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Butternut Squash Chili w/ Kale

Butternut Squash + Kale Chili - Clean & Delicious®

Butternut Squash + Kale Chili – Clean & Delicious®

I know that technically last week kicked off the New Year but for me this week is really the official kickoff.  This Butternut Squash Chili w/ Kale is the perfect meal to start off the New Year on the right foot!

You see, when you live three thousand miles away from your family and most of your friends, a tin of fresh baked Christmas cookies from home comes packed with a different kind of vitamin Vitamin L. Those cookies were chock full of Love and you better bet I wasn’t going to let one crumb go to waste! So into my belly they went, one by one, bite by bite, nibble by nibble!

Only problem is they slid down my throat, past my belly and into my butt!  So I’m gonna keep things nice and  light and veggie based for a while.

This recipe is really easy to make, the hardest part is wrestling with the butternut squash, but remember guys, if you need to save a little extra time you can buy butternut squash peeled and cubed for an extra buck or so at the grocery store.

Finishing the chili with some fresh kale gives it great hearty texture and helps me find yet another way to get my greens in!

Butternut Squash Chili with Kale

Yield: Makes 10 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (1 red & 1 green), chopped
  • ½-1 jalapeno, diced
  • 4 cups of butternut squash cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3-15oz cans of beans, rinsed and drained (I used black, pinto, and kidney beans)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 2 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Once heated, stir in onions, jalapeno and garlic along with a pinch of salt.  Allow to cook for about two minutes or so.

Stir in bell peppers and cook another two minutes.  Add squash, curry, chili powder, and cumin and give everything a good stir.

Add beans, tomatoes, and broth.  Turn heat to high and bring everything to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the butternut squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Add kale to the pot and cover for about 5 minutes or until it wilts down.  Give everything one last stir… taste it… does it need anything else??  If not finish it with some chopped cilantro and enjoy!!

Calories: 301; Total Fat: 2.9g; Saturated Fat: 0.7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 390mg; Carbohydrate: 57g; Dietary Fiber: 12.1g; Sugars: 5.4g; Protein: 15.7g

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20 comments on “Butternut Squash Chili w/ Kale

  1. Ok, I’m licking the screen. GREAT picture. I think you’re getting the reaction you were hoping for… :o)

  2. Leticia – Thanks for the love…you know I’m on a mission now:)

  3. Hi Dani,
    Happy New Year!!!! I am loving the recipes and videos as usual.
    This recipe sounds divinely delicious. And I agree the photo looks superb!!! Just one thing though….where are the beans in the ingredients?? 😉

  4. Sandy – Happy New Year to you too!! I totally forgot to put the beans in the ingredients…thanks for pointing that out…I fixed it! It is 3-15oz cans of beans (I used black, pinto, & kidney).

  5. What gorgeous colors in that photo! Who WOULDN’T want to eat that??

    I adore kale and eat it often. One of my favorite recipes is a raw kale salad originated by raw-foods chef Chad Sarno. The key to a great salad is to chop the kale very small and then “massage” the ingredients together with your hands to make the kale more digestible and create a creamy dressing. The beauty of the salad, too, is that kale is totally NOT BITTER when it is raw! Here’s a link to a very similar recipe (mine uses half olive oil and half hemp oil, but is otherwise pretty much the same).

  6. I agree. The picture looks wonderful! What did you do differently?

  7. Ricki – Thanks for the link…I’m gonna check it out right now. I have had a raw kale salad that I buy from Whole Foods. It has a light lemon/olive oil dressing along with some dried cranberries…it is SO go, and like you said, not bitter at all. I think I may try to reinvent that recipe as well:)!

    Kari – Well I took everyones advice, that’s what I did!
    A. I took the photo after dinner for one, so I wasn’t freaking out.
    B. I used an extra light…I only have one right now, but it made a huge difference.
    C. I bought a few pieces of white board from an art store and surrounded the dish with it….this brightened things up A LOT considering it was night time.
    D. I reminded myself this is suppose to be fun:)

    Thanks again for all the tips everyone…you guys rock!

  8. Dani – Thank you so much for your recipes and posts! I was at IIN with you last year and my biggest area of difficulty is still to this day – cooking! You make it so simple and easy and I love how healthy all of your recipes are. I am going to make this one tonight.



  9. Yours went to your butt? Mine are hanging out on my thighs.

    Ew. Hanging out. That is quite an image, eh?

    Seriously, thanks for the great info.

  10. Hannah – Hello fellow alumni…thanks for stopping by!! I’m so glad you enjoy the recipes and the posts…that makes me so happy!!

    Happy – Hee hee…that’s funny!!

  11. I’ve made recipes similar to this and would like to be able to get more of the flavor into the beans themselves. I’ve tried long, slow cooking and also experimented with dried/soaked/pressure cooked vs. canned beans. I’d like to get a shot of flavor from inside the bean along with the texture it provides. Any ideas?

  12. Ravi – I’m sorry to say, but you got me on that one…I’m not really sure.

  13. Hi again Dani,
    No probs re the beans missing in the recipe! You are on the ball all the time, so I was a tad perplexed (where’s your laughing smiley??)
    Now a question for you. Kale is not readily available in Australia. I have heard of it but it is certainly not something we find in our supermarket or local fruit and veg shop. The closest thing I recognise is either silverbeet or English spinach. I have done some googling on kale but can’t really find a substitute.
    I also read that it was related to the cabbage?
    Google has not provided many answers (for once). Can you? 😉

  14. Sandy – Kale is not as tender as silverbeet or English spinach, it has a very hearty texture for a leafy green.
    It is a part of the Cruciferous family, so it is related to cabbage and broccoli. The flavor is similar to cabbage, but it is not exactly the same. I don’t know that it goes by any other name, if it does, I don’t know what it is. If you wanted to sub something for it, I suppose silverbeet or spinach would be a good choice. Like I said before, the major difference, I think, is that kale is much heartier…hope that helps:)!

  15. Great recipe! Simple to make, tastes great, and full of nutrients without the calories. However, it was very spicy! Too spicy for my tastes, so I’d recommend toning down the chili pepper, you can always add more later. I’d recommend 1 tbsp of chili pepper instead of two unless you have a very high spice tolerance.

  16. Ryan – I’m glad you liked the chili BUT in the recipe I call for chili POWDER not chili PEPPER. This may be why yours came out SO spicy. Hopefully this helps you get a milder result next time:).

  17. I tried this recipe because I had kale and butternut squash I needed to use. It’s EXCELLENT! I didn’t have any jalapenos or cilantro, so I used two cans of Rotel tomatoes – one with habanero and one with cilantro and lime. It had a really nice fruity flavor. HOT, though, because of the habaneros, but I like it hot. It was the best vegetarian chili I’ve had. Thanks.

  18. Susan – Thanks for letting me know how much you liked it!! It’s one of my favorites:).

  19. Hi Dani!

    I made this chili tonight for dinner. It is just perfect! So delicious and packed with lovely nutrients! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I use collard greens and I bet spinach would be wonderful, too.
    This is the Very Best chili recipe in the world.

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