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Butternut Squash Chili

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | November 11th, 2016 | Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian
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butternut-squash-chiliI will admit it takes a special palate and an open mind to consider this recipe. In fact, when I named this recipe I considered calling it Vegetarian Chili. I probably could have convinced more people to continue reading if I hadn’t mentioned that butternut squash has a prominent role in this chili. I understand that squash doesn’t sound like it should be a key ingredient. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that whether I called it vegetarian or butternut squash, I probably was losing the same audience. And quite possibly, by mentioning the squash, I may be gaining a few more readers.

How did I ever come to consider butternut squash in chili? First, I decided that I would be writing about winter squash for a few weeks. Then I began to think about different ways that I could use this ingredient. Next I let my mind wander to different dishes and considered in what dishes squash would make a fine addition. Somehow, chili came to mind.

The butternut squash was a nice addition to chili. It provided a good amount of heartiness, which made it a satisfying entrée for me. Although you can taste the butternut squash in the chili, it also melded well with spices to make this dish taste like a spicy bite of fall. The one change I would make for future versions would be to double the amount of beans. This addition would benefit those with a heartier appetite.

The other thing that I found interesting about this dish is that I didn’t find the need to top it with cheese. Whenever I eat a typical chili (vegetarian or not) I always find myself craving melted cheese on top. With this dish, I wanted the flavor of squash and beans to be prominent, so I opted not topping it. This dish was perfect without garnish.

Butternut Squash Chili

Serves 2
A healthy, vegetarian chili recipe


Print

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
5 hr

Total Time
5 hr 15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
5 hr

Total Time
5 hr 15 min

Ingredients
  1. 1/2 green pepper, seeded & diced
  2. 1/4 large sweet onion, diced
  3. 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  4. 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 2 tsp. chili powder
  7. 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
Instructions
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute pepper and onion until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer pepper and onion to small crockpot.
  3. Add squash, tomatoes, garlic, and chili powder.
  4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until squash is tender.
  5. Add beans, and cook for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Notes
  1. If desired, you can top the chili with sour cream or shredded cheddar.
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