Acorn squash chili is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It makes its appearance almost weekly at our house this time of the year. The flavor combination of the sweet acorn squash with the spicy salsa, Italian sausage, and kidney beans, it is incredible. I can’t get enough of it, and this one of the easiest dishes to make. I’m always a little sad when winter squash season is over. I have posted this recipe before, but it’s so good, I had to share it again.
The easy factor of this recipe is key. I need easy during the week. Finding that lately it takes a lot of effort to get myself to cook a decent meal on work days. I’ve been struggling, a lack of motivation. I don’t know if it’s the weather but it seems like it’s extra dark after work, and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV….. self-diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder perhaps…that’s my excuse at least.
Actually, I think I just need to work on my time management skills… as I’m sitting here writing this, I realize, that in reality, I’m doing okay. Time management is an ongoing struggle for me and I tend to use these dark, dreary days as an excuse to mope around the house. My gym is doing a 21-day gratitude challenge, which means no complaining for 21 days. Three burpees for every complaint. Confession, I did not sign up. I don’t think of myself as a negative person but I’m realizing that more often than not, I focus on the negatives instead of the positives.
I was watching White Christmas while I was cooking the other day and the lyrics of the “Count Your Blessings” song really made me think, normally I consider this the most boring song…. It’s the song that Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing as they’re sitting in front of the fire, starting to fall for each other, but the lyrics stuck with me this time:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessing instead of sheep
And I fall asleep, counting my blessings
So I’m a work in progress. Trying to think more about my blessings instead of the things that cause me stress. Be thankful that I have a wonderful, loving husband, three fur babies, a job, a car, a warm house, opportunities to travel, my health, and food on the table. Especially thankful for quick, easy, healthy recipes like this acorn squash chili 😉 . And, if at times you struggle with staying positive (like I do), count your blessings instead of sheep.
- Medium - large acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
- 1 lb of ground chicken sausage - I like Italian
- 16 ounce jar of salsa - I like black bean and corn but any salsa works
- 15.5 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed - red or the white cannellini beans work
- 8 oz of water
- Goat cheese, as a topping, could also use sour cream or cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place acorn squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until soft and cooked through. Remove from oven when done and let cool.
- While acorn squash bakes, brown sausage in a stock pot or Dutch oven.
- When sausage is thoroughly cooked, add in salsa and beans.
- Remove cooked acorn squash from the skin. Easy to scrape it off with a fork or spoon. Add acorn squash to dutch oven with sausage, kidney beans, and salsa. Then add a cup of water to the chili.
- Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with crumbled goat cheese.