Butternut Chili - Spicy 'n Sweet

Gluten free chili recipe
One of my favorite chili recipes- with
butternut squash. Sweet and spicy. 

New Year's Day is almost upon us. Rather than wax nostalgic and dreamy about the bumpy (and enlightening) year I've had, I'd rather post a simple recipe I know you'll love. Making a pot of bean soup or chili to welcome in a freshly minted year is a tradition as old as the hills. From Italian Pasta Fagioli to homestyle southern Hoppin' John, beans somehow acquired the favorable reputation of attracting good luck.

Why? I haven't a clue.

But I do know this. Beans paired with cubes of winter squash make for one sweet and tasty chili. That, Dear Reader, you can take to the bank.

Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

This savory chili has a fresh, vibrant taste with a Southwestern twist. The secret ingredient? Lime. Adding a splash of lime juice just before serving brightens the flavor and teases your taste buds.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3-6 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
1 teaspoon each: cumin, chili powder and ginger
1 medium red or sweet onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 cups gluten-free broth
1 28-oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes, diced or broken up, with juice
1 cup chopped green chiles- mild or hot, as you prefer
2 14-oz. cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 14-oz. can white Northern beans, or red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar
1 large fresh lime- for juice and garnish


To assemble in a slow cooker:

Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the cooker; add the garlic and spices and stir to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or vinyl spatula (you don't want to mash the beans) to mix. Cover and follow the manufacturer's instructions for slow cooking a chili with canned (not dried beans). I cooked mine on low for five to six hours, for example.

To make on the stove top:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat (I would use a little more olive oil); add the spices, stir and heat through for a minute; add onions and stir for two to three minutes; add the remaining ingredients except the lime. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer; lower the heat and keep the chili at a slow simmer, covered; stir now and then, and check the consistency. Add a little more broth if needed, to thin. Cook for an hour or so until all the flavors have combined and the sauce is thickened and rich.

Before serving, squeeze in the juice from half a lime; stir. Taste test for seasoning adjustments - more lime? A pinch of salt? More heat? A touch more agave? You decide.

Serve piping hot, as is, or with a garnish on top.

Garnish Ideas:

Chopped fresh cilantro
Wedge of lime
Crumbled blue corn chips
Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream

Serves 6.


Try this gorgeous chili with my green chile studded Skillet Cornbread or Big Banana Muffins.

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Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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  1. Yum!! I LOVE lime, and I love the fact that this is a crock pot wonder. I am just getting ready to make my list to run to the store before yet another snowstorm hits us in the Northeast. Glad I checked your blog because I am making this!!

    Happy New Year!!!

  2. Chili with ginger - I love it! I just read your comment on the lime photo at flickr, which reminded me to check in at your blog to read about the secret ingredient! I can see what fruit was on your mind. Thanks for the great recipe, I will be trying this out.

  3. Sounds like a tasty, healthy recipe to end the year on- Thanks for sharing!

    Here's to a wonderful new year!

  4. What a great idea to use butternut squash in chili! It sounds just delicious. Thanks for linking to me; as you can tell I am not keeping up on the blog very well these days! So much to do and I'm really feeling the pressure of going back to work in (ack!) two more days. Happy New Year to you and Steve. Here's to a healthier year for you in 2008! Some day we will have dinner together in LA! (Or maybe if I do get to retire, I will drive down to New Mexico, wouldn't that be fun!

  5. Hi Karina,

    This sounds decadent. Between the squash, spices, the expectant warmth and all around yum-factor, I know this will fast become a favorite for me.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog. Have a great '08.

    Joan Hawley

  6. Heya SM! I hope you don't get dumped on too relentlessly. Alex is in Worcester, MA- so he may get it, too. Stay warm and safe. Have a fab New Year! xoxo

    Hi Alisa! Yes- love those limes. :)

    Hello Hannah! Happy, healthy New Year to you, too!

    Hola, Kalyn! School soon? Ack. Hang in there. And yeah- love to hook up in sunny Los Angeles. Hopefully, this winter? Thanks for the good wishes. Have a healthy, happy New Year, too! xoxo

    Thanks, Joan! Right back atcha! :)


  7. Looks delicious. I love that touch of lime--love adding it to anything I can. Adds such a fresh taste. Happy new Year--

  8. That does sound good!
    Happy New year!

  9. This sounds wonderful. I love the combination of ingredients. I happen to have a herd of butternut squash in the pantry and single digit temps outside--a bowl of this chili would be perfect right now! Happy New Year!

  10. oooh! This looks super-fabulous. I am going to head out to the store right this instant and get the ingredients to make it. (and the cornbread and the banana bread, too!)

    We went vegan for 2008 (almost there before but not quite) and that combined with our GF household can sometimes lack variety...

    Thanks for all of your awesome recipes! I can always count on you :)


  12. wow, I made this tonight and it is AMAZING. Thank you so much for your recipes, I'm recently diagnosed with Sprue, and your site and recipes are a god-send!

  13. Thanks, everyone- Let's hope this new year brings us all good health, peace, and positive change.



  14. I've been sick for a while and today I found out I was like allergic to like everything and I felt soo confused about what I can eat and this sounds so good and it has nothing I'm allergic to, I can't wait to make it!

  15. Kat- Welcome- and glad you found the blog. If you see any recipe you need help with, let me know in comments. Lots of ingredients can be subbed without too much trouble. I've had a little practice at it. ;)


  16. Anonymous09:14

    Hi Karina,
    I just wanted to show you the picture i have up of this delicious recipe- and i linked you, of course. I hope you don't mind!

  17. Anonymous09:15

    Sorry, forgot to include the link! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2287912&l=ff7242f6d8&id=683920863


  18. Anonymous00:27

    Thank Heavens I just found your website...and made this delicious B-nut Chili (I used both B-nut squash and Sweet Potatoes plus some TVP). As a very late bloomer in my late 50s, I've gone from pure animal protein and fats to Vegan in the last 2 months and honestly the change has been a little rocky. The soy overload has been a killer not having all the knowledge needed to get all the nutrition and actually like the food at the same time. Will incorporate your dairy substitutes and can't wait. Thanks again for this beautiful and healthy looking food!!!!

  19. Anonymous19:35

    I made this and it is soo amazing!
    I used Swanson Lower Sodium Chicken Broth... after reading the ingredients I guessed that it was GF.. but my stomach disagrees. Does anybody know?

  20. yes! beans and squash are particularly fantastic, especially in the winter. I'm a fan of delicatta squash, too

  21. what a great recipe. I went searching for a chili recipe high in veggies for a cook-off I am in soon. Found this and gave it a try. I added two more cups of squash, just so I can knock out the whole of squash. I love the inherent sweetness as it plays with the warmth. Great dish.

  22. Mine is in the crockpot right now! Longest 5 hour wait of my life. Thanks for the delicious recipes!!

  23. This is about the fifth recipe I've made from your site, and it was absolutely delicious. I crave this kind of dish in the fall - warm and comforting. It helps heal the sadness of summer ending. I used half a buttercup squash from my garden. Since I'm not vegetarian, I threw in two chopped bison sausages I just bought at Granville Island. Delicious! Many thanks for your creative and inspiring recipes. There is life without gluten!