A Surprise Play: Beefy Butternut Squash Chili Chips and dip may be the usual suspects on Super Bowl Sunday, but Food Network's Sunny Anderson recommends that you try something new, too. The main event of her big game party? The Beefy Butternut Squash Chili — a hearty, spicy meal that's fit to be a halftime headliner.
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A Surprise Play: Beefy Butternut Squash Chili

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A Surprise Play: Beefy Butternut Squash Chili

A Surprise Play: Beefy Butternut Squash Chili

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

And we are ready for some football and a party.

SUNNY ANDERSON: I have done a Super Bowl party every year.

CORNISH: That's the Food Network's Sunny Anderson. She's a veteran of the gridiron grill and oven. We invited her back to share a Found Recipe today and to help plan our Super Bowl shindig. Her number one piece of advice: serve the snacks in stages.

ANDERSON: Yeah, you got to space it out. You can't just slam your guests with food in the beginning. They won't be able to make it to halftime. They're going to fall asleep.

CORNISH: Hey, and there is no sleeping in football. So, first quarter, it's finger food.

ANDERSON: Give them some dips. Give them some chips.

CORNISH: Second quarter, wings.

ANDERSON: Different types of wings so people can, like, have a conversation. I like this one better. I like that one better.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TREASURE")

CORNISH: Halftime means show time, so bring out the main meal.

ANDERSON: It's the chili. It's the pizza. It's the everything, whatever you're planning.

CORNISH: And by the third quarter, it's pick-me-up time.

ANDERSON: You don't want these people driving home drunk and you really don't want them spending the night on your couch, so let's start with that coffee.

CORNISH: The fourth quarter, that's the sweet so long, baby.

ANDERSON: Bring it home with that dessert. You know, a big tray of brownies. That's been fun. But I also love the novelty of an ice cream sandwich during cold weather.

CORNISH: Oh, yeah. That'll wake them up and get them out the door. Now, if you take Sunny Anderson's next suggestion, today's Found Recipe, your guests will talk about your halftime main meal all the way home.

ANDERSON: It's a big pot of beefy, meaty chili studded with butternut squash, and I want you to go with me on this.

CORNISH: That's right. Butternut squash in your chili, swimming around with diced sweet onion and bell pepper and, of course, juicy chunks of beef.

ANDERSON: So the first time I made this chili, it was a little bit salty. I know what you're supposed to do when a big pot of soup is salty. You add some potatoes. But I didn't have any potatoes, but I did have a butternut squash. It's the same idea. It's ready to soak up flavor, so I said I'll break this behemoth down and I'll put it into my chili. And I got to tell you, it's probably one of the smartest things I've done for chili. First of all, it bulks it up, so now you go from feeding just a few to feeding, you know, more than a few.

I think it's perfect for a big pot of something that's spicy to add something that's starchy because we all know starch is what mellows out spice. And this isn't chili for the weak.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: That's for sure. Now, my second surprising ingredient in my chili: pumpkin pie spice. Oh, yeah. Just a hint of it will really add a nice kind of, I like to say, hum. Just going to hum under there. Beefy butternut squash chili. It's going to make the people that like butternut squash happy, and the people that have never seen it before say, huh, and then pour themselves a bowl.

(LAUGHTER)

CORNISH: That's Sunny Anderson of the Food Network. You can get the recipe for that memorable halftime meal - beefy butternut squash chili - at our Found Recipe page at npr.org.

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