Squash & Sweet Potato Chili

vegan comfort food

In the New Year, it seems that all you hear about is how to “cleanse” yourself of all of the “bad” food you ate during the holidays. I hate reading these articles. All of this stuff is in your head! Your body does a great job of cleansing itself, I promise you, and eating a specific way is really all about making you feel better mentally, unless you’ve been subsisting on a diet of solely pizza and Oreos, and let’s be real, we’ve all been there. I posted my crispy pork belly recipe on Wednesday, and today I’m bringing you a dish that is about balance, not any sort of cleanse. This squash and sweet potato chili is hearty, healthy, and satisfying. It’s got tons of vitamins and will make you full without feeling sluggish, but you don’t have to worry about meeting some kind of New Year’s diet resolution because, come on people, this is a chili composed entirely of vegetables. Okay, I lied. There’s a little beer in here. But it’s chili, after all. You can absolutely use vegetable stock instead, but I’m sure that we all have one single, solitary beer hanging out in our fridge – let’s put it to good use, shall we? I used delicata squash in this chili, and if you’ve never heard of it, I highly recommend that you make yourself familiar. It’s sweet, nutty, and best of all, requires absolutely no peeling, due to its paper-thin skin. It’s pretty, too, with its green and yellow stripes. It tastes similar to an acorn squash, but maybe a bit less sweet, but I added some agave nectar to the chili to bring out its natural sugars and highlight its nuttiness. The sweet potatoes can be substitutes for yams or regular potatoes, but they have some of the highest nutritional value of any vegetable out there, so I used ’em. Kramer, usually pretty staunchly opposed to an entirely vegetarian meal, loved this chili, and even ate it happily as leftovers (he actually suggested that we thaw out the portion I had frozen and eat it, which surprised and delighted me). I served mine over rice, but it’s great on its own or with some nice, crusty bread. See? Eating your vegetables doesn’t have to be so bad.

Squash & Sweet Potato Chili
Just dice up whatever root vegetables you’re using, saute them with your shallots and garlic, add your tomatoes, beer, and herbs, and simmer for an hour or so, until everything is softened. It’s really that easy.

Squash & Sweet Potato Chili
Serve with rice and enjoy hot!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Squash & Sweet Potato Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
A hearty vegan comfort dish with a hint of curry powder and a touch of agave nectar.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more as needed)
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 delicata small squash (or any other squash; I like delicata because you don't have to peel it), diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cloves garilc, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes (I used whole tomatoes and broke them up with my spoon, but you can use diced or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 12-ounce beer (preferably something with a bit of body, like an amber ale)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • rice (for serving)
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add in your shallot, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in your squash and sweet potatoes with a splash more olive oil, and cook until a bit browned, another 5 minutes or so. Add in your garlic and stir for 1 minute, then add in your tomatoes, beer, curry powder, agave, paprika, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmering (medium or medium-low, depending on your burner), cover, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn't burn to the bottom, for an hour or so, until the squash and potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over rice, with some crusty bread, or on its own. This chili freezes well - just thaw it out in the fridge a day before you want to use it, reheat, and enjoy.


17 Responses

  1. I just made a very similar chili, it was delicious! I love the sweet potato flavor in the savory chili. Have a great weekend!

  2. Sweet potatoes in chili are soooo good! And squash in there, too. Oh this looks like such a keeper!

  3. Definitely just Pinned this recipe – sounds and looks fantastic!

  4. Madelaine says:

    Amen – the cleanse talk irritates me to no end. It’s all about balance! This looks delicious!

  5. Deb says:

    What a great dinner for a freezing cold winter evening! Adore all the seasonal veggies paring with the warm spices!

  6. Yum! I love this. I can never make curry look that good. Such a beautiful recipe.

  7. Fantomenos says:

    Just made this, really enjoyed it. I used coconut oil, 2 delicata squashes, and a small pumpkin that I roasted before-hand and added at the end. Oh and I used PBR for the beer, because it won a blue ribbon.

  8. This looks so hearty and comforting! So glad it’s full of veggies too – I really need to do some more clean eating – my skinny jeans are getting way too tight.

  9. Lisa says:

    Where did you find the delicata? I’m in NYC as well but haven’t seen it in months and it is my favorite!

  10. g says:

    I think I need to make this ASAP!

    Two questions: can I sub honey for the agave, and do you think I could make this in the crock pot (or would that make the veggies too mushy/overcooked)?

  11. Midge says:

    Voted for you.
    Love the bread. I started making bread when I first got married many years ago. I love how you just do it. You can’t overthink bread or you surly will fail.
    Keep up the good entertainment, love your blog

  12. WTCW #87 says:

    […] I am really working on getting back into a meatless Monday routine.  I think squash and sweet potato chili is a good recipe to help with that […]

  13. Gray-C says:

    d e l i ci o u s!
    it tasted so much like Chili, I almost forgot there was no meat in it. truly a heavenly dish for when it’s freezing outside. it was so good, my housemates and me even ate the left-overs without rice, just like that, out of the sauce pan. thank you very much for sharing this recipe!

  14. bobdkingg says:

    So many delicious desert recipe… Thanks for sharing :) I bookmarked this..

  15. […] comfort food can be flattering good for you, as The Crepes of Wrath shows with this dish. Simmering honeyed potatoes, squash, and tomatoes for an hour or so creates […]

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