Beef & Butternut Squash Chili

This super delicious, smoky & complex beef & butternut squash chili is also super healthy and loaded with protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

beef & butternut squash chili


This is a hearty, smoky, and complex chili. 

This beefy butternut squash chili is full of standout, complex flavor. It gets a warm but palatable heat from smoked paprika, chili powder, and jalapeno peppers. 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. The recipe calls for 3 cans of beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, cannellini or white beans,  or pinto beans. Be sure to rinse and drain the beans before adding to the slow cooker.

Here are my tips for butternut squash.

  • To save time, I always buy diced 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.
  • The butternut squash needs to be steamed until tender, as it will NOT cook enough in the slow cooker (it will be hard and ruin the chili). I use Ziploc Zip & Steam bags and microwave the squash for 4-5 minutes.

In the video below, I show the process of assembling beef butternut squash 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

Beef & Butternut Squash Chili

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes

Smoky, spicy beef chili with flavorful butternut squash.


  • 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 (6-8-oz) can tomato paste
  • 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


  1. Brown beef with onion and peppers (including jalapeno) until no pink remains.
  2. Add garlic at the last minute or two of browning so it will saute but not burn.
  3. Partially cook squash in microwave steam bag for 3-4 minutes so that it will be tender when the chili is done. Uncooked squash will be hard if not pre-steamed.
  4. Add beef and remaining ingredients to slow cooker, stirring well.
  5. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8.
Nutrition Information
Yield 13 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 266Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 69mgSodium 280mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 23g


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