How did you spend your time during this weekend’s blizzard? I was happy to have nowhere to go and spent a lot of time in my kitchen cooking up treats, snacks, and all around good food. It also gave me a chance to assess the contents of my cupboards and make use of some canned goods.

I have always wanted a good chili recipe, one that is flavorful, rich, and hearty, but not at all greasy. While reading some local blogs, I came across one that raved about a recent chili and cornbread they made. I had all the ingredients for the cornbread and thanks to my well-stocked cupboards, I could make the chili with a few substitutions.


(credit: Crystal Grobe)

This was supposed to be a black bean and butternut squash chili with swiss chard, but instead I turned it into a three bean and delicata squash chili with kale. While I love butternut squash, delicata was what I had on hand and is much easier to work with: softer to cut and no need to peel!

What really made this chili shine was the texture. Before adding the kale, I took a cup or two of chili and pureed it using an immersion blender before adding it back to the pot. The chili was still plenty chunky, but now had a nice balance of textures that fit well on a spoon.


(credit: Crystal Grobe)

The cornbread was also amazing and the recipe didn’t need any tweaking. This is the kind of cornbread I love, so full of butter flavor and sweetness that nothing else is needed. I have always paired my chili with saltines, but found the cornbread to be just as satisfying.

Click on the links above for the cornbread and original chili recipes. I have included my version of the chili below.

Three Bean Chili With Delicata Squash and Kale
(adapted from Bon Appetit, 2006)
4-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces delicata squash, unpeeled
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp light brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounch can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups coarsely chopped kale

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 9 minutes, add garlic and sauté 1 minute more or until fragrant. Add squash; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and cinnamon and coat onions and garlic. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove 1 cup of the chili and puree in a blender. Return to pot and stir in kale; simmer until kale is tender but still bright green, about 5-7 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Garnish with minced red onion, cilantro, sour cream, and cheddar cheese, if desired.

Comments (3)
  1. Amy says:

    Yum! I’m always looking for good vegetarian chili recipes.

  2. Crystal says:

    Amy – Me too! I hadn’t found a good one until now, so that makes me a happy camper!

  3. ron says:

    yuck looks like something I came out of me. last night.

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