Emily’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili in Pumpkin Bowls

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 7, 2010

Good evening :)

Today was a whirlwind, but a productive whirlwind. I think this gorgeous weather is helping me get my groove back…!


It felt like Summer out there today!

My running jacket and gloves were left behind for a tank top and shorts. Sa-weet.

The run:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: 33:29
  • Avg pace: 8:20 min/mile
  • Splits: 8:38, 8:25, 8:13, 7:52


I’m currently shopping for my first 5km race! Hopefully I can find one in October. :)

My reward was a dinner that only dreams are made of…


Folks, start your engines.

Emily’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili in Pumpkin Bowls

Adapted from Emily @ The Front Burner.


  • 3 mini pumpkins
  • 1 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups black beans (1 lg can), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Sea salt, Spicy Herbamare, and pepper to taste


Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Take mini pumpkin and slice the top off about 3/4 of the way up. Scoop out insides of the pumpkin using a grapefruit spoon. This part takes a long time- about 10 minutes per pumpkin so budget your time wisely. Save and rinse the pumpkin seeds to roast them with some olive oil and salt if desired. When your pumpkin’s are empty and cleaned out, brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle on sea salt and ground pepper to your heart’s content. You will be eating the pumpkin flesh so you want it to taste delicious! Now pop your pumpkins onto a baking pan and into the oven for 30 minutes. While they are roasting in the oven, make the chili. In a large pot, add the oil and turn heat to medium. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes or so. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning. Now add the chopped pepper and butternut squash. Cook for about 12-15 minutes. Now add in the drained and rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, vegetable broth, and S & P and stir well. Simmer on low-medium for another 5 minutes. Now remove your pumpkins from the oven and fill the bowls 3/4 of the way full. Place pumpkins carefully back into the oven (again without top) and bake for another 30 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn oven off and leave pumpkins in the oven with lid on to stay warm. They will stay hot in the oven for another hour if necessary. Serves 3.

Only during the Fall could you take your centrepiece and turn it into DINNER!



Did I tell you the other day I Googled: ‘Is it possible to eat too much pumpkin?’

I’m not proud of this.


I did not have a grapefruit spoon so scooping out the inside of the pumpkin proved to be rather difficult.

And by rather difficult, I mean that I wanted to poke my eyes out because it took so long.


Those pumpkin guts are ruthless I tell you! So many strings so little time.

But luckily this recipe is well worth the effort.

You simply cannot go wrong with the ingredients in this recipe. It’s like they were created to be together, working in harmony in this chili.


After adding the diced tomatoes, veggie broth, seasonings, etc…




My house smelled so delicious, I thought I was in Martha’s studio for a minute! Not that I know what Martha’s studio would smell like, but trust me, I have dreamed about it.


Ok, now I just sound creepy.


Fill it up about 3/4 of the way (not as much as I did!).

My overflowing pumpkin chili made for quite the juggling act when I carried it onto the deck for the photoshoot. I’m pretty sure I would have let my SLR drop before this bowl of chili too. ;)


Every good bowl of pumpkin chili needs a hat.


The awesome thing about these chili bowls is that they trap in a ton of heat!!!


As a result, I think this was the first hot meal I have had in a while. ;)


In case you are wondering, you most certainly eat the inside of the pumpkin! It was so delicious scooping a bit of the pumpkin flesh along with the chili into one delicious bite.


In conclusion:

1) One of my favourite Fall dinners yet.

2) Please make this weekend. You will oooooo, you will ahhh, you will shed a tear of delight. Or maybe that’s just me.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

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Reka October 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Wow! To use the pumpkin as a bowl, what a great idea Angela! Why didn’t I think of that one? :)
I love your creativity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and just a note: I’m glad you didn’t poke your eyes out :)


Halley (Blunder Construction) October 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

YAY! Congrats, Angela!! First, for progressing to the next challenge of Project Food Blog & second, for making the cutest darn bowls of chili I’ve ever seen.


Diana @ frontyardfoodie October 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Oh how adorable! I just baked a massive pumpkin the other day and the insides ARE hard to get out all the way! Though it’s worth it just for the seeds……


Amykinz (foodie4healing) October 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

That is the cutest little soup spoon I’ve ever seen! Where did you get it?


Jennifer October 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

So, can you eat too much pumpkin???????????????????


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

I stopped reading after I read my arm and ear would fall off.


The info is mixed, but it looked like it could takes MONTHS of high levels of pumpkins, orange squash, carrots etc for any ill effects. Not sure on this one though.


Jennifer October 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

This looks incredible. I need a little break from pumpkin. Maybe a day, I love it too.


Amy @ purewellnessamy October 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I”m making this right now and I thought I’d share a tip I recently learned about preparing squash/pumpkins: to make them easier to cut, place them whole on a cookie sheet in the oven *while it’s preheating *(about 10 minutes). It’s like a warm knife through butter! Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it is much easier to cut through :-) I prepped three mini pumpkins in 10 minutes. I used a combination of sharp knife and spoon to slice through the strings and seeds, too.

I have to ask though, did all of the chili fit in your 3 mini pumpkins? I have a bunch of chili still simmering away in the pot. I guess I bought super-mini pumpkins…


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2010 at 8:39 am

great tip!

Yes my pumpkins were quite large so it filled up 3 pumpkins :)


candacegrace @ http://infitation.wordpress.com/ October 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

This recipe looks awesome. Now I’m on the hunt for bowl sized pumpkins!
Thanks for posting :)


Melody October 11, 2010 at 10:52 am

I tried this and I loved it. Only difference was that I added some ground turkey meat and pasta…because I found the CUTEST pasta shape ever…stars! I never knew how hard it could be to cut through a pumpkin. It helped to put the pumpkins in the oven for about 10 minutes and then let them cool for another 10 before trying to cut through. I saved the seeds to roast.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2010 at 8:39 am

great tip about cutting the pumpkins!


Alexia October 11, 2010 at 11:05 am



Marion October 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

This recipe looks so yummy!!! It’s like heathly comfort food! Thanks Angie!

I didn’t have time to make it this week-end and I’m planning to cook it this week. Do you think I can prepare the chili ahead and leave it in the fridge? What about the pumpkin? Could I roast the pumpkins in the morning and cooking with the chili inside at night?
Help, please!

Have a great day! It’s so sunny in Montreal, it’s beautiful!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

Yes you can certainly prepare the chili ahead of time! I’m sure you could do the same with the pre cooking of the pumpkins too, although not positive


Kelsi October 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

I love the idea of soup in a pumpkin. Sounds so warm and cozy. Great pics!


Beth September 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

Have you ever made this chili without the pumpkin bowls? I’m thinking about a weeknight meal, and the pumpkins might make this tough. Is the chili good sans pumpkin bowl? Hoping so…


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I haven’t tried it, but I think it would be!


Shorty September 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Go to the dollar store and pick up an orange plastic pumpkin “scooper” ..sometimes they sell it in a kit, the knife is included…. It works like a charm…the plastic edging scrapes the pumpkin “guts” out…it took me only a couple mins to clean out the lil pumpkin.


Angie September 25, 2012 at 7:32 am

I plan to serve these at our Thanksgiving gathering. Just wanted tod ouble check onthe temperature that the pumpkins are roasting at. Thanks!


Karen October 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I cant wait to try this…all your recipes have been delicious thus far!


Meg November 7, 2012 at 2:00 am

This looks so amazing I can’t wait to make it! I can’t find the right size pumpkins anywhere though, do you think I could just add some roasted pumpkin in?


Nat January 14, 2013 at 4:40 am


Looks like an amazing receipe, thank you so much for sharing it! Your blog is such a good source of good healthy vegan cooking and l have tried at least half of the recepies! (you know how much that is..). Amazing. But l do have a question…you did not say what is the heat I should bake the pumpkins in the oven (in the start and later)?

Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Oops sorry about that Nat! It should read 350F…fixing now :)


Kim November 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Two words: Melon Baller

I don’t have a grapefruit spoon but I DO have a melon baller. That sucker made SOOPER quick work of the pumpkin innards–I’m talking, llke, less than 2 minutes to have each one perfectly cleaned out. Easy peasy! That’s my tip!

Eager to see how this turns out. It’s my first time cooking with butternut squash!


Robyn December 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

I didn’t know there were special spoons for grape fruits but I have found the easiest way to scoop out the guts of a squash is with an ice cream scoop. Takes no time at all.


Mirjam February 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Thank you so much! This was absolutely delicious! I’m going to have this very often.


esther November 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm

i have made this soup every year for the past three years. my family loves it!! i add ground turkey and use chicken broth


Eileen November 2, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I had a lone butternut squash lying around and thankfully found this recipe. I made just the chili without the mini pumpkins but I will definitely make the full recipe at some point, as the chili was amazing. I served it over some quinoa but it would have been plenty filling by itself. I doubled the recipe to freeze some for later and, strangely enough, couldn’t find a second butternut squash at Whole Foods so I subbed with an acorn squash which worked out great. The only other difference is that I used smoked paprika instead of regular and that added another nice layer of flavor. Thank you so much for all your wonderful vegan recipes!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Hi Eileen, I’m so happy it worked out! I love your swaps :)


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