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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 16 cups

This butternut squash and bulgur vegan chili is rich, complex, and oh-so-satisfying. A combination of poblano chiles, jalapeños, cocoa powder, and warming spices give this hearty stew a mole-inspired flavor profile that warms you up from the inside out. Grains of bulgur wheat soak up all the delectable seasonings to create a meaty texture that’s made even more substantial with the addition of nutrient-dense pinto beans. Top each bowl with a crunchy garnish of roasted pepitas, cilantro, and scallions for the ultimate bowl of comfort food.

Butternut-Bulgur Chili in blue bowls with quartered butternut squash on the table next to the bowls


  • 4 lb. roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 4 fresh poblano peppers, halved, stemmed, and seeded
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, halved, stemmed, and seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (½-inch cubes)
  • 2 15-oz. cans no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained (3 cups)
  • ¾ cup uncooked bulgur
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted pepitas
  • Sliced scallions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two large shallow baking pans with parchment paper or foil. Spread tomatoes, onions, poblano halves, jalapeño halves, and garlic on prepared pans. Sprinkle with vinegar. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes or until poblanos and onions are slightly charred. Cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 6-quart pot combine the next eight ingredients (through cumin). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer roasted vegetables, in batches, to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Transfer to pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve chili topped with pepitas, scallions, and cilantro.

Comments (2)

(5 from 2 votes)
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Allyson12 hours ago
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Yummmm!!!! This is going into the fall rotation for sure! So many great flavors!! I left the veggies and tomatoes a little more chunky, and it was a great bite!! Definitely add pepitas on top!

Nick Denbow7 months ago
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Sorry guys, no metric conversion really alienates me.

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about the author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.

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