This is a great recipe for meal prep. It makes a huge pot of chili that you can have for lunches and dinners all week long. In Hawaii we eat chili with rice, but growing up on the mainland we always had chili with warm fresh tortillas. Both are an excellent addition to this hearty soup and make it a well rounded winter meal.
This recipe can be done with butternut squash, pumpkin, kabocha squash, or even sweet potato. Don't be intimidated by squash, sure that initial incision can be challenging, but I've got some tips for you.
When cutting a butternut squash, even the largest gourd can be conquered with the right approach. First, cut off the very top of the squash where the stem was attached, then cut the squash right at the base of it's neck, before it flares out into the section full of seeds. The neck section is the easiest to deal with. While it is standing upright on a cutting board, carefully peel with a knife. Slice the entire section in half and then cube or slice according to your recipe. The section that holds the seeds can be more difficult to maneuver, though not impossible. Cut it in half and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut off the bottom of the section where the knot is so it will stand up steadily on the cutting board. Use a knife to carefully peel. This can be difficult depending on the shape of your squash but just take your time. You can use a peeler here as well but I have found that to be even more time consuming.
Once you've conquered the cutting, it's just throwing everything into a pot!
Smokey butternut squash chili
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 head of roasted garlic* or 3 cloves raw
- 3-4 cups cubed butternut squash (or pumpkin or sweet potato)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, blended
- 2 cans water (3 cups)
- 2 cans beans, drained and rinsed (black, kidney, pinto, or a combination of the three)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 1/2 cup water (optional)
This chili is rich and hearty, perfect for a fall or winter meal.