Golden Acorn Squash Chili

2 1/2 cups peeled, cubed golden acorn squash
30 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
15 oz canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chile (like Ro-tel)
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons mesquite liquid smoke
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Garlic Hoganero)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and gently stir to evenly distribute the spices and squash. It might look a bit dry but the ingredients will release a fair amount liquid as it cooks. Place on low for 6-8 hours. The squash should be tender but not mushy when ready to serve so try to avoid allowing it to cook for much more than 8 hours. Stir and serve piping hot.

Yield: 4-6 servings

My thoughts:

Golden acorn squash looks just like “regular” acorn squash, except the skin is bright orange, sort of pumpkin-looking. I think the flavor is a bit is sweeter but you can substitute the green skinned variety.

I was really happy with how well this chili turned out. I wasn’t sure how the acorn squash would hold its shape and flavor but it really did, even with the long cooking time. I loved the juxtaposition of the sweet squash and the spices, it made for the best vegetable chili I’ve ever had. The leftovers the next day were good too.

Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, I’d try sauteing the onions and garlic in some oil then adding the remaining ingredients to cook on low until the squash is fork tender.


  1. I love chili, and this variation looks wonderful! You can’t go wrong with squash in anything, and I’m sure it’s delicious with all of those great spices in it, too!

  2. Beautiful, the photo and the dish itself :)! I’ve seen acorn squash everywhere, but I’ve yet to try them. I like the idea of making a veggie-based stew, though :).

  3. i love chili and squash! i bet all that smokiness tastes lovely together.

  4. Beautiful! I love squash in chili. The sweet with the spicy = delicious.

  5. Great idea of adding squash!

  6. I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes Rachel. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing…

  7. Holy Jesus, that’s spicy! From what I can tell I’m the first poster to have actually made this dish; I think next time I’ll only use one chipotle.

  8. DELICIOUS. But I agree with Daniel. My boyfriend loves it as is, but for myself I'm going to have to make this a little less spicy next time around. Yee haw!

  9. I added ground turkey and used white beans instead of kidney beans. So good! Great dish to warm the kids' bellies before trick-or-treating tonight. 🙂