Vegan black bean chili with butternut squash


I love my CSA. I really do. However, I do not love the amount of squash that I have eaten this fall as a result of my CSA. My palette is decidedly savory - I will always choose popcorn over candy, skip dessert in favor of a cheese plate, pick toast instead of granola, etc., etc., you get the point. So what's a savory gal to do with A LOT o' squash?

Well, step 1 is to make lots and lots of pumpkin bread, which your friends/family/neighbors will devour, and step 2 is to make this chili. By roasting the squash in advance and combining it with layers of smoky flavor, the sweetness compliments the chili rather than overpowering it (which is what I would usually think about a chili with squash in it). For all of you crazy squash lovers out there, there's still a very strong squash vibe in the chili - just not too much!


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced finely (feel free to remove seeds and membrane if sensitive to spice)
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers (Muir Glen makes a great option)
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced roasted squash, such as butternut or delicata
  • 6 oz soy chorizo crumbles or finely diced sausage (highly recommend Trader Joe's soy chorizo)
  • 1/2 cup cilanto, chopped
  • limes wedges, for squeezing
  • salt and pepper


In a large dutch oven or pot, warm 2 T of the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add onion, garlic, peppers, and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, until onions begin to turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add chili powder and bay leaf and cook for 1-2 minutes more to wake up the flavors. Add canned tomatoes, black beans, and 1-2 cans of water depending on how thick you like your chili. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. After it boils, reduce the mixture to a simmer and cook until flavors have melded, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, warm remaining 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Cook the chorizo in the pan, stirring as infrequently as possible until the crumbles become deeply browned and crunchy, about 10-15 minutes. The chorizo acts as a crispy topping so don't be afraid to let it get really dark - it will soften slightly when served in the chili.

After 45 minutes, taste the chili for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Stir in cooked squash.

Serve the chili in large bowls topped with crisped chorizo, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.