Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

A hearty and satisfying vegetarian chili full of smoky flavors and sweet butternut squash – perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Slow cooker vegetarian chili

Chili is one of my favorite go-to healthy meals because it is jam packed with flavor and nutrients. And my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili is proof you don’t need meat for a delicious chili. The protein and fiber from the beans and veggies are the very reason a little goes a long way and you’ll find yourself satisfied and full after just one bowl. Of course, if you have a second or third, I couldn’t judge you for it.

Butternut squash is meaty and delicate all at the same time which is why I love using it to beef up this vegetarian chili. And don’t forget the toppings – that is my favorite part! On any given day, I’ll add diced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, or homemade baked tortilla chips. And we already know how much I love to garnish with cilantro and jalapeños.

How to Make Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Liz dicing onion

Start your Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili by preparing all of your produce. Dice your onion, peel, deseed, and chop your butternut squash, and chop your adobo peppers.

Adding butternut squash to crockpot

Then add the diced onion, red pepper, and butternut squash to your slow cooker.

Seasoning added to crockpot

Follow with the chopped peppers, grated garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and oregano.

Adding broth to crockpot

Then slowly pour in your vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you aren’t a steadfast vegetarian).

Add fire roasted tomatoes

Add the can of roasted tomatoes (not drained).

Adding kidney beans to crockpot

Then your rinsed canned or fresh kidney beans.

Adding corn to crockpot

Finish with your fresh or frozen corn.

Seasoning with salt and pepper

And a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.

Liz mixing vegetarian chili

Stir everything together, then put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.

Spoonful of slow cooker vegetarian chili.

Serve your Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with some of your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Easy Substitutions

  • Switch the beans. Use white beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, or a mixture of your favorites!
  • Change out the squash. Use sweet potatoes, yams, or red potatoes in place of the butternut squash.
  • Reduce the spice. Not a spicy fan? You can reduce the amount of chili peppers you use, make sure you deseed them (where the heat comes from), or omit them entirely.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make Vegetarian Chili in the Instant Pot?

Place all of your ingredients in your Instant Pot, close and seal the lid, then set to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release or naturally release your pressure, serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Can you freeze Vegetarian Chili?

Yes! This is a great make ahead meal that you can freeze and then thaw when you need an easy meal and you don’t have time to cook. Put it in freezer safe resealable bags and it’ll last 3 months in a regular freezer, 6 months in a deep freezer.

How do I store leftover Vegetarian Chili?

Kept in an airtight container, it’ll be good for 4 days in the fridge. Or, like I mentioned above, you can freeze it!

Slow cooker vegetarian chili with butternut squash.

More Vegetarian Dishes

Like It, Eat It, Share It!

Did you try this chili? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials. Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.

Liz eating slow cooker vegetarian chili.

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, it’s good for you and the planet to make a meatless meal now and again, and this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili will make it so you don’t miss meat at all.

Your spoon is waiting.

Slow cooker vegetarian chili with butternut squash

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

4.26 stars average
A hearty and satisfying vegetarian chili full of smoky flavors and sweet butternut squash – perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 4 hours
TOTAL: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 14 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 14 ounces kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 cups butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (minced & remove seeds to lower heat)
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and heat on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  • Garnish with scallions, Greek yogurt, cilantro or crushed tortilla chips.


The chipotle peppers with adobo carry most of their heat in the seeds so scrape out if you want to keep the chili on the mild side.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 53.2gProtein: 11.9gFat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gSodium: 912mgFiber: 11gSugar: 14.4g

40 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili”

  1. I’m currently watching the timer on my Instant Pot waiting for my first bowl… the aroma of the veggie chili is AMAZING. Thanks for posting another winner!

  2. I thought this was really good, but really hot. Just to clarify, it calls for “2 in” chipotle peppers in adobo…what do you mean by “in”?

  3. I love this recipe. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make at the beginning of the week–no matter the season. I do use curry instead of cumin. I’m making this recipe tonight. However, because my husband did the grocery shopping today, instead of butternut squash, he picked up acorn squash. I will have to let you know how it goes.

  4. This was excellent. I didn’t have the adobo peppers so I used some chili flakes but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. My only modification if I were to make this again – and I will – would be to use less broth (maybe 1 cup, maybe even less). I had to drain quite a bit of liquid. It could be that the author drained the diced tomatoes before adding them but it was more like a soup than a chili. But again, delicious anyway.

  5. I was so excited to try this recipe as I recently started eating vegetarian about 5 months ago. I followed your recipe down to the letter, and after 4 hours of being cooked in my crock pot on high, it looks like soup? It’s incredibly watery and I even tried cooking it with the lid off for the last hour and a half, yet it still is so soupy. Not the thick chilli I am use to eating. Am I missing something here? Could this be because of the 2 cups vegetable stock? I’m very curious to know what could have gone wrong and how to correct it.

    1. Oh no… I’m so sorry this didn’t turn out for you Melissa! Did you substitute any of the vegetables or use any frozen vegetables? I know that can add more water. If that’s the case then yes, you can skip the veggie broth. Please let me know if this helps at all!

  6. This is my first time on your site. Let me first congratulate you on your weight loss.
    You were a lovely bride at your heavier weight, but you look marvelous, darling, at your new weight. Yes, a slow cooker is my friend. I becoming a bit of a squash nut in regard to my soup. So I think I have a bingo with this recipe.

  7. I roasted a large butternut squash last week, now I know what to do with part of it. 2 person family, so I will just have to make a smaller batch, thanks!

  8. Oooooh, my. That DOES look tasty!! ;) I’m thinking it would be amazing to use as a topping over a baked sweet potato, sling with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of scallions or chives! :-D

  9. Sounds like you and I are two peas in a pod. I’m a big chili fan from way back in my Weight Watcher days. You can add all kinds of ingredients to come up with a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs meal.

  10. I am right there with you. Chili is the best because you can throw everything in, walk away and then have a meal for not only one night but the future. It’s so easy to change it up too. Great recipe!

  11. This looks so good, I really just thought about licking the screen. Then I mentally combed through my pantry, and I have now decided I need to head to the store. Chili is a big fave in our family and this one looks fantastic.

    1. Liz DellaCroce

      I would never judge you for licking the screen!! PS: Congrats on the FoodBuzz shout out yesterday! Loved seeing that in my inbox!!!

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