One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is chili! To me, it just screams fall, coziness, and just overall bliss when it starts to get cooler outside! I love making chili because it reminds me of my childhood, when my mom would make literally the best chili I’ve ever had in my life! I’d come home after practice and I could smell it, the second I walked through my front door!
For this version, I decided that I wanted to really double down on vegetables so I swapped out ground meat for butternut squash! You still get that heartiness from the butternut squash, so I promise you, you won’t miss the meat in this recipe! Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables…packed with fiber and essential vitamins like A, C, and E and also full of beta-carotene which helps support a healthy immune system! So overall, just a great addition to any meal, especially this hearty vegetarian chili!
(this serves about 6-8)
What you will need for the chili base:
- 2 15oz cans of tomato sauce
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15oz can of corn
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 cup of chopped butternut squash
- 1 cup diced onion
Optional: Adding ground turkey. I added ground turkey to half of my chili, because I wanted to try it and it was AMAZING.
I love this recipe because it is SO SIMPLE!!! Just pour all of these ingredients into a pot or into a crock pot! This recipe is super simple so you can really go with whatever you have time for that day! The crock pot isn’t necessary either, FYI! A stove top pot works great.
First, dice the onions and butternut squash.
Once all of your veggies and sauces are in the pot, it is time to add the spices that really are what makes this dish come together! You can either use a packet of the store-bought chili seasoning or you can use my simple homemade blend of chili seasonings that I’ll share below!
What you will need for this homemade chili seasoning blend:
- 1.5 Tbsp of Chili Seasoning Blend (mine is from Trader Joes and it contains organic chili pepper, organic cumin powder, organic garlic powder, and organic oregano all in one container)
- ½ Tsp of cumin
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- ½ Tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
Once you have added your seasoning to the pot, all you have to do is stir well and sit back and let the chili do its thing! After about 2 hours on the stove or in your crock pot (on simmer or medium temp) your vegetarian chili will be ready for you and your family/friends to devour! You will know that your chili is ready when the butternut squash is fork tender!
The best thing about chili is that you can top it with whatever your heart desires! You want to make it spicy? Add some hot sauces! You want to make it creamy? Add some sour cream!
Here are some of my favorite toppings:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced avocado
- Sliced green onion
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce