Healthy Chili: Butternut Squash Crockpot Chili

This healthy chili recipe is a Jersey Bites original.  When I’m creating a recipe, rarely do I hit a home run the first time out, but this time, home run city.   This recipe is hearty and delicious and very healthy.  I was worried about the escarole but it turned out to be the perfect addition.  We ate big steaming bowls of it around our fire pit last night with guests.  Everyone loved it.  There’s absolutely no need for any garnishes either.  Browning the meat takes a little extra time, but I think its worth it.   You could even do that the night before if you don’t have time in the morning.  I hope you’ll try this recipe and come back to leave your comments.  And, I have to give photo credits to my 8 year old.   Crockpot dishes are not very photogenic.  I think he did a great job.

1- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

5 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

5 Italian Turkey Sausage Links

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 head of Escarole, rinsed and chopped

Brown thighs and sausage in olive oil. Salt and pepper thighs before browning if you wish.  Remove meat to plate and deglaze pan with ½ cup chicken broth. Pour liquid from deglazing into crock pot. Add second ½ cup chicken broth, tomatoes, sauce, chickpeas, onion, garlic,spices and stir. Add Butternut Squash, meat and toss to coat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove sausage and cut into bite size pieces. Return to Crockpot with chopped escarole. Stir in escarole and cook until wilted, approximately half hour. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with whole grain bread or over brown rice.