Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

I've been sort of monomaniacally focused on Thanksgiving food, churning out dish after dish to get it to you so that you can figure out what your menu will look like (and mine). And what with the holiday only a little over 2 1/2 weeks away, it feels like I'm running out of time (Note to self:  take a deep cleansing breath) but today I have to take a little detour and share this amazing vegetarian chili with you because it is just so darn good!! And with cold chilly nights and football season in full swing, you NEED this warming bowl of butternut squash, red pepper, adobo sauce, tomatoes and black beans in your life and your belly!!

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In full disclosure, I am not a huge lover of chili nor are my kids, but my darling husband LOVES it and so every so often I make it for him. Poor guy! I think the "often" will be oftener now that I've found this version. It's really hearty without being uncomfortably heavy and super simple to make. Healthy for you too!

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Knowing you have a bowl of this to come home to makes those long dark afternoons (how much do you hate that it's pitch black by 5:30?) a whole lot easier! Enjoy this pre-Thanksgiving deviation 'cause it's back to the Turkey Day grind tomorrow!

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

Makes 7-8 servings
Prep Time:  25 minutes; Cook Time:  About 1 hour


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 3 cups worth)
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Two 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth but this would then be non-vegetarian)
  • Optional toppings, shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips

The Recipe

1.  In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot. Add in the onion, red pepper, squash and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent, stirring every now and then.

2.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic, chili powder, adobo sauce and cinnamon. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then add in the bay leaf, beans, tomatoes and broth. Stir well, turn up the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer.

3.  Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cover. Cook for about an hour until everything is softened and thickened. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Serve immediately as is or topped with cheese, avocado slices, crushed tortilla chips...

4.  Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor. I tinkered around a lot with this. Added more squash, omitted the cumin and cilantro.


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