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Black Bean Chili

Updated on June 20, 2014

Not Your Grandmother's Chili

The word chili brings to mind the simple ingredients of ground beef and kidney beans but this simple and hearty recipe has evolved over the years to include the unexpected.

Here is an updated meatless version of an old favorite with lots of vitamins, flavor and texture. Serve it up with a whole wheat roll or biscuit and a serving of your favorite fruit.

Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash

The Recipe

With the cold nights sneaking up on us there is nothing more satisfying than a spicy bowl of chili to warm the insides.


2 tsp olive oil

2 cups onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 a butternut squash, peeled/chopped

2 tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes

3 cups green chard, chopped


Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about eight minutes.

While onions are cooking slice the butternut squash lengthwise down the middle and scoop out the innards for compost -- I find the easiest way to peel it is to slice the half I'm using for the chili into about eight long slices. Then peel each of those separately. The hard skin of the squash makes it too hard to peel it as one piece. Chop the slices of squash into 1/2" pieces and add to onions. Let the squash absorb some of the onion flavour for a few minutes or more. Generally, I slice up and peel the other half of the squash and store it in an air tight container for use later in the week as a side dish or if it is exceptionally large, soup.

Sprinkle the chilli powder and cumin over the squash and onions, stir until blended. Add the rinsed and drained black beans followed by the broth and the tomatoes (don't drain tomatoes). Bring to boil.

Reduce the temperature and let chili simmer uncovered until squash is tender. Depending on how firm the squash is this can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes.

If you have family members who would object to having greens in their chilli you can serve the chili at this point or you can chop up three cups of green Swiss chard being sure to remove the bitter white center vein before chopping and add these incredibly nutritious greens to the chili. Let cook until soft but not until it disintegrates.

This black bean chili recipe makes about eight to ten large bowls of chili. It freezes and reheats really well in individual size containers.

Have You Tried Black Beans in Chili?

Before you move down to the recipe take a few seconds to let use know how you feel about black beans in your chilli.

Have You Tried Black Beans in Chili?

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    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 7 years ago from Sweden

      Sounds interesting to try! Thanks

    • corinnemwestphal profile image

      corinnemwestphal 7 years ago

      I have my own version of veggie chili, but love the idea of using butternut squash! I'll definitely give this a try! Thanks for sharing this.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This sounds really good and a change from your regular chili.