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Chicken-Lentil Chili with Butternut Squash

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White Chicken Chili makes a delicious meal full of mildly-spicy Chili Flavor, Red Lentils, Butternut Squash and Chicken. This light & tasty chili gets and extra flavor-pop with my Raw Tomatillo Salsa

This Chili makes a big batch so you can serve for company… or enjoy for a few nights!
Perfect for Fall & Winter – A hearty, chunky chili that’s also light & nutritious

If you love a great bowl of soup on a crisp Fall evening ~ you might also enjoy a hearty bowl of chili.
Different from a stew, with a little less broth or liquid – a Chili contains… chilis!

My version adds an abundance of vegetables and legumes – and is mildly-spicy… you can adjust the heat to your likeness.
A warm and comforting Chili that’s hearty, chunky and filled with nutritious ingredients.

This is a big batch recipe – perfect for company… why not make many garnishes and let your guests ‘dress’ their personal bowl of chili.
Or, eat for days to come.. the perfect healthy take-along lunch in a thermos.

Not difficult to prepare – most of the prep consists of cutting the squash and removing tendons from the chicken. All cooked in one pot!

Red Chief Lentils are a pale salmon-colored, lens-shaped legume that are known for their quick-cooking nature and high protein content. I love their texture in this soup, they soften, but hold their shape. Lentils are highly nutritious, packing a bevy of fiber, protein, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium.

I’ve added two chilis, one dried, one fresh.
Guindilla dried chili peppers have mild heat and an earthy depth with a sweet flavor and beautifully red in color. Can substitute red chili flakes, or your favorite.
Jalapeños are a staple of mine and offer mild heat – use serranos if you like a spicier chili.

Homemade chicken broth is preferable for its superior flavor and nutrition.The biggest healing factor in the broth comes from the aromatics and minerals – and collagen and gelatin from the bones.
I like to make a big pot, and freeze extra in 2 cup containers.

Chicken tenderloins are my choice for this recipe. They are difficult to overcook and are very, well – tender!
Cut each into five even chunks, season and brown in a little olive oil.
The chicken tender or tenderloin, is a strip of breast meat, that is part of the breast but that is not really connected so that it can be separated and used as it is. Like the beef tenderloin, it is more tender because of it’s location.
Found where you purchase chicken – to prepare them, grasp the end of the tendon (which is white and runs lengthwise) and slide your knife under it at a 20 degree angle and simply pull the tendon toward you and remove it.

Garnishes for the soup:
I like grated Mexican Cheeses – Queso Fresco or Cotija that just melt into the warm chili. Grated Sharp Cheddar works well too.
Swirl in a little Sour Cream (optional.)
Crushed tortilla chips add crunch and flavor.
Top with Raw Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe) for a special touch, a little heat and some zesty-lime flavor.

Enjoy this satisfying Chili!
Karen

Season and brown the chicken tenderloins
Cook veggies with butternut squash and seasonings, then stir in lentils
Add the broth and chicken and cook gently until tender and cooked through
The finished chili garnished with cilantro or parsley
Top with garnishes: crushed tortillas, chopped cilantro or parsley, sour cream and grated Mexican cheese
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