This month, we’re featuring comfort food recipes, and what could be more comforting than curling up with a warm bowl of chili? (It’s also an easy meal to serve when friends come over.) Today, Erica from The Mama Circle shares her recipe for this hearty vegetarian chili that’s good for your body and soul. Here’s how she makes it…

Vegetarian Chili
by Erica Chidi of The Mama Circle

Winter is for cozy bowl food. Winter also means an abundance of my favorite vegetable—squash. Beautiful, colorful, oddly shaped squash.

I prefer to use delicata squash in this chili because the flesh gets tender and sweet when cooked, which means no need for a peeler! Hearty, nutritious and ready to serve in under an hour, this fail-proof chili always hits the spot. In fact, I find that it tastes even better the next day. Quick tip: If you’re planning to eat the chili over a few days, add some fresh kale each time to reboot it!


Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups of 1/2-inch pieces delicata squash, unpeeled
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon of red chill flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 can of kidney beans, rinsed, drained
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
4 cups roughly chopped kale
1 handful of chopped cilantro and italian parsley
Grated monterey jack cheese and sour cream, for serving

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 7-10 minutes. Then add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more or until fragrant. Add squash; sauté for 5 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, brown sugar and cinnamon, and coat onions, garlic and squash. Then stir in beans, broth and tomatoes with juices; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Feel free to serve it up with a dollop of sour cream and grated jack cheese.

Thank you so much, Erica!

P.S. More best recipes, including chicken soup and cheesy mashed potatoes. And Erica’s beauty uniform.

(Recipe and photos by Erica Chidi. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series.)