Spicy Chicken, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

You can spice this chili up-or-down based on your personal preference on heat.  I like to make my pots of chili about medium-heat (as to not frighten anyone off after one bite…) but I like to serve chili with some hot sauce on the side, as well as some extra chipotles in adobe on the side as well if anyone wants to really add more heat and more smokiness.

This specific chili used shredded chicken, black beans, poblano and yellow pepper, onions, garlic and cubes of tender butternut squash.  With a touch of chicken stock and a large can of fire-roasted tomatoes, the only thing left to add is some fresh cilantro and some tasty dried spices.  The classics I pull from the pantry are ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, and a touch of chipotle chili powder.  Feel free to sub in white beans or pinto beans if you prefer, and even pulled pork, ground turkey or even ground chicken here as well.  A bowl of hearty chili on a cold night is just the thing to warm you up this time of year!

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Spicy Chicken, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Recipe type: Soup or Stew


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 ½ cups cubed butternut squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)
  • 1-3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce—chilies chopped finely plus 1 Tablespoon sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock, organic and low-sodium
  • (1) 28 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes (plus juices)
  • (1) 14.5-oz. can black beans (lower sodium), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese (optional)–for serving


  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion, garlic, poblano and yellow peppers, and butternut squash. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Saute for 10-12 minutes; add in the spices, reduce the heat to medium-low, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add in the cilantro, chipotle chilis and sauce (if using), the stock, and the canned tomatoes. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  2. Next, add in the beans and the chicken. Reduce the heat to low. I like to keep the chili at this point, cooking over low heat for at least 1 hour. Stir it occasionally, let it thicken up, then taste it and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

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