This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Farro Chili is hearty, healthy, and packed with seasonal veggies, tender farro, protein-rich beans, and cozy spices, all simmered together in a delicious broth for the perfect fall dish!
What better way to satisfy your hunger on a lazy fall weekend than a simmering pot of warm, hearty chili? No, I didn’t think so. It’s truly my favorite during the colder months – especially THIS Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Farro Chili recipe! Guys, the flavors in this chili are amazing and my kitchen smelled absolutely amazing throughout the day while it was being cooked. The best part is how easy it is to do. I mean, you basically just throw all your ingredients in a crock pot, turn it on, and you’re good to go.
I also love how incredibly filling this dish is, even without the addition of meat. The butternut squash is melt-in-your-mouth, the farro is deliciously chewy, and the flavors just bring it all together. Oh, and did I mention you literally throw everything in your pot and you’re done? Perfect for those busy weeknights or serving a crowd at the weekend!
Why you will love this recipe
- This chili is vegan, dairy-free, and made entirely from wholesome, unprocessed foods.
- Prepared right in the crockpot, saving time in the kitchen with little to no cleanup!
- Don’t skip the cinnamon! The taste is amazing with this chili.
- On a crisp fall day, there’s nothing like a cozy bowl of chili.
ingredients you need
- Butternut Squash – the real star of this dish and you will need 2 pounds of diced butternut squash. You can also use pumpkin or even acorn squash
- Onion – this adds so much flavor and you can use a medium sized white or yellow onion
- paprika – adds a touch of sweetness and more flavor. I used a red bell pepper, but any color will work
- garlic – You can use fresh chopped garlic or chopped garlic from the jar
- tomatoes – You will need two cans of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato paste, which will thicken the sauce. You can 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 you drain and rinse them first. You can also use red kidney beans or whatever beans you prefer
- vegetable broth – I used a low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can use chicken broth or whatever broth you have in your pantry. Water would also work, but you would lose some of the flavor
- Faro – adds more protein and fiber to this chili while packing in all that delicious flavor. You can also swap out the farro for lentils, rice, or quinoa if you’re gluten-free
- Spices – Combination of chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper
- Optional set – Feel free to top this chili with fresh parsley, cilantro, or scallions, 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, don’t walk to your local grocery store and buy it NOW. I promise you’ll thank me later. Farro is super high in protein, fiber, and iron, which is why I sometimes choose this grain over quinoa for its great nutritional value. The texture is similar to brown rice, only a lot more “meaty” which makes it the perfect ingredient for this chili and I love that it just soaks up all the flavors as it cooks. Farro retains its delicious chewy texture long after it’s cooked, meaning it never goes mushy! Yes, perfect for soups, stews and – you guessed it – CHILI, but farro is also great on its own in a salad or even as a side dish.
There are different types of farro (whole grain, pearled and semi-pearled), but for this particular recipe I used pearled farro. Pearled means the shell has been removed, making the cooking time super quick (just 20 minutes!), but it also tastes amazing slow cooked. 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 super convenient!
How to cut butternut squash
To make this recipe easier to prep, you can purchase pre-chopped butternut squash directly from the store. However, not all stores carry pre-chopped squash, so here’s my easy method for peeling and slicing your own butternut squash.
- Start by cutting off the bottom part of the squash. This will help stabilize the squash so you can start peeling it. Make sure you 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!
- Next, cut off the stalk and halve the pumpkin lengthwise with a sharp chef’s knife. If your squash is really thick and difficult to cut, you can simply pop it in the microwave or oven to warm it up for a few minutes to make it easier to cut through. Then simply scoop out any seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.
- Place your halves, cut-side down, on a cutting board and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. You want them to be as large as possible so 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 easy it is to throw it together!
- Chop butternut squash. Peel and cut the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes, trying to keep them all the same size so the squash cooks evenly.
- Dump into crock pot. Place the butternut squash in a 6 liter slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and set on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! Place the chili in bowls, add any toppings you like and enjoy. I highly recommend serving them with my honey cornbread muffins!
- Gluten free option – to make it 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 some meat for a delicious beef or turkey chili. Just make sure you sear the ground turkey or whatever meat you plan to use before adding it to the Dutch oven.
- 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 one on hand, lentils, rice, quinoa, all my great options. Or, as I said above, you could even add some meat for even more protein.
- Make it sharp – If you want to make this chili spicier, feel free to add 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos or some red pepper flakes.
preparation and storage
To store: This Butternut Squash Chili makes great leftovers! Farro has this magical ability to soak up so much flavor without ever getting mushy, which makes it great for meal prep. This chili keeps in a sealed, airtight container in your fridge 5 to 7 days. You can simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick, delicious meal.
Freeze: If you plan to freeze this chili, allow it to cool completely, then store in a sealed, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the chili, let it thaw in the fridge, then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water or broth to bring some moisture back into the sauce if needed.
More butternut squash recipes to try
More crock pot recipes to try
I 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 with the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny on Instagram! I love seeing all your delicious recoveries!
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 5 hours
- Total time: 5 hrs 5 mins
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 peppers, chopped
- 5 Garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) Canned 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 chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinammon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place butternut squash and remaining ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker, cover and set on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Place chili in bowls and add desired toppings. Enjoy!
- Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 327
- Sugar: 9.5 g
- Sodium: 294.7mg
- Fat: 1.5g
- Saturated Fatty Acids: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.8g
- Fiber: 13.5 g
- Protein: 15.4g
* Please note that all nutritional information is an estimate only. Values vary by brand, so we recommend you calculate them yourself for the most accurate results possible.