Easy Chicken and Butternut Squash Chili
Easy Chicken and Butternut Squash Chili

More on the butternut squash front today. I just can’t seem to get enough! And when you take one bite of this easy and delicious chili, that’s loaded with chicken, beans, red pepper and your favorite squash and mine, you’ll know why.

It’s getting downright chilly around here, especially at night, especially when you’re out shivering at soccer games—(you’d think I’d be used to the cold after years of watching hockey, but a biting wind trumps even the coldest rinks) and knowing that you’ve got a pot of this hearty and warming chili to come home to, makes it almost bearable without too much complaining!

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Do you love classic red chili? If so, this will make you happy. If you’re me though, and I’m being totally honest here, I’ve kind of got a love/hate, take-it-or-leave-it kind of relationship with traditional chili. But white chili? White chili I LOVE!!! White chili is my friend! White chili is something I actually crave, particularly when it’s loaded with butternut squash, which as we’ve already ascertained, I am currently majorly addicted to!!

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It’s terrific on it’s own or topped with shredded cheese or a host of other fun chili toppings like scallions, crushed up taco chips or sour cream. And the fact that it comes together easily with leftover or rotisserie chicken doesn’t hurt either! Make it for that next big football game…or as an internal warming treatment should you also be watching your kids run around in the cold!!

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Looking for other chili recipes? Try this White Bean Chili and this Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili (both have the more traditional red sauce). Cheers!

Easy Chicken and Butternut Squash Chili

Makes 6 servings

Prep Time: Under 1 hour


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 4 cups)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into bite sized pieces

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1-2 shakes red pepper flakes (use more if you like a lot of heat)

  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock

  • Two 14.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained and divided

  • 3 cups shredded chicken (you can use rotisserie or leftover chicken breasts for this or just roast a couple of chicken breasts and shred)

  • Shredded cheese, parsley, scallions, hot sauce, sour cream, crushed taco chips for topping (optional)

    The Recipe

    1. Heat a large Dutch oven or heavyweight pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil to it. Add the squash and sauté until the squash is lightly browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pot to a bowl and set aside.

    2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot as well as the garlic, onion, red pepper, jalapeño, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté until veggies are tender, 6 minutes or so. Pour in the chicken stock and turn the heat up to bring the mixture to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Lower the heat to medium and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

    3. Meanwhile, place 1 cup of the beans in a small bowl and use a potato masher to mash them up.

    4. Add the mashed beans, whole beans and squash into the pot. Cook for a few minutes and then add in the chicken. Cook for a few more minutes so that everything heats up and some of the liquid evaporates. Serve immediately as is or topped with shredded cheese, parsley, scallions, hot sauce, sour cream and crushed taco chips.

    5. Chili can be made one day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Reheat over a low flame—if it seems dry, add a little broth or water to loosen it up.


    Note: Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.

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