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lentil butternut squash chili recipe in a bowl

Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 19 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American


Warm up with a bowl of this hearty veggie chili. Packed with nutritional all-star lentils and fiber high butternut squash.  It’s so cozy and belly warming good.


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 7 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Optional for Serving:

  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Red onions
  • Sour Cream
  • Something spicy


  1. In a 6-quart heavy duty stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes or just until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add lentils, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring nonstop.
  3. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are soft around the edges but firm to bite. Liquid will also slightly reduce.
  4. Add butternut squash and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. You might also want to taste for salt here and add more, if needed.
  5. Stir in beans and cook just until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Check squash for doneness. It should be knife tender. Discard the bay leaf and serve with toppings of choice.


  • Lentils: I like to use brown or green varieties of lentils. They’re the most basic type of lentils and easy to find at the store.
  • Tomatoes: I prefer to use no-salt diced tomatoes as I like to control the amount of salt I add to the chili. You can certaintly use salted tomatoes. Just watch how much salt you add.
  • Beans: Swap out red kidney beans for pinto or black beans.
  • Extra Add-Ins: This chili is very versatile and you can add more flavor with any of these add-ins: diced green chiles, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, fresh jalapeño, and something smoky such as smoked paprika or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Leftovers: Leftover chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing Instructions: Transfer cooled chili to a freezer safe container or bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 328
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 628.8 mg
  • Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.6 g
  • Protein: 19.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg