Friday, February 17, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Italian Turkey Sausage, Black Bean, and Butternut Squash Chili

My husband's birthday was last week, and one of my gifts to him was two home-cooked meals, with chili for lunch and salmon for dinner.  I found the chili recipe on the Home Is Where the Boat Is blog.  This site is mostly a tablescape blog, but there are often recipes included as well which are always excellent.  As soon as I saw the recipe for Chilly Weather Black Bean, Sausage and Butternut Squash Chili, I knew my husband would love it, and he did!  I made a few minor changes to suit our needs, and this dish was so good that I know I will have to make it often for as long as we have cool weather!

Italian Turkey Sausage, Black Bean, and Butternut Squash Chili

2 T. olive oil
1 pkg. (20 oz.) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (I used the Publix brand)
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
2 tsp. coriander
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 bag (16 oz.) microwaveable cubed butternut squash
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes (I used unsalted)
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, drained and rinsed
4 C. chicken stock (I used unsalted)
1/4 C. chia seeds
1-2 T. apple cider vinegar

Heat 1 T. oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Push the sausage to the edges of the pan, leaving the middle clear.  Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the remaining oil, then add the onion and bell pepper to the center of the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and coriander, and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste and salt and stir until the paste begins to darken in color, about 30 seconds.  Add the squash, tomatoes, and chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any stuck bits.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender, about 45 minutes.

Stir the beans and chia seeds into the chili and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and/or pepper as needed.  Taste the chili and stir in up to 2 T. vinegar.  Serve the chili with preferred toppings (we used sour cream and shredded cheese).  Like most chilis, this one tastes even better the next day!  Serves 10-12.

Notes: You can use lean ground turkey as a low fat alternative to the sausage (you may need to increase the oil for browning since there is little fat in ground turkey).  I did not have apple cider vinegar, so I used champagne vinegar instead, which was very tasty!

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