Three Sisters Chili

Recipe from Southern Living

This colorful chili is named for the three companion plants of American Indian agriculture: corn, beans, and squash. It's filling and sneaks better nutrition into a family favorite.

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Total time Yield
55 mins 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cup)



  • 2 (15-oz.) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeds removed, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth


  • 1. Mash 1/2 cup of the red kidney beans, and set aside with the remaining whole kidney beans.
  • 2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, salt, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  • 3. Increase heat to high; stir in butternut squash, corn, tomatoes, broth, whole beans, and reserved 1/2 cup mashed beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
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