Turkey Sausage and Butternut Squash Chili

There’s something about chili that screams fall and football.  And there’s something about butternut squash that screams fall.  I guess I’m just over summer and ready for fall.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love summer, but summer in CT is just brutal.  There’s the heat and the humidity and the only thing that makes it more bearable is when you can find shade and a breeze, or the ocean and a lobster roll.  But I digress since this post was supposed to be about chili.

I made this butternut squash and turkey sausage chili the other day because it was another clean recipe and I thought KB might enjoy it since I had to take him a portable meal when he was on duty the other day.  I used frozen butternut squash because it’s not fall.  I much prefer to use fresh vegetables, but when they aren’t in season, it’s perfectly acceptable to use frozen.  And when you’re using a vegetable like butternut squash, any time you don’t have to do the work to peel the squash and scoop out seeds – bonus!  Butternut squash and turkey sausage are a classic fall pairing and this recipe is wonderful for a nice fall meal that’s a change of pace from regular old chili.

Start by steaming 1/2 the 16 oz bag of butternut squash in some water.  This will get pureed to thicken the chili.  The other half will be cubed in the chili for some texture.

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In a large pot, brown your turkey sausage over some olive oil.

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Add onions, fresh sage and garlic.

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Add remainder of butternut squash.

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Meanwhile, puree the steamed butternut squash.

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Add 2 cans of cannellini  beans to the pot with the turkey sausage and vegetables – you could also use black beans or regular kidney beans.

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Add the butternut squash puree and 1 can of diced tomatoes.

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Stir to combine.  Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes until heated through.

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Serve and enjoy!

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There’s not a lot of heat to this recipe, so you could certainly add some jalepenos or cayenne pepper to bump up the heat level, but that, of course is personal preference and you may not want to do that if you have tiny humans eating.

Recipe:

16 oz bag frozen butternut squash
1 lb – turkey sausage, casings removed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
7 leaves fresh sage, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 14 oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans) or black beans or regular kidney beans
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
shredded cheese for garnish

Start by steaming half the butternut squash in a pot with some water.  When cooked, remove from heat, drain and set aside.  In a large pot, brown the turkey sausage over the olive oil.  Add onions, sage and garlic.   Add the remainder of the butternut squash to the pot and continue to cook.  Meanwhile, puree the steamed butternut squash.  Add the cannellini beans to the turkey sausage and stir to combine.  Then add in the butternut squash puree and the diced tomatoes.  Mix to combine.  Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes and then serve and enjoy!

Caroline