Vegetarian Squash Chili

Vegetarian Squash Chili

"Dining with Dysphagia: A Cookbook” created by NYU’s online master’s in speech pathology  is a is a collection of recipes for people with dypshagia – a disorder that impacts chewing and swallowing.

Serves: 8-10

Time to Make: 1 hour


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion

1½ cups bell peppers

2 celery stalks, diced

1 butternut squash

4 small garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotle in adobo, depending on how spicy you want your dish to be

28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

5 cups cooked black beans

4 cups vegetable broth (for a richer flavor, replace 1 cup of vegetable broth with 1 cup of brewed coffee)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Sour cream, minced chives, and lime wedges for serving


Prepare ingredients: Chop the red onion and the bell peppers. Small dice the celery and set aside with the onion and peppers. Peel the butternut squash, remove seeds, and chop into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic cloves. Drain and rinse the black beans. Prepare the coffee, if using, and set aside.

In a 4-6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high until shimmering. Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, and butternut squash until the onions begin to soften, about 7-8 minutes. Once the onions become translucent, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, and chopped chipotle and cook, stirring regularly, until the spices are fragrant and the vegetables are evenly coated, about 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes, beans, and vegetable broth (and coffee, if using) and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened a bit. Before serving, season with salt and black pepper to taste.

To serve, divide the chili between bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives and lime wedges on the side.

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!