Warm up with a bowl of this hearty veggie chili. Packed with nutritional all-star lentils and fiber high butternut squash. It’s so cozy and belly warming good.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
- 3 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 7 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Optional for Serving:
- Red onions
- Sour Cream
- Something spicy
- In a 6-quart heavy duty stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes or just until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add lentils, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring nonstop.
- Add tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are soft around the edges but firm to bite. Liquid will also slightly reduce.
- Add butternut squash and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. You might also want to taste for salt here and add more, if needed.
- Stir in beans and cook just until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Check squash for doneness. It should be knife tender. Discard the bay leaf and serve with toppings of choice.
- Lentils: I like to use brown or green varieties of lentils. They’re the most basic type of lentils and are easy to find at the store.
- Tomatoes: I prefer to use no-salt diced tomatoes as I like to control the amount of salt I add to the chili. You can certaintly use salted tomatoes. Just watch how much salt you add.
- Beans: Swap out red kidney beans for pinto or black beans.
- Extra Add-Ins: This chili is very versatile and you can add more flavor with any of these add-ins: diced green chiles, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, fresh jalapeño, and something smoky such as smoked paprika or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Leftovers: Leftover chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Transfer cooled chili to a freezer safe container or bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.
Keywords: winter, tailgate, comfort food