Thursday, July 16, 2009

Turkey and Roasted Butternut Squash Chili

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Turkey and Roasted Butternut Squash Chili

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1” cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 15-oz. cans of Rotel (or store brand if you’re making it on the cheap)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 (or 2) cans of beans (whatever you like in your chili – black, red, hominy), drained
1 heaping Tbsp. cumin
1 heaping Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Toss squash cubes with 1 Tbsp. of the oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Spread squash cubes out on a small cookie sheet. When oven is ready, place squash in and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the cubes every 5-10 minutes for even cooking.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in 1 tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add turkey and continue to cook until all turkey is thoroughly cooked through. When the turkey is cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, beans. Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Begin to heat through while finishing off the squash.

To finish the squash: In a food processor or blender, add both cans of Rotel. When the squash is done roasting, put the hot squash into the food processor/blender. Be careful with the lid because the hot food will expand if there is no air (for this I just took off the small attachment for the lid after I started the processor). Pureed the squash and Rotel. Add to chili.

Once all items are combined, bring chili to a boil and then lower the heat to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all flavors are combined. Serve hot with any chili fixings you might like (avocado, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, chips, onions, etc.)

**if you like your chili to be chunky, only blend one of the cans of Rotel with the squash.**

I really love the texture the pureed squash adds to this dish. Besides that, it's great when you're wanting to hide vegetables in food. My husband made the biggest grimace when he saw I was adding the squash to the chili, but when it was done he not only liked it, but shared it with some of the guys in the office! There are quite a few recipes out there that incorporate pureed squash into not-so-healthy dishes (i.e. Mac & Cheese) so make them a little healthier, and I've had nothing but luck with them! Let me know what y'all think!

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