Best Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili with Stew Beef

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Noting says “cozy” like this slow cooker butternut squash chili with stew beef. This bean-less chili is both healthy and delicious. It’s the perfect meal on a chilly day. This will be one of your favorite chili recipe this fall.

Spoonful of slow cooker butternut squash chili with stew beef cubes

I want to sound the alarm on a chronic misunderstanding. Here goes….

Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy food.

Let’s take this beef butternut squash chili for example. Made with ingredients like fragrant chili powder, fire-roasted tomatoes and tasty beef you can’t go wrong with this recipe. But unlike other chili recipes, this one is pretty unique. 

In place of red kidney beans or black beans you’ll find sweet butternut squash. In addition, the ground beef has been replaced by plump chunks of stew beef. One of the best parts about this chili is that you can make it in a slow cooker. This makes for the perfect cold weather soup for the fall or winter season. 

Health Benefits of Butternut Squash Chili with Stew Beef

Bowl of slow cooker butternut squash chili garnished with sliced avocado

Wondering if this chili recipe stacks up with your current diet? Here’s how it stacks up. This recipe is naturally FINE, Paleo-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, Keto friendly. nut-free and egg-free. 

It is also Whole 30 friendly and dairy free if you’re willing to make a small adjustment. Just swap out the ghee for olive oil or avocado oil and you’re good to go. 

What is ghee?

If you start looking over the ingredients and find yourself wondering what ghee is, let me clue you in a bit. Ghee is a lactose free and casein free form of clarified butter. The difference is, It has a smoother texture and richer flavor than butter and is much healthier. To make ghee, the butter is cooked slowly and milk solids are separated from the butter fat. 

While ghee and butter both get most of their calories from fat, there is still a big nutritional difference. Ghee naturally contains more butyric acid, which is a compound that reduces inflammation, reduces disease and improves digestive health. In Ayurvedic medicine, grass-fed ghee is paired with herbs for enhanced therapeutic benefits. 

Ingredients in this Delicious Butternut Squash Chili

Ingredients in slow cooker butternut squash chili
  • ghee: You can use butter if you like but I love the smooth texture of ghee. Plus it’s more nutritious than butter. 
  • garlic cloves: Don’t skip it. Every chili needs some. 
  • onion: Either yellow onion or white onion is fine. 
  • stew beef: Use grass fed beef. Rinse and pat dry. 
  • beef broth: Using beef broth adds depth. If you don’t have any on hand chicken broth could also work. 
  • cubed butternut squash: seeds removed
  • course sea salt: Has more minerals than table salt. Here’s the one I use
  • ground cumin: Gives the chili a bit of Southwestern flair.  
  • all-purpose seasoning: We all have our personal favorite. 
  • dry thyme: Herbs are a must. 
  • chili powder: It wouldn’t be chili without some chili powder 
  • fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies: You can also use whole canned tomatoes. Just add two fresh jalapenos (with seeds). 
  • tomato paste: One 6 ounce can for concentrated flavor. 
  • bay leaves: Adds a ton of flavor to soups and stews. 

Tools You Need

How to Make Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili with Stew Beef

Step 1

In a large pot, add ghee on medium-high heat. 

Step 2

Sauteed onions in Dutch oven

Sauté garlic and diced onion until soft and translucent (about 20-30 minutes). 

Step 3

Pot of sauteed onions with garlic

Remove the onions with a spoon and set aside. 

Step 4

Browned stew beef

Brown stew beef in the same pot in small batches before removing from pan. 

Step 5

Pouring beef broth into a pot

Add beef broth to the hot pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the tiny bits at the bottom of the pan. 

Step 6

Beef broth for butternut squash chili with stew beef

Reserve the liquid. 

Step 7

Ingredients for slow cooker butternut squash chili inside of slow cooker

To a slow cooker add browned stew beef cubes, butternut squash, and beef broth. 

Step 8

Slow cooker butternut squash chili with stew beef in slow cooker

Next add sauteed onions, garlic, salt, cumin, all purpose seasoning, thyme, chili powder. diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf. 

Give the ingredients a good stir before closing the slow cooker and setting it high to cook for 6 hours. 

Step 9

Slow cooker chili with butternut squash and stew beef

Remove any bay leaves just before serving. 

Keep Things Healthy With These Tasty Serving Recommendations

Add your favorite toppings: like grain-free tortilla chips, sliced avocado and fresh cilantro 

Why Doesn’t This Recipe Use Ground Meat?

So far I haven’t been a fan of the texture of cooking ground beef in the slow cooker. Using stew beef cubes is a great way to keep that beefy flavor and lends a great texture for the perfect chili. 

Omissions, Additions and Substitutions 

Ground beef: If you’re not a fan of stew beef or want to try a different spin on the recipe, try using ground chicken instead. Post holiday, use ground turkey or leftover turkey meat to make slow cooker butternut squash chili with turkey.. 

Butternut squash: Sweet potatoes have a similar flavor profile to butternut squash. So if you like sweet potatoes, try using them in this recipe for a tasty twist. 

Add some smoked chipotle peppers for even more intense flavor. 

Feel free to add a cinnamon stick to the chili right before cooking for an even more flavorful chili, 

How To Pick a Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is flavorful and delicious. When deciding on which butternut squash to bring home go for something that is more even toned in color. Ideally, you want to avoid any large soft spots. 

Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

Butternut squash has as a somewhat sweet flavor (especially when baked or roasted) that many people enjoy. The health benefits of this tasty squash are many. For example, just looking at the robust color you can tell that it is full of vitamin A. 

Just one cup of cooked butternut squash offers 457% of the recommended daily value of this powerful nutrient. Like carrots, butternut squash is a great food to enjoy for better eyesight. 

Butternut squash also contains vitamin C, E, manganese, niacin and more. 

​Other Recipes With Butternut Squash: 

Butternut Squash Bisque

When to Serve this Delicious Chili 

  • A healthy option to enjoy during the big game. 
  • Try a hot bowl of chili during soup season on a cool day. 
  • Works great as a healthy pot luck dish. 

How to Store Leftover Chili

Allow the leftover chili to cool completely. Store any remaining in glass containers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 

Tips to Make the Best Butternut Squash Chili 

  • Start with the best quality grass fed, grass finished stew beef cubes you can find. 
  • Make sure the beef is dry before browning. 
  • For the best flavor, use ground chili powder that is no older than 2-3 years old. 
  • Sea salt or Kosher salt is preferred for optimal flavor. 

Make It A Complete Meal 

To make this a complete meal serve over wild rice and pair with a tasty salad. 

Yield: 8

Best Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili with Stew Beef

Best Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili with Stew Beef

This bean-less slow cooker butternut squash chili with stew beef is both healthy, delicious and the perfect meal on a chilly day.. It will be one of your favorite chili recipes by far. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 pounds stew beef
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 butternut squash (seeds removed and cut into cubes)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 3 tbsp dry chili powder
  • 28oz fired roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6oz can) tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves

Garnish

  • scallions, cilantro, sliced ripe avocado

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven add ghee on medium-low heat.
  2. Sauté garlic and diced onions until soft and translucent (about 20-30 minutes).
  3. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Brown stew beef in the same pot in small batches and remove from pot.
  5. Add beef broth to the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the tiny bits at the bottom of the pan.
  6. Reserve the liquid.
  7. To a slow cooker add browned beef cubes, butternut squash and beef broth.
  8. Next add sauteed onions, garlic, salt, cumin, all purpose seasoning, thyme, chili powder, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves.
  9. Cook in slow cooker (on high) for 6 hours.
  10. Remove bay leaves before serving.
  11. Garnish with scallions, fresh cilantro and/or diced avocado as desired.

Notes

If you want to make this recipe dairy free, just swap out the ghee for olive or avocado oil.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 331Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 116mgSodium 1501mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 6gSugar 4gProtein 41g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate.

Other Recipes You May Like 

Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Gluten Free Beef Stew  

bowl of butternut squash chili with stew beef

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