Chorizo, Black Bean, and Kabocha Squash Chili with Pumpkin Cornbread

Living here in Southern California, it doesn’t really get that cold (of course unless you live in the nearby mountains), but the weather has been cooling and it’s definitely starting to feel like fall (well, at least for us). Fall weather and the pending holidays always makes me think of comfort food. That’s where this chili comes in.


We had received one of our organic vegetable deliveries and in it was a big kabocha squash. Of course, I could have roasted the squash as a side dish but I was looking for something more comforting, so I decided to make chorizo, black bean, and kabocha squash chili and serve it with some pumpkin cornbread. This dinner just screams fall.


This chili has a little bit of heat with a hint of sweetness that comes from the maple syrup that you add at the end. I know…maple syrup?! Yep, maple syrup. It actually goes very well with the chorizo and kabocha squash. So you end up with this spicy, sweet and savory dish that’s so good. Add some pumpkin cornbread in the mix and you’ve got a great seasonal meal. My husband, Bill, was all about it. Telling me, “Yeah, you can definitely make this one again.” I guess that settles it then.



Serves: 4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. spicy chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup kabocha squash, cut into ½” – 1″ cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • (1) 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock, divided
  • (2) 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan or Dutch oven. Add the chorizo to the pan and break up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the red onion and saute for 5 minutes or until the chorizo is cooked through and the onion is softened. Add the kabocha squash and saute one minute, then add the garlic and spices and saute for 30 seconds more. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and 1¾ cups of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat slightly and simmer.
  2. Once simmering, mash ½ can of the black beans with the remaining ¼ cup of chicken stock and add to the pot (this will thicken the broth slightly). Add the remaining beans and maple syrup, and stir until incorporated. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the kabocha squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


(Recipe by Flavor the Moments)



Makes: About 9 slices


  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (170g) cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (110g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (244g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (122g) sour cream
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds. Make a well in center of flour mixture then set aside.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add brown sugar and break up sugar with fingertips until no clumps remain. Add in melted butter and pumpkin and whisk to combined. Mix in sour cream and eggs until well blended. Pour mixture into well in flour mixture then fold with a rubber spatula just until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  3. Spray an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour batter into pan. Spread batter into an even layer, bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out free of batter, about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack then cut into squares.


(Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy)




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