Turkey Sausage and Butternut Squash Chili

You might find it a little bit weird, but we are having a heat wave in Connecticut.  I mean, beginning of December, it’s supposed to be cold and have snowed at least once, right?  Today was a high of 63 degrees.  I was sweating.  Now, don’t worry, I’ll still complain when the temperature drops and when it’s 63 degrees in the summer, I’ll bust out a jacket.  But really?  The only snow we had was last week and it was supposed to be 6-12 inches, but maybe measured less than an inch…and didn’t even stick!

Anyways, regardless of the crazy weather…we can blame global warming or El Nino, or whatever…I still like to make comfort food in the winter.  So the other day, I did have a butternut squash I wanted to use and decided to make a chili with turkey sausage and butternut squash and some kidney beans.  It turned out delicious!  The key to this is you have to make sure to start cooking with the butternut squash and make sure you cook until it is tender.  Who likes crunchy butternut squash?  Not me.  Although I’m sure there are some people that do.

Start by sauteeing your butternut squash and onions in some olive oil.  Use a rather large pot.

DSC_0933

Add turkey sausage and cook until brown.

DSC_0934

Add chili powder, cumin, black pepper and cinnamon.

DSC_0935

Add 2 cans of beans – I used kidney, but black beans would also be good here.

DSC_0936

Add Rotel and diced tomatoes.

DSC_0937

Simmer for about 45 minutes (or until squash is tender).

DSC_0938

Serve and enjoy!  **Note: this is a clean recipe, but you can serve with cheese and sour cream if you desire!

DSC_0941

Recipe:

1 whole butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 medium onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 – 10 oz can Rotel
1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 14.5 oz cans beans – kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed.

In a medium or large pot, saute onions and butternut squash in olive oil.  Cook  for about 5 minutes.  Add the turkey sausage and cook through.  Add chili powder, cumin, black pepper and cinnamon and mix to combine.  Add beans and mix to combine.  Add Rotel, diced tomatoes and mix thoroughly.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.

Serve and enjoy!

Caroline