Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili – 2 Ways

Two versions of butternut squash chili – both are gluten-free, a little spicy, and oh so tasty. Try the vegan version with kidney beans or the paleo version with ground beef.

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

Sunday we had a Super Bowl party, and after everyone left my husband said, “Soooo… despite having 20 people in this tiny living room eating meatballs and pulled pork, our apartment is cleaner than it was yesterday.” Um, ouch! But honestly, he’s not wrong. Having people over regularly is my #1 tip for keeping your home clean and organized. I’m not even kidding. There is nothing more motivating than the fear of being quietly judged by people who love you too much to say something about your messy home.

We wanted to set up an extra TV in our guest room (aka the You Should Craft studio) so friends who actually care about football could have a place to watch, but as of Friday the room was just a garbage pile of yarn, photography lights and props, half-finished projects, and worksheets from last semester. Now it’s beautiful! My props and dishes are organized neatly on the shelf, my extra yarn is back in color-coded hanging cubby holes, the lights are stored in the closet… I barely recognize the space.

 

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Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

Speaking of organizing, I love organizing and planning a big party. Deciding on a menu, writing my grocery list, making a schedule of what needs to be chopped or taken out of the oven at certain times, having extra time to take pictures of a freshly crocheted cup cozy, figuring out how to fit all my slowcookers in my teeny, closet-like kitchen — it’s my very own Super Bowl!!

Sunday I was rocking four crock pots. FOUR. I told my friend I felt like I was fulfilling my destiny and she’s so sweet, she said, “But Alex, you’re good at lots of things, maybe those are part of your destiny too?” No Cat, it’s definitely the crock pot thing!

Anyway, I’ve been kind of obsessed with butternut squash chili this fall/winter, so it was a no-brainer to include it in our Super Bowl spread. We have a few vegan and vegetarian friends, but other than chips/guac and hummus/veggies, I didn’t have any food for them on my menu. Ta-da! My butternut squash chili with ground beef became vegan butternut squash chili with red kidney beans. I threw it all in the crock pot and a few hours later it was ready to go!

 

My absolute favorite slow cookerCrock-Pot Cook & Carry 6 qt. Programmable Slow Cooker

 

Whether you go with the paleo and Whole 30-friendly version of this slowcooker chili, or the vegan version, it’s gluten-free, a little spicy, and super amazingly delicious. So delicious, that not only am I eating the leftovers right now, but I have a ground beef version simmering in the crock pot as we speak. See? Told you I’m obsessed.

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

Ingredients:
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 1-1.5 pounds)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced (I use whatever color we have handy – they all taste great!)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound of ground beef -OR- 2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (I usually buy the no-salt added varieties of canned tomatoes)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
1 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Optional: cayenne pepper for those looking for more spice

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

Vegan Version: Drain and rinse 2 cans of red kidney beans, then throw everything into a 6 quart crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours on low, or until the butternut squash is soft.

Paleo and Whole30 Version: Brown the ground beef (or ground turkey, whatever) in a frying pan over medium heat. Drain some of the fat (depending on what type of meat you’re using) and dump the meat into the crock pot. Add rest of the ingredients and cook for 4-5 hours on low. Honestly, you could probably skip the browning but I think it adds a little extra oomph.

This recipe makes almost exactly four quarts of chili, which I know because my biggest and most favorite slowcooker (this programmable bad boy — I highly recommend it!) was filled with six pounds of smoky, vinegar-y Carolina pulled pork (which was excellent, if I do say so myself), so I used my 4 quart Hamilton Beach model and it was literally filled to the brim with chili. Anyway, don’t be like me and use the wrong size of crock pot. BTW, if you do have to use a smaller one, your cooking time will be a bit longer because the heat distribution will be all weird and inefficient.

 

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

Soooo… that’s it! Can you tell why I’m so completely, head-over-heels in love with slowcookers?!

Serve your butternut squash chili warm and garnish with lime, avocado, and maybe a little dab of sour cream. A friend of mine stirred French onion dip into her chili and said it was amaze-balls, so I guess you can do that too?

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

 

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Two versions of butternut squash chili - both are gluten-free, a little spicy, and oh so tasty. Try the vegan version with kidney beans or the paleo version with ground beef.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Slowcooker
Serves: 4 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 1-1.5 pounds)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I use whatever color we have handy - they all taste great!)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound of ground beef (for paleo/whole 30 version) -OR-
  • 2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (for vegan version)
  • Optional: cayenne pepper for those looking for more spice
Instructions
  1. Vegan Version: Put all of the ingredients into a 6 quart slowcooker (except ground beef) and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  2. Paleo/Whole30 Version: Brown the ground beef in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour off some of the fat and add the beef to the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Notes
Nutrition for vegan version: Serving = 16-20 ounces, Calories: 268 Fat: 3 Saturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 60 Sugar: 10 Fiber: 18 Protein: 14 Cholesterol: 0
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 16-20 ounces [Paleo Version] Calories: 369 Fat: 15 Saturated fat: 6 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 37 Sugar: 9 Fiber: 8 Protein: 26 Cholesterol: 67

 

This post was shared at: The Wednesday Showcase, DIY Crush, The Handmade Hangout, The Wednesday Roundup, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Welcome Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things, SHINE Blog Hop, The Pretty Pintastic Party, Lou Lou Girls, and Funtastic Friday.

 

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Chili - 2 Ways (either Vegan/Vegetarian or Paleo/Whole30)| YouShouldCraft.com

11 Responses

  1. Yum!! Love slow cooker meals!
    Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

  2. This looks incredible, and these photos are gorgeous! Butternut squash is also my jam this winter – so so SO yummy. Thanks for sharing with the Wednesday Showcase!

  3. Oh wow, this looks and sounds so amazing. I love using my slow cooker for meals. It gives me so much flexibility!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    • Thanks for dropping by, Jennifer! And I’m OBSESSED with slowcooking! Even more so now that I have a programmable one, it just switches to warm and waits for me to eat what’s inside.

  4. Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays! This is a new twist on chili that I will have to try! Oh, and I totally get the clean house for company…I do the same thing. I should plan an event one each month just so my house gets cleaned 🙂

    • No problem, Crystal! You’ll have to come back and let me know how you liked the chili! As far as cleaning, that’s basically what I do, otherwise my apartment becomes one big laundry pile.

  5. Spicy chili is a great place to add unexpected ingredients. Thanks for adding your yummy post to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop…these have all been pinned to our group Pinterest board. See you again soon.

    Shellie
    http://www.thefabjourney.com

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