If you’re looking for a hearty fall stew and love butternut squash, this is the chili for you! This is a unique chili recipe that has a nice added kick from the chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. It’s a one-pot meal, and makes for great leftovers and freezes well. Warm up your belly with this dish!

Butternut Squash Chiptole Chile 2

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chile 3

Butternut Squash Chiptole Chile 5

Butternut Squash Chiptole Chile

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 20 mins

Yield: 4-6 servings


1 medium red onion, chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds or less) peeled and chopped – I use the Trader Joe’s pre-cut kind, it’s so much easier

4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Ground sea salt, to taste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo* (start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste, I thought mine was just right with 1 tablespoon)

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

14 ounces can diced tomatoes, including the liquid**

2 14.5 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

14­ ounce can (about 2 cups) chicken broth

2 Avocados, diced

3 corn tortillas for crispy tortilla strips***

Cilantro (optional, for garnish)


1. In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, sauté the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.

2. Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle chilies if desired.

3. By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency that we all know and love.

4. Make the crispy tortilla strips: stack the corn tortillas and slice them into thin little strips, about 2 inches long. Heat a small pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and toss in the tortilla slices. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Cook until the strips are crispy and turning golden, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 7 minutes. Remove tortilla strips from skillet and drain on a plate covered with a piece of paper towel.

5. Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado. Cilantro would be nice as well.


Serves about 4 people. This chili is very hearty, but feel free to add another can of tomatoes or more vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a bit. Double the recipe for a crowd.

*Chipotle in adobo sauce is usually found in the Mexican section of the grocery store. I never need a whole can at once, so I use what I need and then transfer the rest to a small freezer bag, pressing it flat so that I can pull off as much as I need later.

**Find BPA ­free cans of diced tomatoes if possible. Muir Glen’s canned tomatoes are BPA­ free.

***Look for corn tortillas that contain minimally processed ingredients. There should only be about 5 ingredients listed, and wheat shouldn’t be one of them.

Recipe inspired by Cookie and Kate.