dinner · Meatless Monday · vegetarian

Pinto Bean Chili with Corn and Winter Squash

I know we’re still two days out from September 1st, but I can’t contain my excitement any longer.

I’ve decided to give you all a sneak peek at what’s to come for “Squash September”. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, I’ll give you a rundown on what Squash September really is:

  • A month full of squash recipes.

Wow. I guess I didn’t really need bullet points for that. Is it okay to use bullet points for just one thing? No? That defeats the purpose of bullet points? Whatever. It’s okay to do that in my book.

Anyway, each September I take the entire month to post nothing but squash recipes. They span the whole gamut of foods: savory, sweet, entrees, side dishes, salads, appetizers, etc. I’ll use any squash I can get my hands on: butternut, acorn (my fave), yellow/summer, kabocha, pumpkin, spaghetti, pattypan, zucchini, etc. chili10

I love squash, and I want you to love it, too. So join me on this adventure through September! Grab the closest squash to you and make whatever your heart fancies. I probably should have posted this recipe yesterday for Meatless Monday (oops), but I decided to at least try and get a little closer to September 1st.

This recipe welcomes you into fall with it’s hearty, warm flavor. It’s a vegetarian chili with a Mexican twist that makes you completely forget that chili tends to need meat. Nope—the meat is not missed at all in this recipe!chili1

Pinto Bean Chili with Corn and Winter Squash

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBS. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 (16 oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • crumbled queso fresco and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Combine the cubed squash, onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper and cumin in a 5 quart slow cooker. Mix well. Add the pinto beans, corn, tomatoes and green chiles in slow cooker, add water and stir until everything is well combined.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until slightly thickened and squash is tender. Sprinkle each bowl of chili with queso fresco and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with lime wedges.

Step-By-Step Instructions


First, peel and cube your butternut squash. I recommend peeling the squash AFTER you cut the squash in half. Otherwise it’ll be slip n’ sliding all over the place and you’ll risk cutting your fingers off.


In a five quart slow cooker, combine the squash cubes, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt and cumin. Stir and mix well.


Dump all of your canned veggies into the crockpot: pinto beans, corn, tomatoes and green chiles. Give that concoction a good whirl with your spatula to combine everything real good.


Pour your water into the crockpot…


…and stir it all together onnnnnnneeeee more time. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until that squash is tender.


This is definitely the best vegetarian chili I’ve ever tasted. I think the squash adds the chunky thickness that you’re missing from the meat. I’m also a huge fan of beans, so the more beans the better in my chili is what I always say. Tasty!







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