the taste space

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on November 20, 2010


I have a mighty fine selection of spices, if I may say so myself.  A huge thank you goes to my last trip to Penzeys, and also to Bestwin which has a multitude of cheap ethnic spices. Fresh spices make a huge difference when cooking. Spices don’t keep long, which is why I only buy the spices I need. I make my own garam masala and now I will show you how to make your own chili powder. For the spice-sissies like me, this is yet another way to flavour the heat levels to your own liking.

There are many recipes for chili powder, but I went with a flavourful blend with smoked paprika, cumin, coriander,  oregano and garlic powder. You can add as much real chili your taste buds will desire, but I stayed with my flavourful (not hot) Aleppo chili flakes from the base recipe. The deconstructed recipe has been incorporated into the chili recipe below. Definitely play with the flavours until you get something you like.


This is a Hallowe’en themed chili, filled with all things black and orange, adapted from Party Vegan (recipe also posted here). Of course, I couldn’t just do a simple, traditional chili. This one is filled with butternut squash and the secret oomph comes from the apple juice. Its sweetness allows you to dial up the heat higher than you might otherwise. Personally, I thought it was great. Different than the ordinary, and the squash worked well with the black beans.


This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (or more if you want it hotter – this is tame)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 1/2 cups cooked or 3 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup apple juice (I used 300 mL)
4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
3 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut the squash into 1/4-inch dice and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, chili flakes, squash, carrot, and bell pepper, if using. Cover and cook, until softened, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans. Stir in the apple juice, paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, allspice, sugar, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Uncover and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

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9 Responses

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  1. Priya said, on November 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    Wat a droolworthy meal..

  2. Joanne said, on November 20, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Well you know how much I love using squash as much as possible and this sounds like a fabulous place for it! That sweet nuttiness paired with the spice of chili powder…glorious combination.

  3. Anh said, on November 21, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    lovely loely recipe! I always adore black bean in cooking :)

  4. Priya sreeram said, on November 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    looks awesome—–lipsmacking to say the least!

  5. Megha said, on November 22, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    very interesting recipe – using of apple juice is really very different…would love to try :)

  6. Simona said, on November 22, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    This looks very nice! I have never had butternut squash with beans. Your chili is quite appealing.

  7. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said, on November 27, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    I am quie amused that we both made our versions of almost the same dish within a day of each other!

  8. Ashley said, on January 31, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    I have the most ridiculously large collection of spices. Most of them I very rarely use. And I have things like wasabi powder which I used once! How silly. Anyway this chili looks yummy. :) Love the Halloween theme!

  9. [...] spotted it on Isobelle’s site, but the recipe came from Ashlae. While I have made other chilis before, this is definitely my favourite so far. A savoury saucy chili, filled with beans and [...]


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