Last week I was on a video call with my family, including my adorable baby nephew, and the conversation turned to babies and food preferences, since my nephew has recently started trying solid foods. I asked my parents what I was like at that stage, and of course, they said that I was an avid eater. No surprise there, right?! Squash was one of my favorite foods, and at one point, the bottoms of my feet actually started to turn yellow because I ate so much of it!
My feet have long since returned to a normal color, and to be honest, squash no longer ranks on my list of all-time favorite foods—I’m pretty sure I hadn’t yet been introduced to nachos or peanut butter cups back then!—but it does make for a mighty tasty chili! During a recent trip to Costco, I picked up a package of butternut squash on a whim, without having any plan for what I wanted to do with it. A snowstorm rolled in a few days later, and I was able to whip up this simple chicken and butternut squash chili with ingredients that I had on hand.
What I love about this chili is that it comes together relatively quickly (without any special equipment like a pressure cooker or instant pot!), and it’s full of enough colors, textures, and flavors that you won’t even notice how healthy it is! Of course, everything is more delicious with cheese and avocado on top and this is no exception, but it’s also quite satisfying with just some cilantro and a few tortilla chips on the side.
What do you typically serve alongside your chili? I grew up eating chili over rice, and I was shocked when I first learned that most people don’t do that! Are there any dishes that your family does differently than most?
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound butternut squash, cut into cubes (1-inch or smaller)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (including the liquid)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
- In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt, and cook until the onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Stir in the tomatoes (including the liquid), beans, chicken, and chipotle(s), and cook until heated through.
- Serves 3-4
- I use 1 pound of pre-cut butternut squash, so if you are starting with a whole squash, you may want to buy one that is slightly heavier than 1 pound to account for the peel and seeds that will be thrown away.
This looks great! I use your turkey chili recipe all the time – one of my favorites!!
I’m so glad to hear that! The turkey chipotle chili is more of a classic chili, but it does take some time – one of the nice things about this version is that it’s quite quick to make!
chef mimi says
This is wonderful. Hearty but not as heavy as beef chilis.
Exactly! Food to keep you full but not weigh you down 🙂
Cake Lover says
I love many things over rice! A favorite is stroganoff on rice instead of egg noodles. Your chili recipe sounds delicious! Long ago I visited Cincinnati, where they serve chili over spaghetti noodles. I say “why not?” Thanks for your squash version of chili!
Ooh, I haven’t had stroganoff in a long time, but that sounds great over rice. I’ve never tried chili over noodles, but I agree – why not? Let me know what you think if you give this a try 🙂
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food says
It’s amazing how those large packages of fresh ingredients at Costco get our creative juices flowing, isn’t it? Otherwise, I end up angry at myself that I bought in bulk—and wasted. I just love the fresh, vibrant ingredients you have going on in this chili. I can’t wait to try it out! #recipeoftheweek
Oh definitely! It’s always a challenge for me to use up Costco produce. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Yum! I love chili AND squash! I bet this recipe tastes amazing!
Thanks, Kat! I hope you get a chance to try this – it’s super easy 🙂
Angie | Fiesta Friday says
My daughter’s hands turned yellow since she drank so much OJ when she was a toddler. She also loved squash and pumpkins, not as much now, but she would rather have this chili than the con carne one – the one with ground beef. She refuses to eat ground meat! I will have to make her this next time she’s in the mood for chili 😀
That’s so funny that your daughter had a similar color-changing experience! I wonder if children are more susceptible to that kind of phenomenon. I hope you get a chance to try this 🙂
Corina Blum says
I would love this! It sounds like a great recipe for when there’s some cold weather and I always thought most people ate chilli with rice too!
Oh good, another person in the chili + rice camp! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
David @ Spiced says
I absolutely second your comment that “everything is more delicious with cheese and avocado on top”! And this chili looks phenomenal, Mara. It’s still cold here (someone call Mother Nature and tell her Spring is here please), so chili is still very much on our minds. I love the butternut squash in this…so much flavor! Also, when it comes to chili, I almost always have to have a batch of skillet cornbread. Yum! 🙂
Mmm…I love cornbread. I’ve actually never tried making it in a skillet, but that sounds wonderfully home-y! And yes, it sounds like we are both in serious need of some warmth and sunshine!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
There’s nothing better than a great bowl of chili and this one looks great! I haven’t ever tried using squash in chili before, but I think it’s a great idea!
This was the first time I’ve used squash in chili – I’ve always thought of both squash and chili as things that take a rather long time to cook, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that that doesn’t need to be the case!
mmm… this looks great AND healthy, too.
I’m so glad this caught your eye! I hope you get a chance to try it 🙂
Anusha @ Drooling Foodies says
Looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Let me know what you think if you try it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂