I thought about calling this Texas Three Bean Chili, because the flavor reminds me of Texas BBQ in a sort of way. However, it's SO not a traditional Texas chili (or traditional chili in a lot of ways). Chili is the official dish of the state of Texas and Texans take their chili very seriously.
I think the Texan in me just wont let me call it Texas Three Bean Chili. It would be near blasphemous...
I wanted to make a chili that didn't have ground beef or turkey or chicken or whatever in it. I know traditionally chili is made with chopped meat and no beans (we're talking back on the chuckwagon in Texas folks). But you know me, I thought let's do the opposite and use ALL beans! And maybe a little of this too! NO ONE WILL SUSPECT BUTTERNUT SQUASH!!
So NOT a Texas chili. It's anti-Texas chili. Maybe I should have called it that.
I honestly don't miss all the meat at all. It's VERY satisfying, comforting, and delicious!! I might make some for lunch today, I dunno, It sounds really good on a cold day like this
Smokey Three Bean Chili
3-4 strips Hickory Smoked Bacon, chopped
1/3 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c. chopped yellow bell pepper
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
pinch crush red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP dark brown sugar
3 TBSP tomato paste
1 jar (about 1 1/2 c.) MILD salsa
1 14oz can fat free less sodium beef broth
1 14oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 c. (1/2 inch cubes) peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 14oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can great northern beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
sour cream (optional)
lime wedges (optional)
In a soup pot or dutch oven over med high heat, saute bacon, peppers, and onion until bacon begins to crisp and vegetables soften. While bacon mixture cooks, combine spices, from chili powder to brown sugar, in a small bowl. When the bacon mixture is ready, add the seasonings and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined. Add broth, salsa, tomatoes, and squash. Stir till combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans. Simmer for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.
Trust me on the lime. Squeeze it over the chili, stir it in with the cilantro and sour cream. Delicious. And if you decided to be over zealous and added a little more red pepper, or thought you should just go with it and use MEDIUM salsa, or heaven help you, HOT..... You're going to appreciate the cooling factor of that sour cream. I made this with MEDIUM salsa....oh mama. It's HOT! And you're talking to a Texan. My husband puts extra hot sauce and peppers on everything, and even he was having issues with the heat. Go for the MILD salsa my friends. You can always add heat, but you can't take it away....
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