This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Farro Chili is hearty, healthy and loaded with seasonal veggies, tender farro, protein-packed beans, and cozy spices all simmered together in a delicious broth for the perfect fall meal!
Is there anything better than a simmering pot of warm, hearty chili to satisfy your hunger on a lazy fall weekend?? No I didn’t think so. It truly is my favorite thing during the colder months – especially THIS recipe for slow cooker butternut squash and farro chili! You guys, the flavors in this chili are incredible and my kitchen smelled absolutely amazing all day long as it cooked. The best part is how eaaaaasy this is to make. I mean you basically just throw all of your ingredients into a crock pot, turn it on and you are good to go.
I also love how incredibly filling this dish is too even without adding any meat. The butternut squash is melt-in-your-mouth tender, the farro is deliciously chewy and the flavors just bring everything together. Oh and did I mention you literally just throw everything into your crock pot and you’re done? Perfect for those busy weeknights or to serve a crowd on the weekends!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- This chili is vegan, dairy-free, and made completely with wholesome, non-processed foods.
- Made right in the crockpot which saves time in the kitchen with little to no clean-up!
- Don’t skip the cinnamon! The taste is amazing in this chili.
- There is nothing better than a cozy bowl of chili on a crisp fall day.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Butternut squash – the true star of this dish and you’ll need 2 pounds of cubed butternut squash. You could use pumpkin or even acorn squash as well
- Onion – this adds so much flavor and you can use a medium white or yellow onion
- Bell pepper – adds a hint of sweetness and more flavor. I used a red bell pepper, but any color will work
- Garlic – you can use fresh chopped garlic or minced garlic from the jar
- Tomatoes – you’ll need two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato paste, which thickens the sauce. You could also use fire roasted tomatoes for even more flavor!
- Canned beans – I used a combination of black beans and cannellini beans to add protein to this chili, just make sure to drain and rinse them first. You could also use red kidney beans or any other beans you prefer
- Vegetable broth – I used a low sodium vegetable broth, but you could also use chicken broth or any stocks you have in your pantry. Water would work as well, but you would lose some of the flavor
- Farro – adds more protein and fiber to this chili while soaking up all this delicious flavor. You could also swap out the farro for lentils, rice or quinoa if gluten-free
- Spices – combination of chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper
- Optional garnish – feel free to top this chili with fresh parsley, cilantro or green onions and even some sliced avocados, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and some cheddar cheese would taste delicious
What is Farro?
If you’ve never tried farro before then run, do not walk, to your local grocery store and purchase this NOW. I promise you’ll thank me later. Farro is super rich in protein, fiber and iron which is why I actually prefer this grain over quinoa sometimes due to its great nutritional value. The texture is similar to brown rice only a lot “meatier” making it the perfect ingredient for this chili and I love that it just soaks up all of the flavors while it cooks. Farro also maintains its delicious chewy texture long after cooking which means it will never get mushy! Yep perfect for soups, stews and – you guessed it – CHILI, but farro also tastes great all on its own tossed in a salad or even as a side dish.
There are several different types of farro (whole grain, pearled, and semi-pearled), but for this particular recipe I used pearled farro. Pearled means that the husk has been removed which makes the cooking time super quick (only 20 minutes!), but it tastes awesome slow cooked too. I mean you can clearly see why this has become such a staple in our home – it’s versatile with tons of nutritional benefits and just so happens to be super convenient!
How to Cut Butternut Squash
To make things easier when preparing this recipe, you can purchase pre-chopped butternut squash right from the store. However, not all stores carry pre-chopped squash so here’s my simple method for peeling and cutting your own butternut squash.
- Start by cutting off the bottom portion of the squash. This helps stabilize the squash so you can start peeling it. Make sure to have a good vegetable peeler and work your way down from the stem. Butternut squash skin is thin and smooth so this is really easy to do!
- Next cut off the stem and slice your squash in half longways using a sharp chef’s knife. If your squash is really thick and hard to cut, you can just pop it in the microwave or oven to warm it up for a few minutes to make it easier to slice through. Then just scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts using a spoon.
- Lay your halves cut side down on a cutting board and slices the squash into 1-inch cubes. You’ll want them to be as close in size as possible so that the squash cooks evenly. And that’s it!
How to Make Butternut Squash Chili
The best part about making this butternut squash chili is how simple it is to throw together!
- Chop butternut squash. Peel and slice the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, trying to keep them all equal in size so that the squash cooks evenly.
- Dump into crock pot. In a 6-quart slow cooker, add butternut squash, along with the rest of the ingredients, and give everything a good stir. Cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low 6 to 8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! Spoon the chili into bowls, add any desired toppings and enjoy. I highly recommend serving with my honey cornbread muffins!
- Gluten-free option – to make this gluten-free you can easily swap out the farro for lentils, rice or quinoa
- Add meat – this is a vegan chili, but feel free to add in some meat for a delicious beef or turkey chili. Just make sure to brown the ground turkey, or whatever meat you choose to use, before adding it to the crock pot.
- Swap out the farro – as I said before, this can easily be customized to your liking! If you don’t like farro or don’t have any on hand, lentils, rice, quinoa all my great options. Or, as I said above, you could even add in some meat for even more protein.
- Make it spicy – if you want to make this chili spicier, feel free to add in 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos or some red pepper flakes.
Prepping and Storage
To Store: This butternut squash chili makes great leftovers! Farro has this magic ability of soaking up so much flavor without ever getting soggy which makes it great for meal prep. This chili will last in your refrigerator in a sealed, airtight container for 5 to 7 days. You can easily reheat it in the microwave or stovetop for a quick, delicious meal.
To Freeze: If planning to freeze this chili, let it cool completely then store in a sealed, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the chili thaw out in the fridge then reheat on the stovetop 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 this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five-star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5 hrs
- Total Time: 5 hrs 5 mins
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can 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 butternut squash and the rest of ingredients, cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours.
- Spoon chili into bowls and add desired toppings. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 327
- Sugar: 9.5 g
- Sodium: 294.7 mg
- Fat: 1.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.8 g
- Fiber: 13.5 g
- Protein: 15.4 g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.