slow cooker heaven {paleo butternut squash chili}

paleo butternut squash chili

this evening two ran track, one of those swam, one traveled for basketball, one played baseball in the chilly winter evening, and one cheered for them all.

butternut squash chili_a


we’re not avid fans of mad-sports-schedules, and frankly, we don’t even really encourage organized sports participation when our kids are little.  don’t get me wrong; nearly every afternoon and some mornings, before and after school-time, our littles will be tossing balls and running fast and shooting hoops – we want them building muscles and skills even young.  but for the “on-someone-else’s-schedule,” pay-for-it team sports, we wait till they really want it, enough to work for it, and to contribute financially even, if they’re able.  we want to know it’s really something that matters to them, and is worth the family calendar havoc it can wreak.

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i’ll be the first to say, though, as a mama who grew up sans sports (i danced ballet for eons and loved it, and was a theater girl thereafter), i delight in screaming for them cheering them on, and i delight ‘most more in their privilege to work under the authority of other trusted adults, to do more than they thought they could, to work for the good of a whole team of “others.”

butternut squash chili_e

but it does create some foodish chaos, what with running here and there, trying to eat healthy and not dump our funds into concession-stand-junk.  tonight, however, i conquered the sports-schedule-chaos-monster, and i made this.

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it is delicious.  it is divine.  it is meaty and saucy and deeply, darkly, spice-sweet but still savory.  it is filling even for a six-foot-plus runner-swimmer-baller, and it is better than dessert.  especially with oatmeal stout.  which, by the way, in case you’re wondering, is so-not-paleo.  but that’s okay, because i ate a lot of this chili.  enough, i’m sure, to make my dinner time consumption still “80 percent clean.”  heehee.

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here’s the recipe!

slow cooker heaven {paleo butternut squash chili}


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely minced, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro


  1. Brown and drain ground beef.
  2. Add onion and cook just till soft. (You can skip this step.)
  3. Add squash, beef and onion, jalapeno, garlic, spices, and tomatoes to slow cooker in order listed.
  4. Cook high for one hour, then reduce heat to low.
  5. Cook on low heat for 3-5 hours.
  6. Serve with chopped cilantro.


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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    Christina R.
    May 3, 2014 at 1:15 am

    This sounds SO good! I’ve been wanting to do something with diced butternut squash for a while now…this might be going in my slow cooker this weekend!

    1. Reply
      May 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      ooh, Christina, if you make it, let me know what you think! i think i might cook up some butternut squash today with eggs over medium. 🙂

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