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Butternut Squash Chili recipe made with ground beef or turkey, butternut squash, vegetables, and spices makes a hearty and delicious chili recipe! Recipe includes changes for Paleo, Whole 30 and Vegetarian needs. Also includes make ahead and freezer instructions!
This is without a doubt my absolute favorite time of the year. I spend as much time outside as I possibly can since we’re past the hot and humid stage and right smack dab in the middle of mild temperatures and gorgeous days. It is the perfect time of year!
It is also the perfect time of the year for making chilis, soups, stews and comforting dishes and this hearty Butternut Squash Chili recipe definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Butternut Squash Chili Recipe
It is loaded with layered flavors that mingle together to make a chili recipe that is comforting and satisfying without having to simmer all day. By sautéing the spices along with onion and garlic, they release even more flavor into this chili recipe. The addition of butternut squash then makes this chili recipe even more filling and adds a hint of sweetness that is perfectly balanced in this spicy chili. I also love that it adds so much Vitamin A, C and fiber to this dish!
If you have special dietary concerns, you can easily modify this chili recipe to fit your needs. If you are following a paleo, Whole 30, or similar lifestyle, you would simply omit the beans included in this chili. If you are vegetarian, simply omit the ground beef or turkey and swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth instead.
Here’s my Butternut Squash Chili Recipe. Yay for fall!
Butternut Squash Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 green bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 (14.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Optional toppings: diced avocado sour cream, or red pepper flakes
- Drizzle olive oil into a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and saute the onions until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Drain away any excess drippings and stir in tomato paste, bell pepper, tomato sauce, chicken stock, pinto beans, butternut squash, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chili is thickened and the butternut squash is tender, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes.
If you have special dietary concerns, you can easily modify this chili recipe to fit your needs. If you are following a paleo,Whole 30, or similar lifestyle, you would simply omit the beans included in this chili and not include the optional sour cream topping. If you are vegetarian, simply omit the ground beef or turkey and swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth instead and omit the optional sour cream topping.
This chili recipe is a great make-ahead dish! Reduce the cooking time and stop cooking before the butternut squash reaches tenderness. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat over medium heat, cooking until the butternut squash is tender. This prevents the butternut squash from overcooking or becoming mushy.
Prepare the chili as directed, stopping the cooking time before the butternut squash becomes tender. Allow to cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan until heated throughout and the butternut squash is tender.
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Great recipe! I used more tomato paste in mine and added fire roasted diced tomatoes because it needed more liquid to boil squash. I also added about 1/3tsp cayenne pepper, which gave it more flavor, did not make it spicy by any means though. I used four cheese spaghetti sauce instead of regular tomato sauce, chicken broth instead of chicken stock too. I also replaced pinto beans with northern beans since I didn’t have pinto. They worked well! And when serving, some of us used Slap Ya Mama seasoning(creole seasoning), which gave it a great flavor as well. I like plenty of spice, so I did add some hot sauce and crushed red pepper into mine too.
And my ground turkey was preseasoned with Italian seasoning.
I only added one yellow bell pepper. I added chipotle chili pepper powder to the mix as well. I used veggie crumbles instead of meat and veggie stock for a vegetarian variation. I added jalapeno peppers to the onion mixture and it was fantastic! Thank you for this recipe. It was so much fun to make.
Thanks, L D, for giving us your vegetarian version of this recipe.
All I have on hand is a couple bags of frozen butternut squash…… would that be usable??
You could use frozen butternut squash in this chili, Karen. Hope you enjoy!
Let me just say, delicious! I made a few tweaks like adding a 1/3 of pound of ground pork sausage and added fennel when browning and for the beans I used one can of navy beans and one can of mixed beans (pinto, kidney and black). I also didn’t use all the tomato sauce because I didn’t have it. I used a small can of fire roasted tomatoes to make up the difference. Would make this again, plus the husband loved it too! Thanks for the amazing recipe.
I’m so glad you and your husband loved the chili. Thanks!