Super easy to make, Butternut Squash and Eggplant Beef Chili is a sweet autumn chili packed with veggies and rich in protein that all little growing brains need. It’s full of earthy fall flavors and kid-friendly. Make it ahead and freeze half for busy days.
So, what have I sneaked into this Butternut Squash and Eggplant Beef Chili that makes it so good for the little ones and everyone else? The list is long but don’t let that scare you. All you need to do is brown the beef and toss everything else in to simmer. Come back to it in a couple of hours and you have a nutritious and delicious dinner.
Here’s what’s in the pot:
- Cannellini beans – high protein and fiber content, and folic acid
- Onion – polyphenols (flavonoids and tannins), antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits
- Celery – vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C
- Eggplant – more dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper
- Tomatoes – vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate, thiamin, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
- Grass-Fed Beef – iron, zinc, protein, B vitamins, “more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, linoleum acid, a type of fat that’s thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks” (Mayo Clinic)
- Yellow Bell Pepper – vitamin C, fiber, protein and iron
- Butternut Squash – rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, beta-carotene (vitamin A), anti-inflammatory benefits, vitamin C
- Garlic – manganese, vitamins B6, C, and B1, selenium, fiber, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, antioxidants… Garlic pretty much contains small amounts of everything we need.
For more hearty soups and stews, click photos below:
Did you know that butternut squash is considered a fruit because it contains seeds?
To make it worthy of a special occasion, serve it in a carved out pumpkin. My child thinks helping yourself out of a pumpkin is hilarious!
To Make Butternut Squash and Eggplant Beef Chili, You Will Need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 2 15-oz cans cannelloni beans with juice; or 8 oz dry bean, soaked and cooked
- 1 28-oz can peeled tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups chicken broth, unsalted
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot (6-quart Dutch Oven works best) over medium heat. Add beef and crumble it with a spatula. Brown it stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in all other ingredients, adding chicken broth last. Make sure to scrape of any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Bring to boil and let boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce heat to low. Place a lid ajar and let simmer for at least 2 hours. Stir periodically.
- Check for salt. Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings.
- Wash a small organic pumpkin well. Slice of the top of it and remove all pulp and seeds from the inside. Rinse well and you have a beautiful serving dish.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I used to make this recipe. It doesn’t cost you anything to use them.