When I left for Mexico City in September, I figured that I would be able to buy similar produce that I bought in the U.S. Maybe I was just being naive, but I really thought that I would be able to buy butternut squash in Mexico. I was wrong. Very wrong in fact. Hector & I asked around and went to different markets and stores looking for butternut squash. Since you can buy butternut squash that is grown in Mexico in the U.S., I just assumed you can buy it there. I was really disappointed because I love butternut squash during the fall. I knew that as soon as I came back in December, I was making lots of butternut squash recipes.
First up was Black Bean Chili Butternut Squash Boats. I made this recipe a few years year and have been wanting to remake it for the blog. The black bean chili base is really simple. Sometimes chili can have a lot of ingredients. For this chili, I wanted it to be really simple and with pantry ingredients. Instead of using a dried chiles, I used chili powder to make this chili really quick and easy to make.
The chili is served inside the cooked butternut squash. How fun is that? It is a different way to serve and eat chili. Just be careful cutting the butternut squash in half. Sometimes the squash makes it difficult to cut in half. Smaller size squash is better for the recipe; however, when I went to the store they didn't have small squash. If your squash is on the larger side, just cook in a little bit longer until it is fork tender.
When I first made the recipe, I topped it with Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds. This time around I topped the chili with Miyoko's Creamery Aged English Smoked Farmhouse since I had received some for Christmas. The cheese was very smokey and rich. I really loved the strong flavor. It was really easy to shred as well. You can also use your favorite Vegan cheese to top the chili.
This a hearty vegan entree that will even satisfy meat eaters.
- 4 Small Butternut Squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 10 oz. Package Cremini Mushrooms, quartered
- 1 Medium Red Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 Jalapeno, finely minced
- 2 Small Zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 2-3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
- Salt + Pepper to Taste
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 ½ Cups Frozen Organic Corn
- 1 15 Once Can Black Beans
- 1 ½-2 Cups Vegetable Broth
- ½-1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
- Shredded Vegan Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F. On a baking sheet place lined with parchment paper the butternut squash. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Turn cut side face down on the baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 45-50 minutes. For larger squash it might take a little longer. Once done, remove from oven and turn on the broiler to the low setting.
- While the squash is roasting in the oven, make the chili. Heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add the mushrooms and brown for 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender, 7-10 minutes.
- Add the paprika, chili powder, and oregano. Stir everything together. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato pasta and throughly combine with the veggies. Add the corn, black beans, and broth. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes. In last few minutes of cooking time, stir in the agave nectar. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste.
- Scoop the cooked chili into the cooked butternut squash halves. Top the chili with vegan cheese. Place the squash back into the oven with the broiler set to low and cook 2-3 minutes, be careful not to burn the cheese.
Adapted from Rachael Ray's Harvest Chili