Black bean and butternut squash chili – a bowl of happy


Meet my new favourite chili recipe. It’s pretty, spicy, satisfying, full of happy little black beans that are simultaneously chewy yet creamy and just a big old bowl o’ yumminess. This recipe is perfect for this time of year too when squashes prevail. If you don’t have a butternut squash, you could use any winter squash, except spaghetti squash, which is the wrong texture.

chili (2).jpg


1 medium onion chopped

2 red bell peppers chopped

About 3-4 cups cubed butternut squash – (a small squash of about 1 ½ pounds)

4 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 -2 Tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo chopped. I chopped in 2 of the peppers because I like the heat.

1 bay leaf

½ tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp oregano

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 19oz can diced tomatoes

2 cans black beans drained and rinsed (that’s 3 cups if you cook your beans from scratch)

2 cups vegetable broth


Wash the squash and pierce it a few times. Microwave it for 6 minutes to make it soft enough to easily cut and peel. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds which are in the bulbous end of the squash. Peel the squash and cut in cubes. If this is daunting to you, go ahead and buy a bag of already peeled, seeded and cubed frozen butternut squash. No one will judge and it’s good to eat your veggies!

In a very large pot, sauté the garlic, onion and peppers in the olive oil. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir together. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes (for 1 hour total), stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce and you’ll have a perfect chili. Yes, it’s that easy.

This dish makes 4-6 servings and freezes well. It’s great with sliced avocado.

3 thoughts on “Black bean and butternut squash chili – a bowl of happy

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