This cozy chili is packed with Italian sausage, butternut squash, tomatoes and beans. It’s given a smoky twist with ground chipotle pepper and it perfect for a cool fall night! Thank you Hunt’s for sponsoring this post.
Well, it’s officially fall here. When I left for Chile it was still in the 90’s, an exhausting, never-ending summer. But something happened that week, and when I got home it was cool and crisp. Well, let’s be real… some days still get into the 80’s, which probably doesn’t sound like fall to most. But the mornings are chilly and dark, and I’ve broken out pants and sweatshirts. So it’s fall to me!
Once the weather is cool and the evenings start getting darker, we sort of shift into one-pot comfort food. Do you know what I mean? Casseroles, soups, stews and chili. There’s just something about a big bowl of warmth that makes fall feel special.
Our garden is producing less and I tend to grab a lot more ingredients out of the pantry. Just because pantry items aren’t straight from the farmer’s market doesn’t mean they’re not nutritious. In fact, there are a few healthy staples I always have stocked.
With just two of us in the house, there are few things I buy in bulk. But there are a couple pantry items I go through like crazy. I always buy loads of canned beans (black, kidney and chickpeas), chicken stock, and canned tomato products—especially diced and crushed tomatoes! Having these items always on hand makes it so much easier to throw together some of my favorite fall meals—chili, casseroles and pasta sauces (which I almost always make from scratch!).
After decorating my house for Halloween with pumpkins and gourds, I had winter squash on the mind. Definitely one of my favorite seasonal veggies. I bought a butternut squash and thought it could be good in a chili! Sweet and spicy is right up my alley, so it sounded perfect. Instead of using ground beef, I mixed it up with Italian sausage. The spices in the sausage were also a perfect complement to the squash.
Into the pantry I went for my beans and tomatoes. I like to use Hunt’s 100% natural tomatoes because I know they are made with vine-ripened tomatoes, a non-GMO food, and have no artificial ingredients or preservatives added. They’re a pantry item I can feel good about using! Hunt’s canned tomatoes come from California farms – they are all natural…and they taste so delicious. And Hunt’s believes in FlashSteam® peeling, which uses steam from simple hot water instead of chemicals, like lye*. (*Lye peeling is generally recognized as safe by the FDA and has no adverse effects on the healthfulness of tomatoes.)
Real food is a top priority for us, so it’s great any time we can avoid chemicals in our food.
The chili turned out perfect. Smoky, spicy, warm and filling with just a touch of sweetness. It was such a fun twist on the classic. And perfect for fall!
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cups diced butternut squash
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 (32 oz) can Hunts crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can Hunts diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- Heat a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside. Pour grease out of dutch oven and return to stove.
- Add olive oil to dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add onion, butternut squash and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until veggies begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
- Add chicken stock to pot to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Then add crushed and diced tomatoes, black and kidney beans, and spices. Return sausage to the pot.
- Stir everything to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, until flavors are combined and squash is tender.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hunt’s canned tomato products.