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Pareve Chili with Butternut Squash

Food and Prop Styling by SHIRI FELDMAN
Photography by Felicia Perretti

We all love a good chili. While the traditional version calls for ground beef, I made this one pareve so we can top it with classic favorites like sour cream and shredded cheese. Sour cream really cuts the heaviness of the chili, making it a perfect topping.

If I’m being totally honest, bean dishes are not my thing. The only time beans get used in my kitchen is for cholent. There, I said it! But since this recipe had a boatload of hearty, delicious ingredients, I was willing to give it a shot. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t disappointed!


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 15-oz (425-g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz (425-g) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-oz (790-g) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash   I added in 1 cubed sweet potato to make it even more robust.
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth or water   I used water.
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder   I used 1½ Tbsp to keep the spiciness down a bit, and it was perfect.
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt   I added an extra tsp salt since I used water instead of broth.
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • juice of 1 lime


  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream or Mehadrin Plain Yogurt
  • scallions, chopped
  • avocado, sliced or mashed
  • cilantro
  • lime, cut in 4
  • tortilla chips

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to cook for another 2–3 minutes.

Stir in the kidney beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes with juice, and butternut squash. Pour in the vegetable broth or water, then add the spices. Stir everything together.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for 40–50 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender, stirring occasionally.

About 10 minutes before serving, stir in the lime juice and cilantro (if using). Adjust seasoning if needed.

Ladle the chili into bowls and top with your choice of toppings. Serve with a side of cornbread or crusty bread.


Note: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat well.

— Sara Gold

This recipe made a ton! My neighbors were more than happy to be taste testers, and the overall opinion was that it was delicious and hearty. None of my own kids were willing to try it (no surprise there), but my husband and I enjoyed it with toasted bread, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips. It was a welcome change from our regular suppers, and I can now say I’ve used beans in more than just cholent!


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 867)

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