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Harvest Squash Chili: Vegan + Gluten-Free

Harvest Squash Chili - Vegan + Gluten-Free

The weather is cooling, the winds are swirling and the leaves are starting to fall… It must be Autumn!

This Harvest Squash Chili makes for a perfect meal as we head into the cooler months. The combination of black and kidney beans gives this recipe a unique texture. In addition to the chili powder, cumin and paprika, I added cinnamon which gives a delicate seasonal flavor. Of course, the star of this chili is the squash. I chose to use kabocha squash, since that’s what we have growing in our garden, but most any autumn/winter squash will taste amazing in this recipe. (The only one I wouldn’t recommend using is spaghetti squash since it has a stringy texture.)


 A Few Tips:

  • Breaking down a squash takes some patience (and muscles!), so if you want to save time, buy squash that has already been chopped.
  • Use pickled jalapenos and brine in the recipe! Pickled jalapenos are sweet, salty and spicy – a great balance for the sweetness of the squash – and the pickling brine is a great alternative to vinegar.  
  • Make a double batch on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week. Not only does this save you time, but the chili may actually taste better the longer it sits (this is true of most soups).

This Harvest Squash Chili is warming, rich and especially satisfying through the autumn and winter months. Bon appetit!

Harvest Squash Chili - Vegan + Gluten-Free

Harvest Squash Chili


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 cups autumn squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon*
  • 2 14-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14-ounce cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon pickled jalapenos, diced
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeno brine or apple cider vinegar

* My favorite vegetable bouillon is Better Than Bouillion Vegetable Base available on Amazon. (You can sub in vegetable stock instead of water, but you’ll probably want to add more salt.)


  1. Saute onion and celery in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent – about 7 minutes. 
  2. Add autumn squash and chili powder and saute for another 7 minutes. 
  3. Add cumin, cinnamon, salt and paprika and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add 6 cups of water, bouillon, black beans and kidney beans. Cook on medium-low until chili thickens, about another 30-45 minutes.
  5. Add jalapenos and brine and stir. Enjoy!
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Harvest Squash Chili: Vegan + Gluten-Free
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