It has been so cold here in my little corner of the world. The weather forecasters keep predicting big snow storms, but the most we’ve seen is a few skiffs of snow and a lot of grey skies. We do have the light and cheer of the holiday season to add a little warmth this time of year, but when those cold winter winds start blowing . . . brrrr!
The nice thing about unbearably cold weather is how much more magical a warm bowl of soup or a hot mug of cocoa suddenly seem. There is something quite special about a steaming bowl of warm food to greet you at the table when you step in from the icy cold outdoors. It tastes even better when you use a slow cooker to do all the work!
This Slow Cooker Winter Squash Chili makes a perfect cold weather meal! It is simple and quick to prepare and ensures a healthy and delicious meal the whole family can enjoy. Using winter squash adds a hearty texture to the chili and also packs it with vitamins and minerals.
There are a lot of delicious winter squash varieties to choose from, but the best varieties for this particular chili are Butternut Squash and Kabocha, both of which should be available at your local farmer’s markets and ordinary grocery stores. They are similar in flavor and texture, but the Kabocha squash is sweeter than the Butternut. Both are rich in Beta Carotene, Iron, Vitamin C, and Potassium. They are both delicious additions to chili!
This chili is a hearty and filling vegetarian dish. If, however, you want to add meat, you can easily toss in a pound of cooked ground beef for added protein. Either way, it will be a filling main dish on a cold winter evening!
Slow Cooker Winter Squash Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups cubed peeled butternut or kabocha squash (about 1 pound)
- 2 (16 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin and sauté for an additional minute.
- Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add squash and next 6 ingredients. Stir, cover, and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until chili is thick and squash is softened. Serve with feta cheese sprinkled on top.
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