Beef & Butternut Squash Chili

Trust me on this one; this beef & butternut squash chili is to. die. for. Folks go cray over it and can’t figure out what the ingredients are or why it tastes so FAB!!!!

beef & butternut squash chiliI came up with this butternut squash & bean chili by tweaking one of my favorite recipes~this chili with sweet potatoes & black beans. Since a 2017 goal is to get a variety of whole foods and healthy antioxidants into our diet, this chili fits the bill. It could be even healthier by substituing ground turkey or chicken for beef, but I love beef, and a little fat doesn’t bother me at all. #justkeepcalmanddrainitoff:-)

This chili is full of standout, complex flavor. It gets a warm but palatable heat from smoked paprika, chili powder, and fresh jalapeño. Onions, diced peppers, and garlic are the “trinity” aromatics. Finally, just a pinch of cinnamon gives this interest and kick that perfectly complements the butternut squash.

Beans: I like adding different colors and sizes of beans, and sometimes I’ll even throw in an extra can:-) Beans are a yummy way to stretch a dish to feed more folks AND they add much needed fiber to the diet.

Butternut squash: Costco, Trader Joe’s and Sprouts usually sell this squash already cut or diced, which I think is worth every penny (it is a pain to prep). Sweet potatoes can be substituted for squash in this and most recipes. Any time I add either of these to a soup or chili, I give them a short stint in the mircowave. When partially cooked, they’re sure to be done by dinner time. I’ve had a few incidents of too-hard potatoes, which ruins a good soup or chili.

I would love to hear from you if you try this recipe; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Beef & Butternut Squash Chili
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  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs ground beef or chuck
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs diced butternut squash (fresh, not frozen)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (or 1 cup frozen)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 large green, red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted optional)
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 (15 oz) cans beans (white, black, red, navy, etc...) drained & rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB + 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 TB brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Brown beef with onion and peppers (including jalapeno) until almost no pink remains.
  • Add garlic toward the end; brown meat completely.
  • Steam squash in microwave steam bag for 3-4 minutes (if desired) to reduce cook time.
  • Add beef and remaining ingredients to slow cooker, stirring well.
  • Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8.