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Butternut Beef Chili

I first discovered this recipe in a Cooking Light special magazine–maybe a freeze ahead special issue that came out around the holidays several years ago.  It is now a staple of our winter recipes and can almost always be found in the freezer for those nights we just need to pull something out in a hurry with little prep.  This makes a large batch.  I think the original recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, but I think canned is easier and in the winter is a much better quality than what we find in our grocery store.  Also, I add both crushed and diced tomatoes because I like some tomato chunks, but also like my chili somewhat saucy.

Butternut Beef Chili

1-2 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1 chopped onion
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 chopped jalapeno
1 large butternut squash
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 c. water
1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
1 15 oz. can light red kidney beans
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 tsp salt

Brown the ground beef with the onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic.  Drain off the liquids.  Add all the remaining ingredients.  Use less water if you like a thicker chili, more if you like it a little more liquidy (also make sure there is enough to cover the squash).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes (check the squash with a fork to make sure it is thoroughly cooked).

Butternut Beef Chili

Hearty Goodness!

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