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Pinquito Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

Pinquito Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

Serves 8


  • 2 cups pinquito beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 TBS whole cumin seeds
  • 2 TBS dried oregano
  • 2 TBS paprika
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 3 TBS sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped to a medium dice
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into medium dice
  • 2 TBS coarsely chopped fresh garlic
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 TBS chipotle in adobo sauce, pureed
  • 2 TBS rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped


Drain the pinquito beans from their overnight soak, and rinse with water. Fill a large pot with several quarts of clean water, add in the beans and bay leaf, and set on the stove. Turn the heat to high, and when it comes to a boil reduce the heat to medium so that it remains at a simmer. Cook the chili beans, scooping off any gray bubbles that collect on the surface as the beans cook. When they are almost tender, add 1 TBS of salt to the water to season the beans while they finish cooking. When the beans are fully tender, drain the beans (reserving a couple of cups of the cooking liquid separately) and set the beans aside.

 While the beans are cooking, place a second large, heavy pot over low heat. Add cumin seeds, and toast until just fragrant, about 30 seconds – be careful not to burn them! Remove pan from heat, pour the cumin into a spice grinder or mortar, and grind to a fine powder. Add the ground cumin to a small prep bowl with the oregano, paprika, chili powder and cayenne, mix well, and set aside.

 Wipe out the pan, and return it to the stove over medium-high heat this time. Pour in the sunflower oil, and when it is hot, add onions and saute until they are aromatic and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash to pan, stir in with onions, and saute until the squash is soft and begins to take on a golden color on the edges, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to saute for another minute until the garlic is aromatic.

 Pour the spice blend, cooked beans, crushed tomatoes, pureed chipotle, rice vinegar, and salt into the pan, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chili is thick, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Add the corn to the chili in the last few minutes of cooking. If the chili gets too thick for your liking, you can thin it out a bit with that reserved bean cooking liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and more cayenne if you’d like it spicier. Right before serving, stir in half of the cilantro and serve hot, family or style or portioned into bowls. Garnish with remaining cilantro and a slice of avocado for an extra treat!



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