I had never tried making a chili with squash so I was excited to see how this recipe would turn out. But first, let me back up and say that this chili has an interesting back story. Last year, my mom threw some squash seeds in a compost bin. The seeds did not break down as they should have but rather grew to be enormous squash plants over the summer (the vines were 20 ft. long and growing all over the lawn). Letting the vines run wild paid off because they produced gorgeous sweet dumpling squash and I was sent 6 of them in the mail (I’m sure there’s more where that came from). I was so excited to get started since I had never tried sweet dumpling before.
I read up on the squash and it turns out that most recipes just season and roast the squash whole because of their smaller size. They are milder than other squash and taste a bit like sweet corn. I thought preparing it in a chili with beans and corn would work nicely. I started with traditional chili spices like Chipotle in adobo and cumin as well as spices that would compliment the squash like allspice and cinnamon. The chili was so tasty and I was really happy with how it turned out.
Black Bean and Sweet Dumpling Squash Chili
(Makes about 6 quarts)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 sweet dumpling squash, skins removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 45 oz. red kidney beans, drained and washed
- 45 oz black beans, drained and washed
- 4 cups sweet corn
- 29 oz. tomato sauce
- 29 oz. water
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce (from the can)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp allspice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- sour cream, for garnish
- cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- green onion, chopped for garnish (optional)
- Mix the dry spices in a bowl.
- In a 8-10 qt. sauce pot heat the butter and oil and add the onions. Cook on medium high for about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the minced jalapeno and garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the squash and stir, cook for about a minute.
- Add the black beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, chipotle sauce, chipotle peppers, sugar, and spices. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Cook covered for about 40-45 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender but not mushy.
- Garnish with sour cream, cilantro or green onions and serve.