Today’s Meatless Monday recipe is brought to you by my dear friend and client Leila. She brought us meals more than once during the weeks following our boys’ births and deaths. This recipe she was a little nervous about because she was just starting the adventure of vegan cooking but it turned out great! This chili is very tasty and it’s even nice for summer because it’s lighter than a traditional chili- with pinto beans replacing kidney beans, and a light tomato base- and the corn is sweet and in season. Enjoy!

Pinto Bean Chili with Corn and Butternut Squash

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups chili + 1 lime wedge)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups (1/2 inch cubed and peeled) butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (can use frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chilies, not drained
  • 6 lime wedges


Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in a 5 quart electric slow cooker. Add butternut squash and next 6 ingredients (through chilies). Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender and chili is thick. Serve with lime wedges.