Vegetarian Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili

Sometimes I just crack myself up – especially when cooking. Because I’ll either throw in an ingredient that isn’t on the ingredient list or forget to do something that I was supposed to do and somehow, magically, it all works out. 

Take this dish for example. My friend Dana served it to me on Thursday; she sent me the recipe. I didn’t have a couple of the ingredients so I improvised. Then I almost let it burn (beans in anything on a burner often BURN!) and forgot to add the water, and somehow magically, it all worked out. 

This was a recipe I knew my she-wants-to-be-a-vegetarian-until-she-realizes-she-can’t-eat-Chick-fil-A-daughter would like. She loved it. As did the rest of the fam. 


 Vegetarian Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you’ll sometimes find this already done at your local grocery store)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes with chipotle  (If you can find it. I found it in a jar at Kroger with the other sun-dried tomatoes.)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • toppings: sliced avocado, goat cheese or cheddar cheese, green onions or cilantro, jalapeño, sliced radishes, tortilla chips



  1. First, pop the butternut squash in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Then put squash, the onion and bell pepper in the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, tomato paste, chile powder, and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir it all together. Add tomatoes, black beans, honey, and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, until the butternut squash is very tender.
  3. Check for seasoning and add more salt and chili powder as needed.


READ MORE: America in a Bowl – Soup and Chili Bucket List