Squashy Chili

Source: https://www.chopchopfamily.org/recipe/squashy-chili/

Chili can be spicy, but this recipe is mild. If you really want to go for the burn, try adding fresh or dried chiles.

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Strainer or colander
  • Large heavy-bottomed soup pot with a lid
  • Large spoon
  • Pot holders



  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cups diced* butternut squash
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if you like spicy)
  • 1⁄4 to ½ teaspoon cayenne (if you like spicy)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, including the juice
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini, diced*



  • Put the pot on the stove, turn the heat to low, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, oregano, and cumin (and red pepper flakes and cayenne, if using). Cook until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. If it looks dry, add a little of the water.
  • Add the beans and tomatoes, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the zucchini and cook, uncovered, for 30 more minutes. Serve right away or set aside to cool, then transfer to a container and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 2 months.


*Diced veggies are cut into small pieces about the size of dice. But let your adult cut the butternut squash. It’s very hard! 

EXTRAS to add (if you like):

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1⁄4 lemon, for squeezing

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