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What's for Dinner? Butternut Squash Chili with White Cheddar Grilled Cheese and Jalepeno Rings

By Molly Durham in Food on Oct 21, 2011 4:00PM

It's that time. The time when you want to curl up with something warm, maybe something spicy to clear out your sinuses, and eat everything in sight. Well, this dish is perfect for just that. Chili is incredibly seasonally appropriate, but we didn't think it could hurt to add some butternut squash and make it even more so. Dipping the grilled cheese in the chili is highly encouraged.

Butternut squash chili recipe:


1 pound lean ground beef
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 can black beans
2 large white onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
3 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced, and 1 large spoonful of the adobo sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups of water


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. While you do this, cook ground beef in separate pan until just barely all browned.

Add garlic to onions; stir 1 minute. Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over, then stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chipotles, squash and oregano and beef. Next add water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer for about 90 minutes.

Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with sour cream, cheese, red onion, cilantro, and fried jalapeƱo rings.

For the fried jalapeno rings:
Fill 3 bowls, one with lightly beaten eggs, one with all-purpose flour, one with plain breadcrumbs. Dip chopped jalapeno pieces in each in that order, then fry in peanut oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

For the grilled cheese:
Butter 2 pieces of sourdough bread, use Vermont white cheddar, and squeeze some dijon mustard in between before grilling. The key is low heat and patience to get it right and the cheese completely melted.