Make Ahead

Almost Meatless Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

December 21, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Try this hearty and nutritious chili recipe that's perfect for the fall. The sweet butternut squash works well with the smoky heat of the chipotle chilis. By incorporating healthy vegetables and black beans in this dish, only a small amount of ground beef (1/2 pound for 6 servings) is added. This cuts down on the calories and fat and no one will even miss it! This dish can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the ground beef and adding an extra can of beans. —Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Test Kitchen Notes

Sonali has created a delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal that can be prepared in about an hour from prep to finish - not an easy feat! Chili purists may quibble with the name, but no one will complain about the flavor. The beef and beans add heartiness, that contrasts nicely with the sweet butternut squash. The somewhat tangy tomato sauce brings it all together. It's pretty mild, so don't be afraid to stir in extra chipotle and adobo if you like your chili a little spicier. —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef (93% lean)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup fat free and low sodium beef or chicken broth (or water if vegetarian)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or wide-based pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 6-7 minutes until partially softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Stir in the ground beef and brown it, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and allspice. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes, and broth (or water). Season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes then uncover and stir in the beans. Cook, partially covered, another 15-20 minutes until chili is thickened and squash is cooked through. Stir in the cilantro.
  3. Serve chili alone or with brown rice. Top with reduced fat sour cream if desired. Garnish with cilantro.
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  • Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
    Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
  • Jake

2 Reviews

Jake September 13, 2016
Delicious recipe. The chipotle adobo adds a subtle earthy warmth complimented by the sweetness of the squash. Switched out the beef for lamb and forgot the red pepper. My family loved it. Added to the monthly menu. Thanks!!
Sonali A. September 14, 2016
So glad you and your family enjoyed it! Substituting lamb sounds like a great idea- I'll have to try that next time!