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Warm up with a bowl of this hearty vegetarian chili. Packed with nutritional all-star lentils and fiber high butternut squash. This chunky and belly warming bowl of comfort food is ready in no time for you to enjoy any day of the week!
There is nothing more I love on a crisp fall day than a bowl of hot hearty chili. There is no doubt we love chili in any shape or form. We have a classic Lentil Chili, White Chicken Chili Rice Bowl, and if you’re feeling a little adventurous: White Chicken Chili with Apples. These are just a few of our favorites. Can you blame me though? Simmering pot of chili warms up any occasion. Whether you’re feeding hungry football fans, picky family members or just want something belly-warming for the body and soul, you can easily make a large pot of chili to satisfy your craving.
This Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili is high in fiber and low in fat. Not to mention it is hearty, chunky, and creamy. Lentils are a nutritional all-star. They’re rich in fiber and contain about a steak’s worth of protein—making them a healthy meat substitute. You will not miss the meat at all! Plus, you can make this vegan friendly with just one ingredient swap.
Best part, you don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to love this chili. Anyone can make + love this! It’s made with a combination of fresh and canned ingredients. I used fresh produce from a farmers market, pantry items that I already had on hand and Hunt’s No Salt Added diced tomatoes that I picked up at Wal-Mart. Using no-salt tomatoes allows me to control the salt and remaining seasoning.
You start off with sauteing onions, garlic and pepper until soft. Then you add spices + lentils. Cook for a minute or so. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, and broth. Simmer on low heat until lentils are soft around the edges but firm to bite. Add butternut squash and continue to simmer for additional 15 minutes. Then you add in the beans and cook just until they are heated through.
Serve a bowl of this goodness with your favorite toppings, such as fresh cilantro, green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado or shredded cheese.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 2 cups dry brown lentils
- 3 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. dry oregano
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans Hunt's No Salt Added diced tomatoes
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 7 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 (15 oz.) cans pink beans or small red beans
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, as needed
- In a 6-quart heavy duty stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chopped bell pepper; saute for 5-6 minutes or just until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add lentils, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft around the edges but firm to bite. Add butternut squash and continue to simmer for 15 more minutes. Add beans and cook for additional 5 minutes or just until beans are heated through and squash knife tender.
- Discard the bay leaf. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings, such as chopped fresh cilantro/parsley/chives/green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips or chopped avocado.
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