Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chili

I whipped up this recipe tonight when I realized I didn’t have a can of great northern beans in the pantry like I thought! My dinner plans took a swift turn into chili-land when I decided dark red kidney beans went best with acorn squash. (I mean really, my other choices were black beans and garbanzo. No. Brainer. Although now that I think of it… the black beans could have worked too! Hmmmm… another day.) Anyway, this was quick to put together and the chili is a smaller, similar take on my “famous” Vegetarian/Vegan Chili.

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This dish can serve 2-4 depending if you serve it with sides or not.

2 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed

1 – 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/4 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 fresh tomato on the vine, chopped and seeds removed
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
12 oz. water (use the tomato paste can to measure to get out the extra!)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F

Fill a 12″x9″ baking pan with water until it’s a 1/4″ deep. Place the prepared acorn squash face down in the water and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes; or until a fork easily pokes through the outer skin.

While the squash is cooking you can prepare the chili. I did mine all in one medium saucepan, on medium heat. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan until it gets that awesome olive oil smell. Add the onions and garlic and stir well, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Once it comes to a boil (you may have to turn up the heat, depending on your pan to get it to boil), reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

By this time your squash should be ready. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes before handling, or use a spatula to transfer to a plate or bowl. Fill the center of the acorn squash with chili, serve and enjoy! I’m actually eating it right now as I type up this post! It turned out well! I like that the acorn squash balances out the spice of the chili. I’m not a spicy food lover, but I can take a little kick. 😉

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