Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili is packed with big flavor in just one-pot thanks to sweet butternut squash, smoky roasted red peppers, and spicy chili beans.


The beauty of Beef and Butternut Squash Chili is that it IS possible to make a flavor-packed chili in less than 45 minutes. Of course, you can simmer longer to allow the flavors more time to marry. However, if you’re like my crew, sometimes it is just too hard to wait!

When I cook, I take as many shortcuts as possible to make my meal quickly while ensuring that it is flavor packed. Thankfully, this fall-flavored chili allows me to do just that! Many ingredients can be purchased pre-chopped to save on prep time. Plus, there is plenty of room for substitutions so that you can use ingredients that you have on-hand. Check out some of my clever tips below…

Clever Shortcuts for Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

With 2 little ones, I understand that sometimes taking shortcuts is key to dinnertime success. Here are a few ways that you can do a little prep ahead to make this butternut squash chili come together even faster:

  • Purchase precut butternut squash cubes or frozen butternut squash cube.
  • Prep your ingredients ahead. Cube butternut squash, chop onions, and drain beans, peppers and chilis. (If needed, here’s a great tutorial for cubing butternut squash.)
  • Make a double batch and freeze leftovers in 1-2 cup servings so it is easy to grab and reheat a serving or two of chili on a busy weeknight.
  • Sub ground turkey, ground chicken, meatless soy crumbles or ground pork for beef, if desired.
  • If you like a thinner chili, add a bottle of beer to the mix for a boost of flavor. Don’t worry, the alcohol will cook out as the soup simmers.


Love this chili? Let me know if you try it by rating and leaving a comment. Want to remember it forever? Pin the image below!!

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Beef & Butternut Squash Chili from Holley Grainger


Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

  • Author: Holley Grainger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Sweet butternut squash, smoky roasted red peppers, and spicy chili beans add big flavor to this simple, one-pot Beef and Butternut Squash Chili recipe.



  • 1 cup butternut squash cubes
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers (drained and coarsely chopped, 16-oz)
  • lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cans no-salt-added tomato sauce (8-oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles (drained (such as Rotel), 10-oz)
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed, 15-oz)
  • 1 can chili beans (27-oz)
  • ½ plain low-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream


  1. Place squash in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add water to a depth of 1/2 inch.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at HIGH 2-3 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion and red pepper; cook 3 minute or until onions are tender.
  5. Add beef, garlic powder, and chili powder; cook 5 minutes or until browned; stirring to crumble.
  6. Add butternut squash, tomato sauce, and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  8. Top with Greek yogurt.