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With a perfect flavor balance between the sweetness of the squash and the heat of the chili, this one-pot meal will please adults and children alike. To peel the butternut squash quickly and easily, use a sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler.


1 pound ground sirloin

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 14 ½ -ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice

1 small butternut squash chopped into ½ -inch dice (about 3 ½ cups)

1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 6 sprigs for serving

3 scallions, white parts and 3 inches of the green, thinly sliced

1/3 cup light sour cream

½ cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese


1) Sauté the beef, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat.

2) Drain the meat and vegetables in a colander and return to the pot.

3) Add the squash, 2 cups of water, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, chili powder, beans, and garlic. Bring to a simmer.

4) Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender. Add the jalapeno, if using, and the cilantro; simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water if needed.

5) Ladle the chili into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with a cilantro sprig. Pass the scallions, sour cream, and cheese.

Nutritional Analysis: (per serving)

Calories: 300 (18% calories from fat)

Total Fat: 6 g

Saturated Fat: 2.5 g

Protein: 26 g

Carbohydrates: 44 g

Dietary Fiber: 14 g

Cholesterol: 46 mg

Sodium: 518 mg

Potassium: 996 mg

Dieticians Note:

The chili is equally good made with white meat turkey, chicken or buffalo.  

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