Do you have chili on the brain? With the Superbowl fast approaching it is hard to avoid visions of steaming bowls of chili, spicy chicken wings, and cold beer. We are fair weather football fans, tuning in only once a year for the big game. But when we do watch we go all the way! Dips are made, chili is simmered, and beer is chilled. Everything is in place for an evening of cheering from the couch and generally celebrating. It is the beginning of February and we are ready for a party again.

This year I am planning on making not one but two batches of chili. One will be a classic beefy bowl of spicy goodness while the other will be bulked up by vegetables and still pack a flaming kick. The good news is that a large batch of beans will work in both pots, cutting my work in half. Gorgeous inky midnight black beans from Rancho Gordo starred in my test pot of a smoky black bean and butternut squash chili. Small, deeply flavored, and tender these black beans provided a strong backbone to this hearty vegetarian chili. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce add a smoky wallop while creamy butternut squash brings just a touch of sweetness and balances out the acidity of the fire roasted tomatoes. Not only does this chili taste like excellent cold weather fare it still keeps January’s resolutions on track, with only 170 calories per cup (shhh…don’t tell the guys!). {Scroll Down for the Recipe}

If you are looking for other great ideas for this coming weekend, here are some of our tried and true football friendly favorites:

Smoke Ale Chili – Beer, ground beef, and beans come together in this spectacular chili.
Smoke Ale Chili

Mr. B’s Guacamole – It just isn’t the Superbowl without a big bowl of guacamole! Mr. B has it down to an art form.
Mr. B's Guacamole

Mr. B’s Blue Cheese and Olive Dip – This dip isn’t called a ‘crack snack’ for no reason. Salty, briny, crunchy, creamy it has all the markings of football food!

Stir Fried Edamame with Garlic and Chile – Possibly one of the best snack foods ever. These are addictive!
Stir Fried Edamame with Garlic and Chile

Mexican Style Pulled Pork – A slow cooked flavor packed wonder, this pulled pork happily feeds a crowd.

Smoky Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili Print Recipe

Recipe Thumbnail

If you want to cut down on the cooking time, go ahead and use canned or pre-cooked beans. Reduce the 10 cups of water to about 4 cups, adding additional as necessary to achieve a chili consistency. Let the chili simmer for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. The chipotle chiles give it quite a kick so if you are afraid of the spicy start with just 1 chile. Minimally adapted from: Bon Appetite via The Bitten Word

Serves About 12 Cups

Serving Size: 1 Cup

Calories per serving: 170

Fat per serving: 1.53 grams


  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Corriander
  • 2, 14.5 ounce Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Black Beans, rinsed
  • 2 Chipotle Chiles (from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 cups Cubed Butternut Squash (peeled and seeded first)
  • 1/2 cup Dry Quinoa, rinsed

Cooking Directions

Place a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Swirl olive oil on the bottom of the pot. Add onions and saute until they are soft and turning brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder and coriander until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with juice, black beans, chipotle chiles and oregano. Pour in 10 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot with a lid and let the chili cook for about 2-3 hours, or until the beans are tender. If you have old beans this may take longer. Taste the chili and adjust the salt and pepper as necessary. When the beans are cooked, stir in the butternut squash and quinoa. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes, until the squash is tender and the quinoa is expanded. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper one last time. Serve warm.
As with most chilis, this one improves with time. You can make it a day or two ahead and simply re-heat it as necessary.

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