Saturday, July 8, 2017

Butternut Squash Chili with Avocado

We bought a big bag of frozen chunks of butternut squash a long time ago at Costco, and after cooking them up once I realized fresh squash is much better and I stopped using the frozen. Well I came across that bag in the bottom of the freezer the other day and decided to use it up. I made this recipe today, and to my surprise, Kiran liked it when served with rice and plain yogurt on the side. (I've been going through a rough patch with Kiran not liking the food I make so that was a relief). I think the butternut squash adds a sweetness he likes. As a bonus this recipe is quite easy to make. I didn't have the avocados or tortilla chips on hand, next time I will try it with that. I bet it would be even better.

Butternut squash Chili with Avocado

adapted from Cookie + Kate


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (1 ½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (or 1 1/2 cups frozen butternut squash chunks)
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild chili powder like ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 small can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, including the liquid (I used 2 1/2 cut up tomatoes for this because we did not have canned)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or one 14-ounce can) (I just used water for this)
  • Salt, to taste (needs A LOT of salt)
  • 2 Avocados, diced
  • Crumbled tortilla chips
  • Optional additional garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro and/or red pepper flakes


  1. In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are turning translucent.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf, black beans, tomatoes and their juices and broth. Stir to combine and cover for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. You’ll know your chili is done when the butternut squash is nice and tender and the liquid has reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency we all know and love. Add salt to taste.
  4. Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with tortilla chips and plenty of diced avocado. I added a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional). Cilantro would be nice as well. You might want to serve this along with some chipotle hot sauce (Tobasco makes one) for the spice addicts like myself.