Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Kabocha and Black Bean Chili

7 WWPP Posted by 4 years ago 1 Comments

This is only the second time I’ve picked up a kabocha squash.

Kabocha Squash - Japanese Pumpkin

The first being in 2011 and I can’t believe it. It’s been 2 years almost to the day! This is one of the things I love about blogging: the ability to go back in time. I would have never guessed it’s been 2 years.

Anyway, I picked one up last week without a plan, thinking it would inspire me one day.

Yesterday I decided to make a chili with it, much like the sweet potato and black bean chili I posted back then. I knew the squash would break down faster then potato, which it did, but I didn’t expect to like the creamy, soft texture as much as I did. The chili almost had a “meaty” quality without any meat.

Kabocha and black bean chiliI just ate some leftover chili, and this dish definitely falls into the better-the-second-day category many one-pot meals do.

As a low-calorie squash, this comes in at less than 300 calories for a 2-cup serving and makes a very filling meal. Here’s what I did — I hope it gives you a few ideas on how to use winter squash in a new way…

  • 1 kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin; mine was about 775g)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped (85g)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili power
  • Kosher salt to taste

Cut the kabocha squash in half and scoop out the seeds.


Yes you can roast the seeds!

The kabocha has really thin skin and it’s totally edible. Just leave it on and cut into chunks.


I also find it’s one of the easier squashes to cut.

Heat a pot over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the squash, bell pepper and pinch of salt. Let everything brown a bit.

Note: I had NO onion in the house. If you want to add this it in, this would be a good time.

Once the squash starts to scorch a bit, add the diced tomatoes and beans. Stir everything together and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, getting anything that sticks.

Add the spices and spinach. Stir everything together, cover and lower to a simmer. It may not seem like there’s enough liquid, but there will be once everything sweats down.

Keep covered and simmer for at least 30 minutes until the squash is soft enough for your liking.


The longer you cook it the more everything will break down. It will still taste good but you’ll end up with a pot of mush.

Turn off the heat and scoop into a bowl to serve.


I topped mine with a bit of cheese and dried cilantro.


I ended up with 6 cups but I’m counting 2 cups as a serving. Comfort food should be comforting and that means large portions. :)

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
3 2 cups
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
287 1g 12g old: 5 new: 7
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
25g 0g 62g 13g

See other recipes using: beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, Kabocha Squash, red pepper, spinach

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    November 12, 2013

    I made this yesterday. It was really good. Really good!