Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Chili

I follow Our Best Bites like a stalker.  Every recipe of theirs that I have ever tried has been a win.  I bought my sister their first cookbook last year and got her hooked on them as well, so last Thanksgiving we tried many recipes--you can't go wrong.  I'm officially putting their second cookbook on my Christmas list! ...So, when they posted a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili a couple of weeks ago, both my sister and I noticed it right away. 

We have been trying to eat a more plant-based diet so I tried this as a vegan recipe and made a few alterations to include butternut squash and it was a hit.  My husband is definitely a carnivore but he raved and raved about this and took it for lunch the next day.  All that to say, if you couldn't care less about being vegetarian, vegan, or eating your veggies, you could actually like this!  Don't freak out that it has a can of pumpkin in it...it doesn't even taste like pumpkin AT ALL.

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Chili
adapted from Our Best Bites

1 Tb. oil
1 large onion, chopped--any color is fine
1 bell pepper (any color) or poblano, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz button mushrooms, chopped
3 1/2-4 c. butternut squash, chopped (about half of a large butternut squash)
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can pinto or Northern beans, drained
1 15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
32 oz vegetable stock (beef or chicken stock would be perfect too)

Heat a stock pot over medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Saute onions, peppers and mushrooms until they just begin to soften.  Add in garlic and butternut squash and saute another 4-5 minutes.  (At this point you could absolutely pour everything into a crockpot and cook on low all day.) Stir in beans, pumpkin, seasonings, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to medium-low and cook another hour or until butternut squash is soft, stirring frequently.  Serve with cornbread, topped with cilantro, avocado and/or sour cream if you're so inclined.


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