Sunday, November 7, 2010

Autumn Harvest Chili-Chili My Way!

I like Chili, but I don't like beans or very spicy food, so when my husband make his Atomic Chili, (for an  upcoming post), I make another kind without beans.  In the Fall, I make this kind of Chili, Autumn Harvest Chili, which has zucchini, onions, red pepper. cremini mushrooms tomato sauce. beer, a few other ingredients.  The best part of this recipe is that the "bowl" for your chili is one half of a roasted butternut squash, soo good!  Along with the vegetables in the chili,  you get luscious  bites of squash. I adapted Rachael Ray's Autumn Harvest Chili recipe. 

The recipe also called for black beans, which I didn't add.  I poached a small chicken breast, diced it and threw it into the pan.  The good thing about chili, is that you can take a basic recipe and tailor it to you tastes and desires. My husband's Atomic chili has 21 ingredients. You could make this Autumn Harvest  Chili vegan or vegetarian, with just a few tweaks.  I imagine there are as many chili recipes, and concoctions, as there are people on the earth.  It seems like it any way. So whether you like your chili mild or spicy, meatless, or beanless, vegetarian, or vegan,  thick or thin, go ahead and have it your way!  For another layer of flavor in my chili added about one-quarter of a piece of  Mexican chocolate. we started adding chocolate to our chili  , when my husband made mole, which has 26 ingredients. Did I tell you that my husband likes  to cook complex  recipes?  How many people put chocolate in their chili?


  • 2 small butternut squash, cut in half and seeded
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered,  I used Cremini or Baby Bella
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 box frozen corn (10 ounces)
  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces), drained I didn't add these
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste(  I also added about 1/2 cup tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup apple cider (the cloudy kind), as needed, (I used beer)
  • 2 cups yellow cheddar cheese, shredded  (optional) I didn't do this)
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 piece of Mexican chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.

Place the butternut squash cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle it with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the squash in the oven until tender, about 45 minutes. While the squash is in the oven, place a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat with the remaining,  2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the spices, cilantro, corn and tomato paste and sauce to the pan and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the beer to the pan (start with about 1/2 cup and add more as needed – you want a thicker chili) and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.Scoop the finished chili over the butternut squash halves and sprinkle with the cheese. Place the squash under the broiler to melt the cheese, then serve.


  1. Hi Becky...I hate to admit it, but I'm not a fan of beans either! I always pick mine out when I make chili! Thanks for sharing this delicious and warm soup with us. I will be making it soon, I can assure you. It is finally cooling down in Austin, and I'm ready to get my soup pot boiling!

  2. -Monet I pick the beans out, too, but my husband puts 5 kinds of beans in his chili, so they're kinda hard to pick out. I made your Pumpkin Chocolate brownies for a neighborhood bonfire, and everybody loved them, They're so rich

  3. Mmm!! An excellent recipe Becky! I actually put chocolate and beer in my chili! I love the beans though, so I always have lots of those too.

  4. -Kim You would like my husband's chili then:) He has all of the above and more!

  5. I am a fan of beans, but I'm also a fan of that dish above. Wow, that looks fantastic. I love fresh vegetables stewed like this. Thanks for sharing your adaptation.

  6. Hi Becky...I just wanted to say that I'm so happy that you enjoyed the brownies that you made! It made my day to read that :-)

  7. I love the bowl idea! I don't love the beans in it either! I missed reading all my friends while I was away! Hope you make it my way one day!

  8. Christiane- My pleasure to share the recipe. glad that you liked it. Would Dudette eat this?

    Monet- Glad that I could "make your day!

    Gina- Glad that you liked the recipe, too. I would like to get out your way, someday:)

  9. This looks fantastic! I am not too crazy about super spicy chili either, but this is an awesome alternative!

  10. What a delicious combination of ingredients! looks fantastic!

  11. Sarah,
    Thank you for your comments, and this "alternative" chili is wonderful!

    Dimah- thank you for your comments.

  12. thank you for sharing this Becky!! it looks so yummy ..i will be making some for my family soon.


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