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Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili

162 A Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili.JPG
162 A Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili.JPG

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili


Come Super Bowl Sunday, the number of chili cook-offs in office buildings and around town skyrocket. Even though I haven’t had a chance – or opportunity rather – to enter this recipe in one of them, I think it would hold it’s own! Who says meat adds all the flavor when you have deliciously nutty sweet butternut squash to “represent”!

Yield: 6 servings

Oven: N/A

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour ­+ 10 minutes

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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium size yellow onion roughly chopped (approximately 2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon)

1 butternut squash (approximately 1 1/2 – 2 pounds), peeled, de-seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (approximately 4 cups)

1 tablespoon chili powder, more or less depending on desired spiciness

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, like San Marzano

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock, plus more as needed

1, 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1, 15-ounce can cannellini beans or other white bean


as desired, sour cream

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (from approximately 4 scallions)

2 avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


shredded cheese, like cheddar, as desired (optional)


1.   In a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium ­– high heat, add olive oil and allow to heat, approximately 1 minute.

2.   Add onions and while occasionally stirring, cook until translucent, approximately 6 minutes.

3.   Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, approximately 10 – 20 seconds.

4.   Lower heat to medium, add butternut squash and cook while occasionally stirring until slightly softened, approximately 5 - 7 minutes.

5.   Add chili powder, ground cumin, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, stock, and both the red kidney and cannellini beans. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, partially cover and allow to cook while occasionally stirring until squash is cooked through, approximately 1 hour. If the soup begins to thicken too quickly add more stock as needed.

6.   Serve with a dollop of sour cream, scallions, and avocado to finish.


Kitchen Note:  If using dry beans, allow them to soak overnight before adding keeping in mind cooking times will vary to fully cook the beans from a dry state.  If you would like to “kick things up a bit” feel free to add a can of roughly chopped chili pepper in adobo sauce.  Also, feel free to add shredded cheese, like cheddar, to garnish.