Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash


This unique chili is a real crowd pleaser. Hearty and spicy, yet a little bit sweet, it is sure to satisfy. Kale, one of Dr. Fuhrman's favorite superfoods, is added for an extra antioxidant kick.

  • Recipe
  • My Notes
  • Nutrition Facts
  • Ratings & Comments (29)


2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons white wine or water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons pure ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups low sodium or no-salt-added vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste (see note)
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's MatoZest or other no salt seasoning blend, adjusted to taste
4 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, no salt added or low sodium, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, finely chopped
tabasco, to taste


In a covered soup pot, steam/saute the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and mushrooms in the white wine for 10-12 minutes, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent burning. Add the chili powders and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Add the squash, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, MatoZest and nutritional yeast, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender, adding the beans and corn about halfway through cooking time.

Meanwhile, steam/saute the kale in a small amount of white wine in a separate covered pan until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Taste the chili for spicing and adjust as necessary with chili powder, nutritional yeast or tabasco. Stir in the kale.

My Notes: (Click Edit to enter your notes about this recipe)

Serves 8

Per Serving:

Calories 267
Protein 17 g
Carbohydrates 48 g
Sugars 6 g
Total Fat 2.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 134 mg
Fiber 15.7 g
Beta-Carotene 5434 ug
Vitamin C 43 mg
Calcium 132 mg
Iron 5 mg
Folate 197 ug
Magnesium 131 mg
Potassium 1096 mg
Zinc 3.5 mg
Selenium 6.6 ug

My Rating: 
(click on a star to select your rating)


11/19/2012 05:14 PM

Rated this recipe:

This was awesome!! I think it will be the first recipe I try, even though it is ambitious, because it's worth the effort.

OK, tried it, and I would give mine only 4 stars. It tasted good, but a little sour, maybe from all the kale. Next time I would use a smaller bunch. I'd also use less chili powder and more cumin. Some curry powder would be good in it, too.
This comment was last edited on 11/27/2012 08:38 AM


12/03/2012 10:59 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Loved this chili...full of flavor and delicious..just back from the SF emersion and in the kitchen about to make this dish!


12/03/2012 11:03 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Loved this chili...full of flavor and delicious..just back from the SF emersion and in the kitchen about to make this dish!
I'd rate it 5 stars, but can't seem to post them !

Ms. Green Jeans

12/08/2012 05:46 PM

Rated this recipe:

I tried this chili at the SF Immersion, and it was great! Made it at home last night and it turned out perfectly. This is a wonderful recipe. The flavors are full and rich, and the salt eaters in my house enjoyed it as is. Definitely a 5 star dish!
This comment was last edited on 12/08/2012 05:48 PM


01/04/2013 02:48 PM

Rated this recipe:

I love this Chili!! It is so easy, quick and delicious!
I have made it 4 times since the Princeton Immersion and all my family members love it as well.

Thank You Chef James!


10/15/2013 09:58 PM

Rated this recipe:

Really a delicious chili recipe! The butternut squash and corn add just a touch of sweetness and the amount of chili and ancho chili powders are the perfect amount of heat without burning your mouth! Although if you are sensitive to any heat at all, I would recommend adding the chili and ancho powders a little at a time, to taste.

I omitted the MatoZest, and did not add any seasonings other than the cumin and chili powders because it was perfect as is. I also used unsalted vegetable stock instead of white wine (too many extra calories!) and I was too lazy to steam the kale separately, so I added it in with the beans and corn. I put about a tablespoon extra nutritional yeast in towards the end, just for flavor.

I will definitely be making this again!


01/27/2014 08:41 PM

Rated this recipe:

Our favorite of all of the recipes we have tried from this website. Very filling for the calories.

beans and greans

01/30/2014 09:04 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is one of my favorites. Haven't tried using the white wine. Leftovers are delicious!


02/06/2014 06:00 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is my favorite chili EVER. We used veggie broth instead of white wine. There is a lot of chili in this, so if you are sensitive about hot stuff, be sure to find a mild chili powder for those 3 Tbs the recipe calls for. It's nice to add avocado slices when serving. Fantastic!


03/04/2014 07:13 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Definitely a big hit with family and friends. Lots of flavor and just right spice-wise. Will make this again.


09/21/2014 09:18 PM

Rated this recipe:

I've been following a nutritarian diet for about 10 weeks and have tried about 15 recipes from this website thus far. This one by far is my favorite! It's simply amazing and the proportion of spices works well for me. I followed the recipe verbatim with the following a few exceptions. I didn't use any white wine (didn't have any) or MatoZest (didn't need any). I also wound up using a total of 5 cups of vegetable broth instead if 4. This recipe is FANTASTIC!


01/09/2015 01:18 PM

Rated this recipe:

Definitely a favorite. the spices are great and the squash adds sweetness. My husband is a SAD eater and chili lover but he eats this with no complaints. Its on my standard list of what to make as soon as weather gets colder. I usually just put kale in pot at end and steam instead of sauté with wine.


01/25/2015 05:08 PM

Rated this recipe:

I used a small can of fire roasted tomatoes for the 1 1/2 cups. I didn't measure it.. Used about 8 ounces of baby kale since that was what was available. Didn't have ancho chili powder so I used a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce chopped up. It might have made it hotter than the recipe. It was a little hot for us, but we still loved it.also used Kirkland no salt seasoning in place of the matozest. Needed to add more water. Didn't use any wine.


02/07/2015 09:38 AM

Rated this recipe:

This is by far one of my favorites! It is delicious! Filling, tasty.. it has everything :). I love it and so does my family and it is great for crowd size entertaining. Only positive results and I've made it 4 times so far.


04/27/2015 06:14 PM

Rated this recipe:

Made this last night. I'm two weeks into the six week challenge and was ready for a change of pace. It was great! I used low sodium vegetable broth instead of white wine. Other than that, followed the recipe. It made a large batch and I was able to freeze quite a bit of it to enjoy later.


05/02/2015 05:40 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is a great chili recipe!


01/14/2016 01:56 AM

Rated this recipe:

I followed the recipe except I added a tbsp of Mexican oregano, 8 ounces of chopped button mushrooms, and about a tsp of smoked paprika. I omitted the MatoZest because I didn't have any, and substituted about 2 tsp of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle (careful, it's hot). Toward the end, I added finely chopped lacinato kale (about 2 packed cups, less than the recipe called for) and served it with a dollop of homemade vegan sour cream and chopped green onion and cilantro. Usually I don't like a lot of veggies in my chili, and I often regret adding winter squash, but this one surprised me. The flavor was rich and the squash complemented the spiciness of the chiles. It made a very nice chili that filled my Instant Pot almost to the brim, so lots of great leftovers to freeze.


06/27/2016 08:48 PM

Rated this recipe:

Was way too sweet so I added 2 Tbsp ea rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and real lemon in bottle.


06/03/2017 10:46 PM

Rated this recipe:

Very good. I've tried some other chili recipes and was disappointed. This one tasted like chili. Yum! I substituted rainbow chard for the kale and simply added it raw to the pot for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking time.


11/10/2017 11:04 AM

Rated this recipe:

I've been running across a lot of bean and squash soups masquerading as something else here (called stews or chilis, or whatnot).  This is better than most, but frankly, they all taste about the same and the best are only OK.  This one seemed better probably due to the mushrooms.  I would rate it 3 out of 5.  OK, but not great.


06/06/2018 08:47 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is sooooo good!  I will make this again and again!!


09/12/2018 09:22 PM

Rated this recipe:

Excellent dish!  Our bi-weekly produce delivery contained a butternut squash, about half a pound of cremini mushrooms, and a bunch of kale. I found this recipe on the site and have always loved Chef James recipes so gave it a whirl and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed!  My chili powder is a mild blend so I added a teaspoon of chipotle chili to help give it some flavor. As others have stated I elected to use vegetable broth instead of wine where called for; I got a bottle of white wine from the refrigerator but elected not to let that demon out of the dungeon; and besides, my vegetable broth is homemade!  The final meal was a very pleasant balance of spicy and sweet. Thank you Chef James!


12/03/2018 12:12 PM

Rated this recipe:

just made this.. I cut the recipe in half because... well its Dr. F's site and everything is bigger. I used some already cooked squash and carrots so it reduced the cooking time. I took the recommendations to top with avocado slices and used chipolte no salt seasoning. Excellent stew for NH weather.

cindywell replies:

01/12/2020 06:59 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Did you cut everything 50 percent? Asking because it has good reviews but I'm making for 1.


07/21/2020 07:20 PM

Rated this recipe:

Fantastic! By far, my favorite recipe I've tried from the site so far.

This comment was last edited on 08/21/2020 11:01 AM


10/02/2020 10:39 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I was thinking of using frozen butternut squash, but if so, how much would I use, pray tell?  I might just take a chance on one bag and see what happens!


11/29/2020 05:26 PM

Rated this recipe:

I tracked this recipe pretty exactly except for tossing in an extra carrot and celery, and about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar at the end.  I used Penzey's medium hot chili powder and got plenty of heat.  Next time I might use a milder chili powder.  The ancho chili powder is a fabulous, indispensable ingredient in this chili.  




03/04/2021 01:55 PM

Rated this recipe:

Fanastic, new staple, would not change a thing!


11/03/2021 04:07 PM

Rated this recipe:

Delicious! I made half the recipe and it made a big pot full. Didn't have ancho chili powder, so I just left that out. Topped w/ fresh cilantro. Yum!


02/13/2022 09:32 PM

Rated this recipe:

Yummy recipe!  I did not have any ancho chili powder, so I used Mrs. Dash's Southwest Chipolte seasoning (half the amount)..  And sweet potatoes for the butternut squash. Even SAD hubby enjoyed it.  :)