technically part of the recipe, but it's now my favorite way to enjoy chili. Nothing beats a big bowl of chili with a side of mac and cheese!
How should I store this?
Store chili in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, wait for it to cool and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 months.
Any easy substitutions?
You could use cubed sweet potato instead of butternut squash, and technically you can omit the adobo if you want, which will make the chili a little less spicy. Along those same lines, if you don't want it to be spicy at all, use 1/4 teaspoon of the chili powder and smoked paprika instead.
More delicious chili recipes
If you make this chickpea chili recipe, be sure to tag @thealmondeater on Instagram so I can see. Or, better yet, leave a star rating below!
Butternut Squash Chickpea Chili
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups butternut squash cubed
- 30 oz. chickpeas 2 cans, drained and rinsed
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes 1 can, fire roasted
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce I used marinara
- 2 tablespoon adobo sauce*
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in your slow cooker, stir then cook on high for 4 hours.
- Scoop chili into bowl and serve with a side of mac and cheese (totally optional but SO good).
- Add onion, garlic and olive oil to a dutch oven and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then, add spices and stir for 1 more minute.
- Add remaining chili ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer, place a lid on top and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash is cooked.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in November 2018. It was updated with new text in September 2020.