Past Recipes
Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

Butternut Squash and Beef Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips and Queso Fresco

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Recipe Details


When the weather turns cold, we find ourselves craving big bowls of chili to consume under a blanket on the couch. This unbeatable combination of butternut squash and ground beef definitely fits the bill, featuring black beans, chipotle, tomatoes, and a Mexican-inspired spice blend. As an added bonus, there’s creamy queso fresco and plenty of homemade tortilla chips for scooping up every last drop. 


  • Stovetop Only

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Taylor

By Chef Taylor

Nutritional info

  • Calories 850
  • Protein 47g
  • Total Carb 68g
  • Total Fat 45g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • corn tortillas
    corn tortillas
  • black beans
    1/3 cup
    black beans
  • butternut squash
    8 ounces
    butternut squash
  • cilantro
    1/8 ounce
  • lime
  • yellow onion
    yellow onion
  • ground beef
    12 ounces
    ground beef
  • chipotle paste
    1/2 teaspoon
    chipotle paste
  • 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • chicken stock
    8 ounces
    chicken stock
  • queso fresco
    2 ounces
    queso fresco
  • ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon
    ground cumin
  • dried Mexican oregano
    1/4 teaspoon
    dried Mexican oregano
  • garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon
    chili powder

What You’ll Need

  • canola oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 8" medium pot
  • 12" large high-sided pan

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    Stack tortillas and quarter. Rinse black beans. Cut butternut squash cubes into ¼-inch pieces, if needed. Rinse cilantro and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Halve lime. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Pat beef dry with paper towel.

  2. Brown beef

    Brown beef

    Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add beef and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl and set aside. Discard almost all of excess fat from pot, leaving behind a thin layer for the next step.

  3. Sauté aromatics

    Sauté aromatics

    Return pot from beef to medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons canola oil. When oil is shimmering, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add spice mix and chipotle paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more.

  4. Simmer chili

    Simmer chili

    Add crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, black beans, butternut squash, and beef to pot, still over medium-high heat. Add enough water to just cover vegetables (be careful not to dilute your chili with too much water—the squash should be barely covered with liquid). Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender and flavors have melded, 15-20 minutes.

  5. Fry tortilla chips

    Fry tortilla chips

    While chili simmers, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add tortilla wedges. Fry, working in batches and adding oil as needed, until golden, 1-2 minutes per side. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla chips to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Sprinkle over ¼ teaspoon salt. Use any remaining downtime while chili simmers to set the table.

  6. Finish and plate chili

    Finish and plate chili

    Once chili has simmered, add juice of ½ lime to pot; cut remaining lime into slices for serving. Taste and add salt and pepper. Divide butternut squash and beef chili between serving bowls and garnish with queso fresco, cilantro, and lime slices, if desired. Serve with homemade tortilla chips for dipping. Enjoy!

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