Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili (Gluten Free & Vegan!)


Happy Monday!

Today I am sharing a Lenten season favorite in my household —

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili!


I CANNOT take the credit for this recipe you guys. This is all my mom! I am just glad she is kind enough to let me share with you all 🙂


I also wanted to take a moment to talk about the importance of not placing TOO MUCH of an emphasis on food during the Lenten season. I am not an expert on this subject at all so I asked my Priest to share his words of wisdom. Thank you Fr. Jason for so kindly writing this up and letting me share!

“What are you giving up for Lent?”

For Orthodox Christians, Great Lent is a season of preparation before Easter. During this season, one is supposed to give more alms to the poor, pray, and fast from meat and dairy.

It’s easy to assume that Great Lent is simply about giving things up. But it’s far more than just not eating particular foods. This misses the point of fasting. We’re not giving up something, but we are turning control over to God. We’re making a conscious effort not allow our stomachs to control how we live. And how we eat is not intended to be a badge of our spiritual practice, but a reflection of our personal surrender to God.

In our modern culture, so much of our time and energy centers on what we eat. With that perspective, food controls our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Rather than being in control of our lives, something as simple as what we eat can control us. If something so seemingly benign like food can control us, how much more something like our tempers or our words.

At its heart fasting is about taking back our lives by turning control over to God. We’re not simply fasting from food, but we’re fasting from living lives that keep God at arms length.

-Fr. Jason Blais, Pastor Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Mission

Something to focus on not just during Lent, but during the rest of the year as well.

Now, the recipe! This meal can be thrown in the crock pot during the morning and will be ready to go when you get home in the evening! It serves around 8 but can be easily doubled. This meal is also packed with vegetables — but in a sneaky way! If you have kids, they won’t even be able to tell 😉


I love eating a bowl of this chili with organic yellow corn chips (and a sprinkle of cheese if it isn’t Lent!)


Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili — Slow Cooker Style!

(Serves 8)

-1 medium onion, chopped

-4 garlic cloves

-2 T. Chili powder

-2 T. ground cumin

-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/4 tsp cinnamon

-1 bag frozen riced cauliflower

-1 bag frozen corn

-2 (14-oz) cans diced tomatoes

-1 (8-oz) jar tomato sauce

-2 (15 ½ oz) cans black beans

– 1 package of frozen butternut squash (whole block, or diced) (you can also use 1 fresh)

-1 c. vegetable broth

-salt & pepper to taste (you will want to add a lot more salt than you think because the cauliflower rice can make things watery!)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Serve with corn tortilla chips & chopped cilantro.



Thank you to everyone who followed along on the Draw Near Designs Instagram takeover yesterday! I had so much fun sharing Lenten recipes with you all!