This simple recipe for Crock-Pot Black Bean, Chorizo and Butternut Squash Chili will fill your kitchen with mouthwatering aroma as it simmers in the slow cooker all day. Serve with cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a hearty dinner!
Crock-Pot Black Bean, Chorizo and Butternut Squash Chili
It is kind of amusing to me how a new recipe can come about and be inspired. This one was just something I sort of made up based on finding a package of pre-cubed butternut squash in the produce department at my local grocery store.
When I spotted it I just thought to myself “Man, that is handy!”
I am not opposed to cutting up a butternut squash, it really isn’t that hard. But having it already done for me by some produce fairy at the grocery store just makes my life just a little bit easier.
And when you have 5 kids to feed, a little bit easier is just the thing this mamma needs.
After tossing the package of squash into my shopping cart I started to think about what delicious new slow cooker recipe I could make with it.
I already had cans of black beans and diced tomatoes in my pantry at home (I stockpile these kitchen pantry staples when they are on sale) so chili sounded like an easy choice.
Then I spotted a package of fresh chorizo (chorizo fresco) sausage in the meat department and thought that would make a lovely flavor addition to a hearty chili. A little something different than just ground beef or turkey (of course you could use either of those too in this recipe if you cannot find chorizo…the finished dish will just have a different flavor profile).
In order to get the delicious flavor profile from the chorizo sausage without all that grease you are going to want to give yourself a few minutes to cook and brown the sausage in a skillet on the stove top and then line a dinner plate with a good 6 or 8 sheets of paper towels. Spoon the cooked and crumbed sausage onto the plate and really let those paper towels soak up with fat from the sausage. And while your sausage is chilling out on paper towels return your pan to the stove top and cook up the onion and garlic, just until the onion turns translucent and you are just starting to see a little caramelized color on them. This brings out the natural sweetness from the onion and transforms both the garlic and onion into a different flavor profile than if you just tossed them both into the crock raw. Trust me, it is worth the extra step.
Chorizo is a sausage I grew up eating, but it has taken me a while to actually LIKE it. When I was a kid it was always prepared as chorizo and eggs and I really just wasn’t a fan. Chorizo is a rather greasy sausage when cooked and the grease is a bright red. The red color comes from the heavy use of pimentón (AKA smoked paprika). This spice in the sausage is what gives chorizo it’s amazing flavor…I am just not sure it is meant to go with eggs.
But that is just me, everyone else I know seems to think it is a wonderful combination….
I will tell you what IS a wonderful combination…chorizo, black beans and believe it or not, butternut squash.
When you put those three ingredients in your slow cooker along with a few other yummy things and let it simmer away all day in the crock-pot you end up with a delicious chili that is very kid friendly.
Yes, that is right, my kids were totally into this chili recipe. I think it was the smell that hooked them as it cooked away all day on a lazy Sunday.
Crock-pot aromas can really start to make your mouth water and make you hungry can’t they?
At first they were a little hesitant about the squash, but honestly once it cooks in the chili it starts to absorb all those chili flavors and imparts just a hint of its own squashy (is that a word?) flavor and a little sweetness to the chili.
I served our chili with wedges of fresh lime, a little fresh cilantro and for the kids some shredded cheddar cheese.
The leftovers (if there are any) freeze up beautifully. I tossed our leftovers in quart sized freezer bags for my husband to warm up while he is driving truck over the road.
- More Crock-Pot Chili Recipes
- More Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Recipes
- More Crock-Pot Black Bean Recipes
- More 6-Quart Slow Cooker Recipes