Beef and Butternut Squash Chili Recipe



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There is finally a chill in the air here in New England, and a chill means chili season, right?! Chili is one of my all time favorite foods, and lucky for me, my husband and daughter love it just about as much as I do. We make a pot up just about every week in the winter time, and I love the versatility. Sometimes we make a more traditional version, but often we mix it up with one of my nontraditional variations like my smoky turkey chickpea chili, or this bean-free beef and butternut squash recipe, perfect for the cold winter months. It uses simple seasonal ingredients with a couple secret ingredients (you’ll see). Just try it out– you can thank me later!

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Beef and Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

  • Author: Kristin Dovbniak
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x



1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt (more as needed)
1 cup beef broth or water
green onions and cilantro, to top



  1. Brown beef in a large saute pan until no longer pink.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat avocado oil to medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic.
  3. Add browned beef to pot along with butternut squash, diced tomatoes, cocoa powder and all spices. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, on medium low heat for 1-2 hours (if not more). Test butternut squash to ensure doneness. Add beef stock or water as needed to reach desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Slow Cooker:

  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook for 7-9 hours on low.
  2. Taste for seasoning and serve.


  • No butternut squash? Sweet potatoes or kabocha squash work great, as well.
  • Switch out the meat for whatever you’d like– you can also add beans, if you want to stretch it!

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