In my mind, fall = gorgeous leaf colors, caramel apples, pumpkins, crisp temps and, my favorite of all, the start of chili season!
Although, let's be honest - is there such a thing as chili season? I eat it year round but there is something about fall and winter that make chili taste especially good.
Last weekend I decided to whip up my first fall batch of chili. The inspiration hit when I picked up a delicious looking spaghetti squash at the store and decided it would be perfect mixed in with a vegetarian chili.
One of the best things about chili is you can really customize the ingredients and spices. Add in some meat, mix up the beans, make it spicier. It's up to you!
Fall Chili Bowl
1 spaghetti squash, halved and cleaned
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (note, NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1oz dark chocolate
1 5.5oz can tomato juice
5oz water (just refill tomato juice can with water to measure)
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4-1 tsp cayenne pepper (I recommend starting with less and adjusting to your preferred spice level)
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
oven to 425 degrees. Set your halved and cleaned spaghetti squash on a roasting pan lined
with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes (bake time depends on the
size of your squash) or until it can
be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set squash aside
until cool enough to touch. Using a paper towel, blot up any excess
liquid in the squash halves. Then, shred the inside of each half with a
fork to create your strands of spaghetti.
While the squash is cooking, prepare your chili. Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot, then add the diced onion. Cook until onion is softened - about 3-5 minutes - then add the beans, diced tomatoes, pumpkin and chocolate. After cooking 2-3 minutes, add the tomato juice, water, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Taste, then adjust seasonings as desired. Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes for flavors to combine.
For serving, add spaghetti squash strands to the bottom of a bowl. Top with a serving of chili followed by Monterey Jack cheese.
That's it! Seriously, how easy is that? :)
Tell me: What is your favorite fall chili recipe?