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Meaty Butternut Chili

DSCN4240After my trip to the bison farm yesterday, I thawed a pound of the ground bison for tonight’s dinner. But I’m still not in the mood to grill burgers (too cold out) or make tacos (not eating tortillas at the moment). Then I had a brain wave. I haven’t made chili yet this season! It was already 2 p.m. when I had this thought, so I raced to get out my crockpot and start thawing some of the frozen ingredients.

I’m not eating grains right now, so no rice or cornbread for this chili. To make the chili hearty enough to eat on its own, I decided to add butternut squash to the pot. But the huge squash I had dwarfed the quart of tomatoes and pound of bison I started out with. I ended up adding another quart of tomatoes and a pound of ground pork as well. The crockpot is filled to the brim as I type this!


  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 onions, chopped
  • 2 quarts diced tomatoes and juice*
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 chopped unseeded jalapeno
  • several drops Tabasco
  • other seasoning, including salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Lime wedges

*My tomatoes held enough juice to give this chili a nice broth, but you could add beer, stock or water if needed. You also could add any number of things to the ingredient list above, like beans, etc.

I tossed the frozen tomatoes into the crockpot unthawed and turned it up to high. While I had it working on the tomatoes, I browned the bison with half of the onion and then added that to the crockpot. Then I did the same with the remaining onion and ground pork. I added the squash to the pot and then the remaining ingredients (except the lime). I added a bit of Penzey’s 33rd & Galena spice mix to the pot as well as each meat mixture as it was browning.

After a few hours on high, the chili was ready to eat! I squeezed a bit of lime juice over my first bowlful and it was quite tasty. It would be really good with some sharp cheddar grated on top.


I’m letting the chili simmer for another hour on low before I cool it down for the night. Looking forward to taking leftovers to work for lunch this week!


About baysideresearch

I am a genealogist based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I also like food and try to eat as locally and sustainably as possible. I have blogs about both!

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