I think we’ve started to hit the rain season. At least, it was raining the past week or so. Today it stopped.
I was starting to feel melancholy and was thinking of some rain-warming meals I could make. I had an Acorn Squash for decoration, and though something soupy and spicy would be delicious for a rainy day. It didn’t rain, but I still made my acorn squash chili.
Acorn Squash is a winter squash that is really sweet when roasted and is also great for pies. For me, it’s easier to handle than a butternut squash, but it’s not as nutritious (still just as delicious). If it’s not being cooked, it’s acting as the centerpiece for my table during fall. Never cook with a sugar pumpkin1…
Almost all of this recipe is based off of this Award Winning Chili just with some Acorn Squash and a few substitutions from my pantry.
Acorn Squash Chili
- 1 large Yellow Onion
- 1 large Bell Pepper
- 1 medium Acorn Squash
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 15 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
- 1 14.5 oz. Can Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 14 oz. Can Black Beans (drained)
- 1 14 oz. Can Pino Beans (drained)
- 2 Tbsp. Cumin
- 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp. Ground White Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
- Olive Oil
- Mince the garlic.
- Dice the yellow onion and bell pepper.
- Cut up the acorn squash into small 1 inch cubes. To cut the acorn squash, cut the pointy and and stem off the squash. Cut in half vertically and remove the seeds. Cut into strips, then cubes.
- On medium heat, heat up your dutch oven with a little bit of olive oil. Add the garlic. When you hear the garlic start to sizzle, add in the onions and bell peppers.
- After the onions start becoming translucent on the edges, add in your ground beef and 1 cup of water. Mash up and separate the ground beef as much as possible. Add in the acorn squash and cover. Reduce to simmer.
- Checking every once in a while, once most of the ground beef has browned, add in the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.
- Stir in all of the spices and salt. Cover and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Once the acorn squash is tender (you can easily stab it with a fork), mix in the beans. Let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, let cool a little, and serve.
This tastes great with some sour cream and cheese. I think it would have been nice to mix in some cinnamon, because the acorn squash almost seems like a substitute for a potato currently. It’s good, I’m just wondering if some pumpkin spice would work in a chili… I think next time, I’ll try to make a more warming spice blend, maybe roast and puree half the squash. I hope you enjoy.
Sugar pumpkins aren’t as sweet as a butternut or acorn squash. They seem a little bitter. ↩