Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
Author: Cookie and Kate
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
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.
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½+ tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste, I thought mine was just right with 1 tablespoon)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
- 4 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- 14-ounce can (about 2 cups) vegetable broth
- 2 Avocados from Mexico, diced
- 3 corn tortillas for crispy tortilla strips*** (or substitute crumbled tortilla chips)
- cilantro (optional, for garnish)
- In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
- Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.
- By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency that we all know and love.
- Make the crispy tortilla strips: stack the corn tortillas and slice them into thin little strips, about 2 inches long. Heat a small pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and 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.
- 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.
- *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 so that 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.
- ***Look for corn tortillas that contain minimally processed ingredients. There should only be about 5 ingredients listed, and wheat shouldn't be one of them.
- 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!