The spiciness of this light yet satisfying chili is complemented by the subtle sweetness of corn and winter squash. Queso fresco is a crumbly, slightly salty Mexican cheese that's available in many large supermarkets. If you can't find it, substitute crumbled feta or farmer cheese. For a heartier chili, add one cup thawed frozen meatless crumbles. For a vegan version, use shredded soy cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add butternut squash and next 6 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender and chili is thick. Sprinkle with cheese; serve with lime wedges.
This recipe has been retested for Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight, 2012
This chili is so delicious I may not go back to traditional chili! I followed the recipe, but did not add the can of green chilis. I added a 1/2 can of beer, 1 T of sugar, and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg. I cooked it in the slow cooker and scooped out a small bowl. My first bite I said "Mmmm!". My second bite I said "Mmmm!". It is really a tasty recipe. It was a little more difficult to make because I used dried pinto beans, so those had to cook first. I also used a non-GMO fresh butternut squash, so that had to be peeled and cut up. Definitely a keeper recipe!!
I have 2 teenage boys, and a husband with a huge appetite. They are all huge meat eaters so I wasn't so sure about how hardy this would be. This is by far absolutely outstanding. I actually added 4 cups of beef broth. And instead of cooking in a crock pot for 8 hours, I ended up cooking it all in a huge pot on the stove on high until the beans were ready. And OMG fantastic. Top with cheese and sour cream.
I've been looking for a good vegetarian chili for a long time. Some vegetarian chilis are all high notes--sweet and tart and bright but with no depth. This chili is better than those. My meat-loving family liked it. I agree that the squash flavor is hard to pick out, but it added richness and vitamins, so I was still pleased.
Yes, a good solid recipe that needs a bit of flavor enhancement. I used a slightly hot red pepper from our farmer's market (sorry, don't know the name) instead of a regular bell, a chipotle chili, and about a TB of chipotle hot sauce--skipped the canned green chilis. I also used chicken stock instead of flavorless water and added 2 oz. ground beef (browned, of course) left from another recipe. I dislike crushed tomatoes and substitute diced canned ones. Cooked on the stovetop, slowly. With cilantro and a squirt of lime, along with the queso fresco, this was quite good. Served with simple corn tortilla & cheese quesedillas and an apple-red cabbage slaw. Made this a second time with fresh pumpkin, and that was good too!