Fall is HERE and so is butternut squash season... I'm a huge fan of winter squash and chili, so I decided I needed the two together. This delicious, nourishing, and comforting recipe is so simple and will give you all of the cooler weather feels. There is one secret ingredient that I highly recommend not skipping out on (though you may find yourself scratching your head), and that is chia seeds. The chia seeds used in this recipe add some extra fiber but also help to thicken the chili and provide an incredible consistency. Trust me on this! Recipe below, and hope you enjoy!
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
16 oz ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
24 oz diced tomatoes, drained (do not rinse!)
Two 14-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chia seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup dairy-free sour cream (optional)
In a large dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook through, breaking up into chunks with the side of a wooden spoon, until browned, (about 5 minutes). Push the turkey to the side of the pan, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining Tbsp of oil, then add the onion and garlic to the center of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chili powder, cumin and coriander and stir about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and 1 teaspoon salt and stir for another 30 seconds. Then add the diced squash, tomatoes and 4 cups water, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any stuck bits (these are the best part!). Bring the pot to a simmer, and leave uncovered, until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender, (35 to 40 minutes).
Stir the black beans and chia seeds into the chili and heat through for about 5 more minutes. Season with a bit more salt to taste and a few grinds of pepper, then stir in 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Spoon the chili into bowls and top each bowl with fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.