Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
Author:Cookie and Kate
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes
4.9 from 127 reviews
Hearty, spicy and sweet vegetarian chili made with butternut squash and black beans. Top with creamy avocado for an easy meal that satisfies vegans, carnivores and gluten-free eaters alike. This recipes serves 3 to 4. This chili is very hearty, but feel free to add another can of tomatoes or more vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a bit. Double the recipe for a crowd.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds or less), peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2+ tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste, I thought mine was just right with 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked black beans
1 small can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
Optional additional garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro and/or red pepper flakes
In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are turning translucent.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic, chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon chopped chipotle peppers, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf, black beans, tomatoes and their juices and broth. Stir to combine and cover for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste about halfway through cooking and add more chopped chipotle peppers if you’d like.
You’ll know your chili is done when the butternut squash is nice and tender and the liquid has reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency we all know and love. Remove the bay leaf and add salt to taste.
To make the crispy tortilla strips: stack the corn tortillas and slice them into thin little strips, about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Warm a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat until shimmering. Toss in the tortilla slices, sprinkle with salt and stir. Cook until the strips are crispy and turning golden, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 7 minutes. Remove tortilla strips from skillet and drain on a plate covered with a piece of paper towel.
Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado. I added a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional). Cilantro would be nice as well. You might want to serve this along with some chipotle hot sauce (Tobasco makes one) for the spice addicts like myself.
*Chipotle in adobo sauce is usually found in the Mexican section of the grocery store. I never need a whole can at once, so I use what I need and then transfer the rest to a small freezer bag, pressing it flat before freezing it. Then, I can pull off as much as I need later. **Find BPA-free cans of diced tomatoes if possible. Muir Glen’s canned tomatoes are BPA-free. On leftovers: This chili reheats great. Avocado and crispy tortilla chips should be added after reheating, just before serving. These tortilla strips tend to lose their crisp over time, so you can a) skip them altogether, b) make more just before serving or c) substitute a small handful of crumbled tortilla chips instead! Want to make this in a crockpot/slow cooker? I haven’t tried, but commenters report that this chili turns out well after 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.
Fun fact: If you’re looking for the butternut chili presented by a contestant on ABC’s The Chew, this is it!
▸ Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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