Roasted Butternut Squash Beef Chili

Two bowls filled with roasted Butternut Squash Beef chili with butternut squash and a napkin on the side

This roasted butternut squash beef chili is a time-tested crowdpleaser! It is full of black beans, ground beef, roasted butternut squash, and classic chili seasonings.


  • 1, 2 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4” cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15 once can tomato sauce
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth*
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho Chile powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinse and drained


  1. Prep the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Discard the seeds and pulp. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash. Cut the butternut squash into 3/4″ cubes (see pictures in “how-to” section for additional instructions). The butternut squash cubes will be slightly uneven because butternut squash are uneven shapes. 
  2. Roast the squash. Arrange the cubes on two baking sheets. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until underside is deeply browned, about 15 minutes. Turn the slices over to roast until the edges are deeply browned and the squash cubes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Sauté the ground turkey (or beef) and onions. Heat a large 3.5 or 5-quart heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Break up the ground beef into small pieces and add it along with the onions and salt to the pan. Cook, stirring often until the meat is no longer pink and nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pan. 
  4. Add the seasonings and chopped vegetables. Add the finely chopped garlic, chili powder, ancho Chile powder, and oregano. Stir the mixture until the garlic and spices smell fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  5. Add the wet ingredients. Add the broth, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and black beans. Stir the mixture and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck at the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the roasted butternut squash. Add the roasted butternut squash to the chili mixture and bring the mixture back to a boil. Once the chili is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the chili for 40 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. 
  7. Serve. Serve the chili with cornbread, sour cream, tortilla chips, or alone. 


BROTH. If using ground beef, use beef broth. If using ground turkey, use chicken broth.