This delicious Butternut Squash Chili is a comforting, cozy chili recipe that nourishes you with the most incredible flavor and healthy ingredients.
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❤️ Why You'll Love This Crockpot Chili Recipe
- AH-mazing combination of flavor
- Easy to prepare right in the slow cooker
- Healthy and nutritious meal with simple ingredients
- Awesome for meal prep
- Keto, Low Carb and Paleo approved
If you love chili as much as I do, then you are going to absolutely love this butter squash chili recipe. It's made in the crockpot, which is perfect for busy weeknights when you want a healthy and hearty meal on the dinner table in a hurry.
For those times when you know you have a busy morning planned, you can prepare all the ingredients the night before and place everything in the fridge. Then put everything in the crockpot to cook the next morning while you go about your day. So easy!
This recipe is not only a wonderful family meal, but it's also awesome for game day, tailgate parties and covered dish get-togethers. Serve it with this Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread for a complete meal everyone will rave about!
What's in Crockpot Chili with Butternut Squash
- Ground beef
- Butternut squash
- Diced tomatoes
- Yellow onion
- Poblano pepper
- Chicken or beef broth
- Tomato paste
- Chipotle pepper (in the can)
- Chili seasoning
- Worcestershire sauce
- Olive oil
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chili
Heat a large skillet to medium and add in the ground beef and half the salt. Brown then remove the ground beef and set aside.
In the same skillet, add in the olive oil, onions, poblano peppers and the rest of the salt. Sauté until translucent.
Add in the garlic and sauté for about 20 seconds, making sure you don’t brown it or it will become bitter.
Add in the chili seasoning and chipotle pepper, allow them to toast for about 10 seconds while stirring.
In a mixing bowl, add in half the broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire and mix. Pour in the skillet and mix well.
Pour the ground beef into the insert of your slow cooker.
Pour the tomatoes over the ground beef.
Then pour the onion and pepper mixture from the skillet and the remaining broth, then mix everything together until well combined.
Lastly, add in the cubed butternut squash over the top and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours, or until the butternut squash is tender.
Be sure to check about ¾ of the way through cooking and give the chili a good stir. If you overcook the butternut squash, it will fall apart and that’s not what you want.
Serve with a dollop or sour cream, diced avocado, red onion and/or chopped cilantro.
The butternut squash makes a great replacement for black beans or kidney beans because they’re creamy and have a lot less carbs.
Place leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to several days or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Each slow cooker heats a little differently, but as long as the chili has plenty of liquid in it, it should be fine to cook on the low setting for up to 12 hours. You really need to know your crockpot and how it cooks before you leave it unattended for an extended time.
For this recipe, it should be noted, butternut squash will become super tender the longer it cooks. After about 6 hours on low, it will start to become too soft.
Not necessarily. Having said that, it is true that the longer chili cooks, the more the flavors develop.
You can certainly get the same amazing flavor cooking this chili stove top in a dutch oven or large pot. To do so, you will need to stay close by and stir it frequently.
That is why crockpot is SO great for cooking chilis and soups and other recipes that need a while to cook. In a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it.
While there are many great ways to make chili in the instant pot, like this No Bean Instant Pot Chili, this chili with butternut squash is best cooked low and slow to keep the squash from losing its texture.
You sure can. I simply love recipes that are easily adaptable to different dietary needs. To make this chili vegetarian chili, you can simply omit the ground beef. You can used tofu instead or because the other flavors and texture in this chili are so great, you leave it out altogether.
If you want to make this a vegan recipe, you'll also want to substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock and the Worcestershire sauce for liquid aminos.
When it comes to vegetables the better question is, which vegetables are best on Keto. Unlike sugar, wheat or other grains, kidney beans are low on the glycemic index.
Which means when eaten in low moderation, they are not going to cause a significant spike in your blood sugar. But they are complex carbohydrate. So, if you are tracking your macros for Keto, there are better choices you can make to save on daily carb amounts.
It certainly can be. But just like anything else, it all depends on the ingredients.
If you have been following a Keto diet for a while, you understand that subtle changes in ingredients can make all the difference. For instance, by using butternut squash instead of kidney beans, there are almost 3 net carbs less per serving in this recipe.
Winter squash will have more carbs than some of your leafy green veggies. But, when you compare butternut squash to root vegetables like sweet potatoes, it is definitely the better low carb option.
There are approximately 17 net carbs per cup of butternut squash. When added to a recipe, those carbs are divided out per serving. So, for this recipe, butternut squash only accounts for a little over 3 net carbs per serving and with the flavor it provides this recipe, it is SO worth it!
Butternut squash is also very nutritious. According to this article on Healthline, it "is low in calories but high in many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium."
Easy Substitutions for Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
This chili recipe isn't super spicy, but it does have a bit of heat from the poblano and chipotle pepper. If you prefer, you can use bell peppers instead. Or you can even use a little bell pepper in addition to the peppers in this recipe.
If you like more of a 5-alarm style chili with a lot of heat, you can add a little cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and additional chili powder.
If you prefer turkey chili, no worries! You can easily make this a butternut squash turkey chili by using ground turkey in place of the ground beef.
You can also make this same recipe using ground chicken along with or instead of the ground beef.
What Slow Cooker is Best to Use?
I used the Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Slow Cooker and absolutely love it. It's very lightweight and is programmable. But here's my favorite part... you can use the insert on your stovetop to sear before slow cooking.
So if you have a roast that you want to sear to give it more flavor, you don't have to use another pan! You can also deglaze the pan with your liquids and really make the most of all that flavor. Hands down, my favorite slow cooker ever!
More Keto Slow Cooker Recipes
- Tuscan Chicken
- Chicken Soup
- Turkey Breast with Gravy
- Southern Green Beans
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- BBQ Meatballs
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Crockpot Chili with Butternut Squash
- 2 pounds ground beef, I use 85%
- 1 ½ cups butternut squash, diced
- 2 15- ounce can diced tomatoes, lowest carb, with the juices
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium poblano pepper, diced
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth, divided
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 chipotle pepper, in the can, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Heat a large skillet to medium and add in the ground beef and half the salt. Brown, then remove the ground beef and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add in the olive oil, onions, poblano peppers and the rest of the salt. Sauté until translucent.
- Add in the garlic and sauté for about 20 seconds, making sure you don’t brown it or it will become bitter.
- Add in the chili seasoning and chipotle pepper, allow them to toast for about 10 seconds while stirring.
- In a mixing bowl, add in half the broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire and mix. Pour in the skillet and mix well.
- Pour the ground beef into the insert of your slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes over the ground beef.
- Then pour the onion and pepper mixture from the skillet, with the remaining broth, then mix everything together until well combined.
- Lastly, add in the butternut squash over the top and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours, or until the butternut squash is tender.
- Be sure to check about ¾ of the way through cooking and give the chili a good stir. If you overcook the butternut squash, it will fall apart and that’s not what you want.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream, diced avocado, red onion and/or chopped cilantro.
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*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol- Swerve, Erythritol, Allulose, or Monk Fruit.