Butternut Squash Chili

September 29, 2014

Are bonfires a summer thing or a fall thing? I always picture bright sunny days followed by a bonfire, but it never really gets cool enough in the summer to enjoy sitting by a fire. We had what I was tempted to call the “last bonfire of the summer” on Friday, but it was also the first really enjoyable fire.  The kind where you need to huddle close to it to stay toasty (and I didn’t see even one mosquito!). So, I’ve decided bonfires are a fall thing and declare that the first bonfire of the fall season.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t snow next weekend so we can have another.

Butternut Squash Chili from @hiddenfruitnveg

Chili is another thing I get confused about — when it chili season?! Chili cook-offs are in the summer, when a hot bowl of soup + extra spiciness really isn’t doing me any favors. Plus chili is like a Texas thing, right? It’s basically summer every in Texas, as far as I’m concerned.  Even in October my skin threatens to crisp right up in the sun there.

Butternut Squash Chili from @hiddenfruitnveg

So… is this fall chili a faux pas? Totally acceptable? No idea, don’t even really care because it’s so M effing delicious. My only regrets about this chili is that I gave the leftovers to my parents. Their nest is newly emptied and they seem to be having trouble feeding themselves, so I felt like I needed to lend a hand. I had them over for dinner on Sunday, too. Daughter of the year award? I think so! Especially after giving up even a bite of this chili!


Butternut Squash Chili
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 5

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~4 c butternut squash, cubed (raw)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed or 1½ c cooked
  • 2 (15 oz) can Mexican stewed tomatoes (for a less spicy chili, use regular stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (not pasta sauce)
  • 1 c vegetable broth or stock
  • ½ tbsp. cumin powder
  • ¼ c chili powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt, pepper, hot sauce to taste
  • Your favorite chili toppings

  1. Throw all of the ingredients (except for the “to taste” ingredients and toppings) into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cover.
  2. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, up to several hours. I recommend simmering for 4 hours to fully develop flavors.
  3. Taste and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce according to your preferences.
  4. Serve hot and top with your favorite toppings (I like sour cream/Greek yogurt, green onions, shredded cheese, or slices of avocado).

Beans can be increased to two cans if you like your chili extra bean-y.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 c Calories: 340 Carbohydrates: 66 Fiber: 17 Protein: 18


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    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl Sep 30, 2014

    You pretty much have my dream Fall recipe here. I haven’t been feeling really well but looking at this recipe looks like it could hit the magic spot.

    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health Sep 30, 2014

    Um yes, definitely daughter of the year! I love the sound of this chili and it’s perfect for fall which to me is chili season. And winter too. Anyway, this shall be pinned!!

    Ashley @ Kickashmom Sep 30, 2014

    Chili is favorite thing about fall! Especially healthy chili.

    Joanna @Makingmine Sep 30, 2014

    Chili is ALWAYS acceptable. I made my 1 year old chili for the first time, and she devoured it! I bet she would LOVE this version!

    Isadora @ she likes food Sep 29, 2014

    You raise so many good questions, Kelly! I used to say that bombfires were a summer thing, but living in AZ I’d be scared I would accidentally burn the house down if I lit a bombfire in the summer, so I totally agree that they are a fall thing! I can’t wait to have some fires soon! I love chili and could eat it all year round, but it is much better in the fall when the weather is cool. I just seems right to eat when it is cold. I love this butternut squash chili and have been thinking about making some for a while. This looks so good 🙂

    Annie @Maebells Sep 29, 2014

    Chili and bonfires are so fall to me! I love it! It is my favorite time of year! This chili looks amazing, I love the addition of butternut squash. Such a clever idea!

    Erin @ The Speckled Palate Sep 29, 2014

    As someone who lives in Texas, I’m jealous that you can have bonfires in the summertime without feeling like you’re going to burn up and/or die.

    I’ve never had a butternut squash chili, and I’m insanely curious. Again, as someone who lives in the South (where it’s still entirely too hot to appreciate chili like you should, though I’ve absolutely already made one pot of it this year!), I’m jealous that you can have chili during the summertime.

    No matter the case, chili is delicious, and this dish looks to be a winner!

      Kelly Oct 01, 2014

      The strange benefit of living in Michigan is we can go from 100 degrees to 40 degrees in about 12 hours. Even the most sweltering days can be bonfire friendly by nightfall!

        Erin @ The Speckled Palate Oct 01, 2014

        That MUST be strange/nice… though I cannot fathom that kind of temperature swing! Whenever the weather goes up/down 30+ degrees here in Texas (and it doesn’t happen often!), I come down with the mother of all headaches.

    Erin | The Law Student's Wife Sep 29, 2014

    Chili is definitely a fall thing! I think it is so cozy and crave it as the weather turns cooler. I also adore butternut squash, so the fact that you added here is a total bonus!

    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl Sep 29, 2014

    YES!! Butternut squash is amazing, but I have weirdly never tried it in chili. Sweet potatoes? Yes. But not butternut squash. I clearly need to change that.

    marcie Sep 29, 2014

    You do get the daughter of the year award for giving any of this up! This is my kind of chili — pinning! 🙂

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Sep 29, 2014

    I always thought of chili as a fall/winter recipe so I think you’re in the clear 😉 My only question is… Does Florida have squash??! I hope so!

      Kelly Sep 29, 2014

      I HAVE to imagine they do! It’s pretty much one of the best foods ever, so if they dont you can bring it to the state and immediately become a State hero!

    Julia Sep 29, 2014

    Mylanta, I’m so glad you asked the when-is-chili-season season question! I feel like chili dogs are a summer thing, but then there’s the easy comforting football food season (i.e. chili) and then the winter months…so I just kinda feel like chili is a year-round thing, especially since it is so freaking delicious. Butternut Squash chili? Slap me in the face with it. I’m in dire need of a good BNS chili stat!

      Kelly Sep 29, 2014

      I’m glad we can agree that chili is a year-round food. Now when can we make BNS a year round food? We’re basically BFFs.

    Emily Sep 29, 2014

    I bought my first butternut squash of the season yesterday and I literally was just on Pinterest trying to find a recipe to use it in! Yay for chili!

      Kelly Sep 29, 2014

      Yay first squash of the season! Squash season is the best season 🙂