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+ servings
4.5 from 10 votes

Slow Cooker Black Bean, Butternut Squash & Quinoa Chili

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 6 -8 servings


For the chili:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle en adobo (about 1 pepper with juices)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 - 1 1/4 pounds peeled cubed butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
  • 1 14 or 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (don't drain)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed under running water in a fine sieve for about a minute
  • Optional toppings: Tofu sour cream below, chopped green or red onions, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, avocado slices, guacamole, hot sauce

For the tofu sour cream:

  • 8 ounces silken tofu
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • To make the tofu sour cream, simply place all ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend till smooth.
  • For the most flavorful chili results, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and a pinch of salt, to get the onions sweating. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and clear. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup water, the tomato paste, the chipotle en adobo, the chili powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne. Allow it to cook for one more minute, stirring to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  • Add the broth, black beans, squash, diced tomatoes and their juices, and quinoa to your slow cooker. Add the cooked onion, garlic, and spice mixture. Stir everything to combine well. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Before serving, give the chili a good stir and add some additional vegetable broth if you'd like it to be less thick. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve with toppings of choice.
  • Alternately, you can simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low. If you have the time, browning the onions and garlic will give you most flavor. See note for stovetop option!


Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, and can be frozen for up to 1 month.
To prepare on the stovetop, follow step 1 of the instructions, using a large soup pot instead of a sauté pan as your cooking vessel. Add the broth, black beans, squash, diced tomatoes and their juices, and quinoa to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the quinoa has cooked and all of the squash is very tender. Add some extra broth or water if the chili becomes too thick for your taste. Adjust seasonings and serve with toppings of choice.