squash in your chili?

Posted on December 30, 2011


Yes, squash in your chili. Make it; it’s good.

Chili is one of the best comfort foods. Almost everyone likes chili; it’s easy to make; and there are so many different versions.

However, I sometimes get in a chili rut. I can make it without a recipe, and that can get a little boring. To change things up, I used this recipe from the November issue of Cooking Light Magazine.

Now I know squash in your chili sounds wrong, but this was really tasty. Only problem is that I hate, really hate, dealing with butternut squash. Luckily, I found peeled and cubed butternut squash in the produce section at Walmart {yay}. Try not to let the long list of ingredients turn you away because this is worth making.

I tried to follow the basic idea of the chili recipe from Cooking Light but did change it up a little. Here is my adaptation of this delicious version of chili:

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Based on this recipe from Cooking Light

Serves 6

  • 1 TBSP canola oil, divided
  • 1¼ to 1½ lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut in ½-inch cubes (I got the butcher to do this for me)
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • 1½ cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1¼ tsp ground ancho chile pepper (can use more if desired, but be sure to taste it before adding! The chili is pretty spicy)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained & chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced-sodium or no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (I used the entire bag of pre-cut squash)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp oil to pan. Sprinkle beef with ½ tsp salt, and add beef to pan. Cook for 8 minutes, making sure to turn so all sides are cooked. Remove beef from pan and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper to pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, scraping the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add beef back to the pan.

Stir in remaining ¼ tsp salt, ancho chile powder, oregano, red pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, tomatoes, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.

Add butternut squash and carrots to the pan. Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until beef is tender.

Serve & enjoy!! You can top it with a TBSP of light sour cream if desired.

This chili is great as leftovers and freezes well.

Have a good weekend!


Posted in: Recipes