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No Bean Butternut Squash Chili

This No Bean Butternut Squash Chili is perfect recipe to indulge yourself with this fall. It’s thick, rich, and hearty and also low-carb, paleo, and gluten-free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, dairy free, gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, Whole30
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lora


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups butternut squash — diced
  • fresh sage leaves
  • fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup celery — diced
  • ½ cup red onions — chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey -or ground chicken or grass fed beef
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tsp chili pepper optional for those that like it spicy (ground chili pepper is VERY spicy so start with less and add more if you like more heat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup red bell peppers — chopped optional, if you like peppers
  • 2 cups diced tomato with juice if you are using diced tomatoes from a can
  • 1 cup any tomato sauce that doesn't contain sugar
  • 1 cup broth — vegetable beef or chicken (I used my own homemade chicken broth)
  • fresh cilantro — for garnishing


  • If you are roasting your own squash like I did, heat the oven to 425F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil paper.
  • Add the diced squash. Drizzle on some extra-virgin olive oil (1 Tablespoon). Sprinkle on a little salt. Add your fresh herbs (I added rosemary and sage from my herb garden). You could use dried rosemary and sage.
  • Cover and seal it tightly with a top layer of foil paper.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes.
  • When it is ready, remove the top sheet of paper, place the squash in a bowl; set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • When heated up, add the celery and onions. Sauté until the onions get a bit translucent (3-4 minutes). Add in the minced garlic. Stir to combine it all together (you don’t want the garlic to brown).
  • Add in the ground turkey (or ground chicken or ground beef), and break it into small pieces using your wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the spices. Stir it all together and combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn your slow cooker to HIGH. Add the meat and spice mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Add in the red peppers (if using), butternut squash (uncooked), diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth. Stir it all together. If you are using plum tomatoes instead of cherry or diced tomatoes, break them up before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Set heat to HIGH and cook for 5-6 hours.
  • Or you could set heat to LOW and cook 7-8 hours.
  • IF you roasted squash in the oven, like I did, add it to the stew during the last 30 minutes of cooking. You just want to heat the squash up, as it is already cooked. It will really break up, so try not to stir it too much. Just give it a gentle stir to combine and let it heat up with the stew.
  • Ladle out to bowls and garnish with desired topping. A serving idea is with more cilantro (if you like it, or parsley), jalapeño slices, and lime wedges (optional).
  • Place a large saucepan with lid (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the olive oil (or you could use coconut oil or even ghee). When it has heated up, add in the onions and peppers (if using.
  • Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring and the onion should be translucent and peppers should start to soften.
  • Add in spices, salt and pepper. Stir all together and sauté about another minute.
  • Add in the minced garlic and ground turkey (ground chicken or ground beef will also work). Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat with your wooden spoon.
  • Add in spices, salt and pepper. Stir all together and sauté about another minute.
  • Add the peppers, butternut squash, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and let it simmer, with the lid partially on, for about 30-40 minutes. Check on it after about 15 minutes and give it a stir. Check the seasoning. Adjust and add any extra salt and pepper. Put the lid partially back on and let it continue to simmer.
  • When it is ready at about 30-40 minutes, adjust the seasoning (if needed)with more salt, pepper and spice, to your taste.
  • Ladle out to bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro (or fresh Italian parsley). Add on avocado and jalapeno slices, if you like.


*Garnish with cilantro or fresh parsley. I know not everyone loves cilantro, so Italian parsley will do fine, if you have any on hand.
*You could spice this up and add diced jalapeño to the vegetables when you are cooking it. Or even add some slices on top to serve.
*If you don’t have butternut squash on hand, you could even make this with diced sweet potatoes. Or even add it to the stew with the squash.
*I had extra roasted squash and froze a portion. I made the stew another time with some of my frozen roasted squash pieces. The frozen squash will break up and you will NOT have distinctive chunks of the squash. So keep that in mind if you are adding frozen squash.