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chili with butternut squash, sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado and cilantro

Spicy Chili with Butternut Squash

  • Author: amycaseycooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


On a chilly fall day, nothing is better than a steaming bowl of Spicy Chili with Butternut Squash. This hearty ground beef chili recipe gets a flavor boost from kidney beans and butternut squash.



  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean 15% fat)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1 inch cubes)
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 15.5 ounces canned kidney beans, drained
  • sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, hot sauce, cilantro ~ for serving


  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, onion and red pepper. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes or until the onions are just softened. Add the garlic and sauté and stir for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and kosher salt. Stir sauté the spices for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook the ground beef until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the butternut squash, canned crushed tomatoes, and kidney beans. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender but, not mushy. Stir occasionally.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Serve in bowls and offer sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, hot sauce and fresh cilantro as toppings.


  • I like a large sauté pan with straight sides for this chili recipe. The wide bottom and straight sides of the pan are an efficient and mess free way to sauté and simmer all the ingredients.
  • Don’t skip sautéing the spices for 30 seconds. This short cooking time helps the spices release their oils and intensifies their spicy, spicy, peppery, and slightly sweet flavors.
  • Break up the ground beef as it is cooking so it cooks evenly.
  • The peel of the butternut squash is edible, but I peel the squash before cubing it.
  • Check and stir the simmering chili a few times while it is cooking. The butternut squash should retain its shape when cooked but, be tender and not mushy.
  • The chili stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days when packaged in a covered container. It can also be frozen for 4 to 6 months. For most of my clients, I use these glass storage containers for packaging meals for the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Category: entree
  • Method: cook on stove top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 313
  • Sugar: 6.6 g
  • Sodium: 790 mg
  • Fat: 14.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.6 g
  • Fiber: 7.6 g
  • Protein: 26.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 68 mg

Keywords: ground beef chili, chili with butternut squash, easy chili recipe, one pot recipes

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