This Slow Cooker Chili Butternut Squash and Farro is hearty, healthy, and loaded with seasonal vegetables, tender farro, protein-packed beans, and comforting spices all simmered together in a delicious broth for the perfect fall meal!
Is there anything better than a hot pot of hot chili peppers to satisfy your hunger on a lazy fall weekend?? No, I don’t think so. It’s absolutely my favorite thing to do during the colder months — especially THIS recipe for slow cooker butternut squash and farro peppers! You guys, these chilies taste amazing and my kitchen smells absolutely amazing all day long it cooks. The best part is how easy it is to make. I mean basically you just throw all your ingredients into the crock pot, turn it on and you’re good to go.
I also love how incredibly filling this dish is without even adding any meat. The butternut squash is soft in your mouth, the farro is chewy and the flavors hold it all together. Oh and did I mention you literally just throw everything in your crock pot and you’re done? Perfect for busy weeknights or for catering to crowds on the weekends!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This chili is vegan, dairy free, and made entirely with wholesome, unprocessed foods.
- Made right in the crockpot which saves time in the kitchen with little to no cleanup!
- Don’t miss the cinnamon! The chili’s taste is amazing.
- There’s nothing like a cozy bowl of chili on a sunny fall day.
Materials You Need
- Butternut squash – the real star of this dish and you will need 2 pounds of diced butternut squash. You can use pumpkin or even acorn squash too
- Onion – it adds so much flavor and you can use medium garlic or yellow onions
- peppers – added a little sweetness and more flavour. I used red pepper, but any color will work
- Garlic – You can use fresh chopped garlic or chopped garlic from a jar
- Tomato – You will need two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato paste, which thickens the sauce. You can also use flame-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor!
- Canned Beans – I used a combination of black beans and cannellini beans to add protein to these chilies, making sure to drain and rinse them first. You can also use kidney beans or any other beans you like
- Vegetable broth – I use low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can also use chicken stock or whatever stock you have in your pantry. Water can also be used, but you’ll lose some of the flavor
- farro – add more protein and fiber to this chili while soaking up all of this delicious flavor. You can also swap the farro for lentils, rice, or quinoa if it’s gluten-free
- Herbs and spices – a combination of chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper
- Optional garnish – feel free to top this chili with fresh parsley, cilantro or chives and even some sliced avocado, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and cheddar cheese it will taste delicious
What is Faro?
If you’ve never tried farro before, run, don’t walk, to your local grocery store and buy these NOW. I promise you will thank me later. Farro is very rich in protein, fiber and iron which is why I actually prefer this grain over quinoa sometimes for its high nutritional value. Its texture is similar to brown rice only with more “meatiness” making it the perfect ingredient for this chili and I love that it absorbs all the flavors as it cooks. Farro also retains its delicious chewy texture long after cooking which means it never gets soggy! Yes, they’re perfect for soups, stews and – you guessed it – CHILI, but farro also tastes great in salads or even as a side dish.
There are several types of farro (whole grain, pearl, and semi-pearl), but for this particular recipe I used pearl farro. Pearled means the skin has been removed which makes for a super-fast cooking time (only 20 minutes!), but also tastes slow-cooking. I mean, you can clearly see why it’s such a staple in our homes – it’s versatile with lots of nutritional benefits and just happens to be super convenient!
How to Cut Butternut Squash
To make this recipe easier to prepare, you can buy chopped butternut squash straight from the store. However, not all stores sell pre-cut pumpkins, so here’s my simple method for peeling and cutting your own butternut squash.
- Start by cutting the bottom of the pumpkin. This helps stabilize the squash so you can start peeling it. Be sure to have a good vegetable peeler and remove it from the stem. The skin of the butternut squash is thin and delicate so this is super easy to make!
- Next cut off the stem and slice your squash in half lengthwise using a sharp chef’s knife. If your squash is very thick and difficult to cut, you can pop it in the microwave or oven to warm it up for a few minutes to make it easier to cut. Then scoop out all the seeds and the stringy part using a spoon.
- Place your cutting on a cutting board and slice the squash into 1-inch cubes. You’ll want to get as close in size as possible so the squash cooks evenly. And that’s it!
How to Make Chili Butternut Squash
The best part about making this butternut squash chili is how simple it is to put together!
- Cut the butternut squash. Peel and slice the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, trying to stay the same size so the squash cooks evenly.
- Throw it into the cauldron. In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the butternut squash, along with the other ingredients, and mix well. Cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! Scoop the chili into a bowl, add your desired toppings and enjoy. I highly recommend serving it with my honey cornbread muffin!
- Gluten free option – to make this gluten free, you can easily swap out the farro for lentils, rice or quinoa
- Add meat – this is vegan chili, but feel free to add a bit of meat for a delicious beef or turkey chili. Be sure to brown the ground turkey, or whatever meat you choose to use, before adding it to the crock pot.
- Swap farros – as I said before, it can easily be customized to your liking! If you don’t like farro or don’t have any, lentils, rice, quinoa are all my great choices. Or, as I said above, you can even add meat for more protein.
- Make it spicy – if you want to make the chili spicier, add 1 or 2 chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes.
Preparation and Storage
Keep: This butternut squash chili makes great leftovers! Farro has this magical ability to absorb so much flavor without getting soggy which makes it great for meal prep. These chilies will last in your fridge in a tightly closed airtight container 5 to 7 days. You can easily reheat it in the microwave or on the stove for a quick and delicious meal.
Freeze: If planning to freeze these chilies, allow them to cool completely and then store them in a tightly closed, airtight container in the freezer until maxed out 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the chilies thaw in the fridge then reheat on the stove or microwave. Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water or broth to add some moisture back into the sauce, if needed.
More Butternut Squash Recipes to Try
More Crock Pot Recipes to Try
Hope you all enjoy these Slow Cooker Butternut Chili Squashes and if you like this recipe as much as we do, please rate me a five star below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love looking at all your delicious recreations!
- preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Amount of Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 paprika, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the butternut squash and other ingredients, cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours.
- Scoop the chili into a bowl and add the desired toppings. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 327
- Sugar: 9.5g
- Sodium: 294.7 mg
- Fat: 1.5g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Carbohydrate: 65.8g
- Fiber: 13.5g
- Proteins: 15.4g
* Please note that all nutritional information is approximate. Values will vary between brands, so it’s best to calculate it yourself for the most accurate results.