Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili is made with hearty, grass-fed beef, spicy chipotle peppers, and sweet butternut squash for a Paleo, Whole30 chili that’s out of this world! Made right in your slow cooker for an easy, satisfying dinner for the whole family!
| Paleo + Whole30 + gluten free + dairy free |
Chili should be three things:
- Intensely flavorful
- Hearty, thick, and chunky
Is that technically 5? Are we really counting?
I got a request from a friend of mine to create a few more slow cooker recipes, and I’m happily obliging.
We’re all trying to get a little healthier this January, and this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili is an easy way to do that. It’s the perfect comfort food, almost completely hands-off, and perfect for meal prep!
The slow cooker is basically my best friend. I know everyone’s on the Instant Pot kick, and while I think it’s pretty cool, it’s not extremely practical for me. I get home from work between 5-5:30 p.m. and some Instant Pot recipes take 30-45 minutes from start to finish. That’s assuming all your vegetables are chopped.
I once watched a friend cook an entire pork loin in 20 minutes flat – now that was pretty cool.
But I’d much rather toss everything into the bottom of my slow cooker the night before, and in the morning just set it and forget. That way, when I come home, dinner’s already done. Plus, your slow cooker makes meal prepping incredibly easy. I’ve batch-cooked Thai peanut chicken, soups and stews, poblano chili, Cincinnati chili, taco chicken, Cuban chicken, tikka masala and butter curry chicken… I’ve even made mashed sweet potatoes in it. Let me tell you: nothing will ever replace my slow cooker.
Are you a slow cooker fanatic? I can’t live without mine.
The ONLY downside I’ve noticed is that for recipes like this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili, you’ve gotta brown your meat first. Meaning you have to do it in a separate skillet the night before you make it. It’s not really that big of a deal… especially if I know I’m getting so many meals out of it!
That’s why meals like this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili are perfect for Sundays and Mondays! Brown your meat on a Sunday and have chili Monday after work. Boom, viola, done.
Okay, let’s chat about this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili!
I chose to use 90/10 grass-fed beef in this recipe. You could definitely swap it for ground turkey if that’s more your thing. Beef itself is not “bad” as the media would have you believe. Sure, it’s got saturated fats. But you’re far better off purchasing grass-fed over grain-fed. The beef you eat is a reflection of what the cow ate!
On average, grass-fed beef is 5 times higher in Omega-3 fats compared to grain-fed. This is a significant difference! We know Omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties. Grass-fed beef also contains far more bioavailable nutrients like Vitamin B12, B6, and B3, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Not to mention higher concentrations of iron and zinc.
The beef is browned along with onions, spices, and chipotle chili peppers to give this chili it’s amazing smoky flavor!
You’ll also notice that the recipe contains cocoa powder. This helps deepen the smoky flavor, giving richness to the chili. Don’t skip it!
When you transfer everything to the slow cooker, make sure the squash is on top. Butternut squash tends to cook rather quickly and can get a little mushy in the slow cooker. If you leave it sitting on top of all the other ingredients, you’re able to more gently stir it in before serving. That’s how I got those nice, big chunks of butternut squash!
Although they aren’t Paleo or Whole30, I did add a can of dark red kidney beans to the mix. Leave them out if you’re following a Whole30, strict Paleo, or Low FODMAP diet. If, however, your body tolerates beans well, toss in a can or two! They provide incredible amounts of fiber, keeping you satiated and full. Plus, they add a little more protein.
What to serve with Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili
I have SO MANY favorite chili toppings!
- Sliced avocado
- Minced cilantro
- Chopped green onions or diced red onions
- Greek yogurt or sour cream (if not Whole30, dairy free, or strict Paleo)
- Crushed homemade tortilla chips
Anything else? What else do you love on your chili?
Dad always crushed oyster crackers or Saltines on top… maybe that’s your thing!
However you decide top your chili, one thing is for sure: you need it in your life.
Here’s to a happy and healthy January!
Starting with a giant bowl of chili made in the slow cooker with lots of love.
Tag me on Instagram @well_fedsoul if you make this chili!
Make sure to pin this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili for later!
This Paleo, gluten free chili is smoky, spicy and made right in your slow cooker for an easy, healthy dinner!
- 1 1/2 lbs. grass-fed lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (remove seeds for less spice)
- 3 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 (14-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional; omit for Paleo/Whole30)
- Minced cilantro
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- Sliced avocado
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the beef. Cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through. Drain off the fat and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil along with the diced onions and red peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chipotle chile peppers, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder, and salt. Cook another 1 minute, then remove from heat. Transfer the meat mixture to a slow cooker.
To the slow cooker, add the crushed tomatoes and fire roasted tomatoes (and beans, if using). Place the butternut squash on top, then cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low 6-7 hours. To thicken the chili, remove the lid and cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve garnished with cilantro, green onions, avocado, and Greek yogurt and/or cheddar.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 395 Protein: 28g Carbs: 38g Fat: 14g Fiber: 11g
Craving more slow cooker dinners? Check these out!
- Slow Cooker Poblano Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Lentil & Sausage Stew
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos al Pastor
- Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw