When the temperature drops, the first thing I crave is chili. The past couple of weeks have been in the high 20s, sometimes flirting in the 30s. My standard crockpot chili recipe is a good standby, but I was interested in creating something different. Usually when I’m searching for a new twist on an old recipe, I turn to my Secret Recipe Club pairing for an idea. Serena and Deanna over at a Teaspoon of Spice did not disappoint.
When I saw Deanna’s recipe for Acorn Squash Farm Share Chili I couldn’t resist. I too had acquired an acorn squash near the end of the season and it’s been hanging out on my countertop ever since. This recipe seemed like the perfect use for it. Me being me though, I of course went for dried beans (and a bit more variety in them) and turned it into a slow cooker recipe. While Deanna’s original recipe seemed pretty easy, I’m still convinced that there’s nothing better than coming home to an apartment warmed with chili. Fill your bowl, top it with some cheese and sour cream, if that’s your thing, and indulge.
Slow Cooker Acorn Squash Chili (Adapted from a Teaspoon of Spice)
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large bell peppers, chopped
- 1 (28 ounce) can of no-salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 c dried kidney beans
- 1 c dried pinto beans
- 1 c dried black beans
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese or sliced scallions for garnishing (optional)
Prep your beans and squash mash the night before. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Bake cut side down in baking dish filled with 1/2 inch water at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool, scrape out flesh and mash. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
Meanwhile, mix beans in a large bowl and fill with cold water so the beans are covered by at least two inches. Soak overnight.
The next morning, drain your beans and pour them into the crock of a large slow cooker. Add the rest of your ingredients, squash last, and stir well. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Stir final chili. Serve plain or with sour cream, shredded cheese and diced scallions.