black bean chili with butternut squash

24 Feb

I don’t remember eating chili growing up. I don’t know if that’s because it just wasn’t something my mom made, if I didn’t like it, or if I just have no memory of it. I adore chili now and it’s one of my favorite things to make during the cruel Minnesota winters. And I’m confident the chili I made this weekend will be remembered. It’s certainly one I will make again.

In the latest edition of Bon Appetit, there was a great feature article titled “The United States of Chili”. It featured different chilis from regions across the country. Brette made the Pork Chile Verde for our intimate Superbowl gathering (just the two of us and our cozy pants) and it was delicious. I was very curious to try the vegetarian (vegan if you don’t add any cheese or sour cream) version that represented health-conscious California. When it became apparent on Sunday that we would not be going anywhere due to the sky throwing up 18 inches of snow, it was quickly decided that this was a perfect day for chili.

I was a bit nervous because of the squash involved. Brette is not the biggest squash fan. So, when he asked what was in the chili, I may have left out a certain ingredient in my description. Thankfully, Brette loved the dish just as much as I did.

It takes a bit of time since you are using dried beans, but it’s not active time. You can easily get a cookbook read in the time your chili is cooking. I would highly advise against substituting canned black beans. They would get mushy quick. One thing I really liked about this dish is that the beans held their shape and actually gave you something to chew. The bulgur really thickens it up and gives it a nice texture. And the dreaded squash? I thought it brought a needed sweetness to the bowl.

I included the suggested toppings below. I opted for greek yogurt and cilantro. Brette added cheese and his homemade pickled jalapenos and thought they really made the chili pop. We also whipped up some cornbread which made a perfect accompaniment. It was super tasty and satisfying meal that didn’t leave you feeling heavy. The leftovers have been highly anticipated.

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

from bon appetit with notes from Jen

Makes 8-10 servings

Note: This makes a lot of chili. We found it keeps well in the fridge (at least 5 days) and I think it would freeze well too.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes – 1 can diced and 1 can crushed – because it was what I had)
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
  • 2 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (if you are super sensitive to spice, just use one. I used two and thought it had a decent but not crazy amount of spice.)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 2 1/4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking bulgur
  • Topping ideas:

  • Sour cream (or tofu cream) or greek yogurt
  • Coarsely grated hot pepper
  • Monterey jack, cheddar or mozzarella cheese (or soy cheese)
  • Diced red onion chopped
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Pickled jalapeño rings
  • Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, chipotles, and oregano. Add 10 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (time will vary depending on freshness of beans). Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Stir squash and bulgur into chili. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until squash and bulgur are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Do you have a favorite chili? Please share!


    5 Responses to “black bean chili with butternut squash”

    1. Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather February 25, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      I’ve had a black bean and squash chili before and absolutely loved it! Bulgar sounds like a great addition too.

      Enjoy all your snow :)

    2. Cait February 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      this looks delicious! love your blog girl!

    3. Vanessa Nielsen February 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      Looks amazing and I love that it creates a lot of leftovers! Makes life so much easier to have leftovers in the fridge.

    4. Sista Joan's BFF Diane February 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      OK, I’m gonna pass this recipe on to my 28 year old cooking son (he will opt for the jalapeno’s too). But so help me God Jen if he comes over to my house with bad gas I promise as long as I live I will find a way to get even with you and him both!

      • jen February 28, 2011 at 7:53 am #

        I can not promise anything. We did not have an issue with this. However, if the 28 year old son has a few beers along with it, it could be a whole different story. :)

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