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Recipe: Spicy Beef Chili With Butternut Squash

Flavorful, colorful family pleaser

A bowl of chili with chunks of butternut squash

With a perfect flavor balance between the heat of the chili and the sweetness of the squash, this one-pot meal will please the whole family. To peel the butternut squash quickly and easily, use a sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler.


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1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
One 14 ½ -ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice
1 small butternut squash chopped into ½ -inch cubes (about 3 ½ cups)
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 6 sprigs for serving
3 scallions, white parts and 3 inches of the green, thinly sliced
1/3 cup light sour cream
½ cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese


  1. Sauté the beef, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat.
  2. Drain the meat and vegetables in a colander and return to the pot.
  3. Add the squash, 2 cups of water, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, chili powder, beans, and garlic. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally , until the squash is tender. Add the jalapeno, if using, and the cilantro; simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  5. Ladle the chili into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with a cilantro sprig. Pass the scallions, sour cream and cheese.

Dietitian’s Note: The chili can also be made with white meat turkey, chicken or buffalo.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Makes 6 servings

Calories: 300
Total fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 2.5 g
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrates: 44 g
Dietary fiber: 14 g
Cholesterol: 46 mg
Sodium: 518 mg
Potassium: 996 mg

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books)


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