Black Bean and Chorizo Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

chili, black bean, butternut squash, swiss chard, stew

Brutal honesty. It’s a make-it-or-break-it trait when it comes to choosing your friends. Either you really want it, or you don’t. Personally, I need it. If my one-shoulder-dress worn over patterned tights with high-heeled ankle booties seems like too many trends crammed into one outfit, I want my friends to tell me so. (By the way, I have a hair feather too.) I need help with these things. I’m happy to put on my standby black pumps if they say so. By the way, they did.

I like to pay it back in return. I’m not lying when I say “Hey, little Bro,” (who is a college junior and lives in an apartment with 3 other dudes) “You should really try cooking for yourself. Tacos are super easy, I swear. And, you should seriously invest in a vacuum and some bleach if you ever expect a girl to stay for more than 10 minutes.” Believe me, this was a lot less nagging than our mother gave him.


Rightfully so, it often irks me when pictures are deceiving. You know the ones you see on those sites, with random silverware like a fork next to a bowl of soup and ingredients like peanut shells and maple leaves strewn about. Are there leaves in that soup? I hope not. Usually I snicker at that sort of thing. I mean, I’m all for being creative but placing food out of it’s element, in a situation that looks so far off from how you’d actually eat it, that just annoys me.

But apparently not enough to fall victim myself. You see, there is no pumpkin in this chili. Sure, it’s a perfectly seasonal stew, brimming with hearty ruby chard and pumpkin’s cousin, the butternut squash. But the pumpkin is really only there to make things interesting and add a splash of color. Because obviously I had already destroyed the butternut squash. No, really, how do you people get the ingredients you’ve already used in the picture of your finished dish? Do you often spend double on groceries? Just wondering.

Anyway, I hope you can get past my lack of brutal honesty just this once. This spicy, smoky vegetarian chili is totally worth it.


PS: A serving of this chili contains more fiber than most Americans probably eat in a day. For some reason, that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Just being honest.

PrintPrint SaveSave

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

Yield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 Anaheim chile pepper, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5oz soy chorizo sausage, crumbled
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb peeled, diced butternut squash
3 1/3 cup cooked black beans (or 2 15oz cans reduced sodium black beans)
14oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 large bunch swiss chard, roughly chopped (yields 10oz)
fresh chopped cilantro
nonfat plain Greek yogurt, optional


Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

When oil is shimmering, saute onions and peppers until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, soy chorizo, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for one minute more, stirring.

Add butternut squash, black beans, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high. When mixture comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid and add the swiss chard, stirring as it wilts in. If the chili seems dry, add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for another 5 minute, until chard is tender.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition Facts (does not include optional yogurt)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 351.5
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 919.0 mg
Potassium 1,197.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 72.1 g
Dietary Fiber 33.8 g
Sugars 10.2 g
Protein 11.4 g

Cara Lyons,

This post is linked to the Farmers Market Fare roundup at the Sensitive Pantry.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thanks for visiting Cara’s Cravings. If you like what you see and want more, subscribe via email or in a reader, follow me on Twitter, or visit me on Facebook.

  Pin It

17 Responses to “Black Bean and Chorizo Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard”

  1. 1

    Kate — November 14, 2011 @ 12:31 pm Reply

    Also who eats chili with a spoon?  I like mine thick enough for fork usage!

  2. 2

    Shanon — November 14, 2011 @ 2:39 pm Reply

    i have ALWAYS wondered about the standby grocery doubles.  this is a good looking soup cara!

  3. 3

    Kelly — November 14, 2011 @ 5:41 pm Reply

    Yum.  I love putting bacon in chili, but haven't done veggie chorizo or regular before.  I bet it adds so much spice and savoriness.

  4. 4

    Emily — November 14, 2011 @ 7:02 pm Reply

    Honestly… this looks great. I love anything with butternut squash and leafy greens!

  5. 5

    Macaroni and Cheesecake — November 14, 2011 @ 9:44 pm Reply

    I love this post! The soup looks delicious and I was just wondering myself the other day about additional produce for pictures…my budget just isn't a fan of buying double!:) haha

  6. 6

    Joanne — November 15, 2011 @ 1:42 am Reply

    Umm yeah…I'm pretty sure people do buy extra of all their least that's what all those photography books tell us to do!  The only thing I ever save extra of is an herb sprig.  I feel like that little dash of green goes a long way.  At least that's what I tell myself.  :PI am in LOVE with this chili!  And I love your sense of fashion….I'd totally wear the same thing.  I'm usually a smorgaasboard of "trends".

  7. 7

    Amanda — November 15, 2011 @ 11:30 pm Reply

    This look so good! Great recipe and great choice of ingredients! Check out my recipe for black bean soup that I think you'll really like.!

  8. 8

    Shannon — November 16, 2011 @ 10:44 pm Reply

    this sounds awesome.  so many great flavors harmonizing here!  i have fallen victim to the leaves this fall 😉  what can i say, they were pretty and i brought them back from vermont!

  9. 9

    elly — November 17, 2011 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    This looks so good! I love all the ingredients in it, and actually prefer that there isn't any pumpkin. 🙂

  10. 10

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — December 7, 2011 @ 1:10 am Reply

    So nice and hearty and yet so healthy!

  11. 11

    Erica Scime — January 19, 2012 @ 4:56 pm Reply

    I absolutely loved this post! I am that brutally honest girl myself and I get so much enjoyment out of meeting others who are the same. It is true – its good to have brutally honest girlfriends! Friends don’t let friends leave the house in two kinds of faux fur, that’s all there is to it.
    Also, I have to admit: When I first started blogging, a part of me wanted to be “that blogger” that has an arsenal of ironed napkins, elegantly rusted spoons (Oh hey, hepatitis!), tiny bowls of sea salt and other such nonsense. Of course, the realist in me prevailed and came to terms with the fact that no one actually puts those tiny bowls of sea salt on their family’s kitchen table. No one.
    Lastly, this soup looks to-die-for. I love chili but always find it so brown. The squash, aside from being tasty, I’m sure, does brighten the dish up quite a bit. I also love that this is made with black beans. I’m kind of over kidney bean chili. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    • 11.1

      Cara — January 19, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

      aww, thanks for your support! It’s so nice to meet people who share the same style 🙂

  12. 12

    Erica Scime — January 19, 2012 @ 4:57 pm Reply

    Ugh, by soup I mean chili! Haha

  13. 13

    Sarah — October 27, 2012 @ 9:18 pm Reply

    Made this tonight with a few minor variations – more chorizo, some tomato paste, and some sugar (I like some sweetness to mine), and it was AMAZING!! My hubs who doesn’t like chili at a whole bowl and I loved the Greek yogurt with it. We’re having a chili cook-off at work this week and I think I’ll be making more of this for it!!! Thank you!!

    • 13.1

      Cara — October 28, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

      Glad you guys liked it! Good luck in the chili cook-off!

  14. 14

    Amy — December 10, 2012 @ 10:52 pm Reply

    Yum! I found this recipe by typing in some key words of the ingredients I had at home. Soy chorizo, swiss chard, small pumpkin squash.. etc. Lucky enough I was actually able to pull it all together with the remaining ingredients although the greek yogurt was actually vanilla flavor. (= It was a hit and hard to believe it was meatless. It will be a regular in this house, thanks Kara!

    • 14.1

      Cara — December 11, 2012 @ 9:32 am

      Glad you liked it!

Leave a Comment