A healthy vegetarian chili soup made entirely in the crock pot. This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili Soup is an easy meal for lazy, chilly days.
We are in full on slow cooker season around here. Last week I shared this Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna, today we have Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili Soup, and next week I have another super easy crock pot recipe to share. And those are just the new recipes that I’ve been working on for the blog. I’ve also been making my tried and true favorite slow cooker recipes during the past few weeks. I’m putting that kitchen appliance to work!
Judging by all of the slow cooker meals that I’ve seen popping up on my favorite blogs, I know I’m not the only one making good use of my crock pot this winter season. And with good reason – it is just so convenient to start dinner in the morning or early afternoon and have it ready when you are. Plus there’s the way that your house smells amazing all day as dinner slowly cooks away.
For this soup I took some of the ingredients and flavors of traditional chili as my inspiration, but then totally switched things up. I added bite-size cubes of butternut squash, which become soft and tender as they simmer away. Quinoa adds great texture as well as protein. Extra vegetable broth turns this chili into soup, warming you up even more.
For the beans, when I first made (and photographed) this slow cooker chili soup I used cannellini beans. While it was delicious that first night, the chili needed something more so the second day I added in some black beans. That was it! Perfection. I’ve included both cannellini and black beans in the recipe below.
This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili Soup is a little spicy, but not overly so. I buy most of my spices from Penzey’s, and I keep their medium-hot chili powder on hand at all times. I added just 1 ½ teaspoons of medium-hot chili powder to my soup and it was perfect. If you’re using mild chili powder, I’d recommend adding a full tablespoon.
We enjoyed this as a vegetarian meal, but you could certainly add two chicken breasts along with the rest of the ingredients and then shred the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces before serving. Either way, this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili Soup is a warming, light dinner and the leftovers make great lunches. I served this with my favorite easiest-ever 100% whole-wheat biscuits. You won’t want to miss that recipe, which will be coming very soon. 😉
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large (about 3 lbs.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 ½ tsp. medium-hot chili powder or 1 tbsp. mild chili powder
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
- Place onion, butternut squash, quinoa, cannellini beans, black beans, and diced tomatoes in the bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon over the top. Stir gently. Pour in broth.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Gently stir to make sure everything is well combined. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro.