Squashy Chili

Chili can be spicy, but this recipe is mild. If you really want to go for the burn, try adding fresh or dried chili peppers. 

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Hands-on time: 40   |    Total time: 100   |    Makes: 6 to 8 Servings


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
Strainer or colander
Large heavy-bottomed soup pot with a lid
Large spoon
Oven mitts


2 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
1 unit large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 unit garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 cup diced* butternut squash
2 unit to 4 tablespoons chili powder
1 unit to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 unit to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄4 unit to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄4 cup cold water
2 unit (16-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 unit (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 unit (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, including the juice
2 unit small or 1 large zucchini, diced*


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
  2. Let the pot heat for a minute and when it is hot, add the oil.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, oregano, and cumin (and red pepper flakes and cayenne if you like spicy). Cook on low heat until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time. If it looks dry, add the water.
  4. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini and cook, uncovered, for 30 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
  6. After the chili cools, divide it into portions: you can refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 2 months. Serve with cornbread. 

*Diced veggies are cut into small pieces about the size of dice. But let your adult cut the butternut squash. It’s very hard! 

EXTRAS to add (if you like):

2 tablespoons plain low- or non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 lemon, for squeezing