Butternut Squash Bean Chili

Even though yesterday was the first “official” day of spring, it sure doesn’t feel like it here in the Midwest. Although I am more than ready for warmer temperatures and spending all of my free time outdoors, I decided to take advantage of it by posting a recipe perfect for those chillier days (pun intended): butternut squash bean chili.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Runner, and adapted it to fit my preferences. I would never have thought to add butternut squash to chili, but it totally works. Butternut squash has a nutrition profile similar to that of pumpkin but contains even more vitamin A! One cup also houses 1/3rd of your daily values for vitamin C, supporting a healthy immune system.

This recipe is extremely easy to put together. The most time consuming part is peeling and cubing the butternut squash (look here for a tutorial), but after that you basically throw everything into a pot, let it simmer and voilà! A hearty, healthy dish that pairs perfectly with your favorite cornbread!

Butternut Squash Bean Chili
Adapted from Peanut Butter Runner
Serves 8-10

Ingredients:
1 T. olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 C butternut squash, cubed, seeds and skin removed
1 jalapeño, diced, seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 15 oz. can low-sodium chicken/vegetable broth (or the entire thing if you like a thinner chili)
2 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
¼ t. red pepper
½ t. salt
Avocado, shredded cheese or Greek yogurt for topping (optional)

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, pepper and jalapeño. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add beans, broth, tomatoes squash and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes, covered. Uncover and continue to simmer for 10-15 more minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Enjoy plain or topped with your favorites!

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