Butternut Squash Chili

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You may remember waaaaay back at the end of October, my family visited Clyde’s Fresh Produce.  While we were there, I purchased my very first butternut squash.

Yes, for real.  The very first.  My family didn’t eat winter squash when I was growing up, for whatever reason.  Now that I’m grown with my own family and we’ve started our goal of eating as much locally grown food as possible, that also means eating seasonally.  So this fall/winter, it’s time to learn the different types of winter squash and what dishes to serve it in.

I brought that beauty pictured above (the large squash, far left) home and after a couple of days, I started looking for recipe ideas.  There were so many chili with squash recipes that I decided to mix up a few variations to create my own.  I can’t think of a more classic fall/winter dinner than chili!

I gathered my chili ingredients and began my food prep when suddenly I realized …

I had no idea how to peel/cut a butternut squash.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that because I know I’m not the only 30 year old who has stood in a kitchen with a squash in their hands and thought:  “What next?”

I know this because I found a step-by-step tutorial to show me how to do just that.

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Follow that link above to learn how to peel and cut a butternut squash.  It’s super simple and the photos included are lovely.  If you enjoy photos of food prep.  Which I do.

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I used ground beef for my chili but ground venison or leftover Thanksgiving turkey would be perfect for the season as well!

Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  •  2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 6 or 7 cloves minced garlic (Obviously I use 7.  And I also use minced garlic from the jar.  I have no shame.  I regret nothing.)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 lb ground beef (or ground venison … or leftover turkey!)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (when I don’t have homemade, I use 2 cans of fire-roasted Muir Glen)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups black beans (or 2 cans, 14 oz each, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small/medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cubed)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, followed by sugar and all the spices.
  2. Add your meat of choice and break into small pieces.
  3. Once meat is properly cooked through, add your tomatoes and broth, stirring well.
  4. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, then add black beans and cubed squash.
  5. Simmer additional 10-15 minutes (until squash is soft enough to be pierced by a fork but not mushy)
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add cheese to your serving if you’re into that sort of thing.  Which I very much am!

 

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Final note:  This makes leftovers for daaaaaays.  Or you could invite about 10 of your closest friends over for dinner.

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