Butternut Squash & Carnitas Chili & Kale

Preparation Time:  25 minutes

Cooking Time:  approximately 1.5 hours

Serving Size: 1 cup – Makes about 5

1 Slice on The Slice Plan

Butternut Squash & Carnitas Chili & Kale


2 TB olive oil

½ each onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound pork tenderloin, cubed into 1” pieces*

2 TB brown sugar

2 TB lime juice

2 cups butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes (about ½ large squash)

½ tsp nutmeg

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, no-salt-added

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 TB oregano, dried

3 TB cumin

3 TB chili powder

1 TB chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (optional)

1 15.5-oz can black beans

1 15.5-oz can red kidney beans

3 cups kale, washed, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 1 large bunch)

¼ cup cilantro, washed, minced

1 TB/To Taste kosher salt


Heat olive oil in large pot. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add pork tenderloin and cook until pork is browned on all sides. Add brown sugar and combine well and melted. Add lime juice and stir.

Toss in butternut squash, nutmeg, diced tomatoes, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Mix in oregano, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle peppers. Simmer 1 hour.

Add beans and kale, combine well. Cover and continue simmering 30 minutes or until kale is fully cooked, stirring occasionally. Add cilantro and salt; stir & season to personal taste.

Turn-Out & Storage

Serve hot with sliced avocado, lime crema/light sour cream, queso fresco, and/or tortilla chips.

This can be stored for up to 3 days under refrigeration. It can also be frozen in an air-tight container for 2-3 months. If frozen, thaw completely under refrigeration before reheating.


*Carnitas literally means “little meats.” They are small bits of heavily-marbled pork typically fried first, then braised or roasted until they can be pulled or chopped into small bits. In this recipe, pork tenderloin is used to reduce fat content and cooking time.