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 cooked 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’re good to go!
Now I LOVE me some butternut squash, but the real hero of this dish is the farro. OHMYGOODNESS it is literally the perfect addition to this chili with its chewy texture and delicious nutty flavor, making it super hearty and filling. This is pure comfort food at its finest people!
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 Alessi organic 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!
Now as usual we have to talk about meal prep. You all know it’s a MUST in our house and something that we genuinely look forward to every Sunday and Alessi’s pearled farro just so happens to be perrrrrfect for meal prep! As I said before, this grain soaks up so much flavor without ever getting soggy making it great for leftovers and a solid base for pretty much any of your favorite dishes.
Here’s a tip that I like to do: make a bunch of farro all at once and use it throughout the week for all sorts of meals whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner! I’ll make healthy bowls for lunch using farro, veggies and a protein such as chicken or beef, I’ll make it for breakfast with a little cinnamon, maple syrup and almond milk, and of course it makes a delicious filling dinner such as this chili or even a hearty casserole!
There are literally SO many different dishes you could make using farro so I urge you to make this ingredient a staple in your pantry!
As I was making this chili my husband goes “uh is that cinnamon??” while simultaneously looking at me as if that was the strangest thing anyone has ever thought to add to their chili. Well yes I did in fact add cinnamon to this and I promise you that it is an absolute MUST in this dish! DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT. Sorry I just really had to get that point across. You guys, the combination of chili powder and cinnamon all simmered together with the butternut squash might just be literally heaven in a bowl.
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!
I’d also like to note that this slow cooker butternut squash and farro chili recipe is vegan, dairy-free, and made completely with wholesome, non-processed foods so you know you can feel great about eating it and serving it to your family! I love crock pot dishes because not only do they save you time in the kitchen, but they also save you money and make clean up such a breeze because everything cooks right in one pot!
Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
- 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained
- 1½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- 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!
If you want to know more about Alessi Organic Pearled Farro as well as ALL their other delicious products, head on over to their website here or you can easily find Alessi products at your local grocery store! Everything from Alessi is authentically Italian and all of their products are produced and imported right from in Italy so you can trust you’re purchasing quality ingredients. You can read Alessi’s whole family store right here!
This post is sponsored by Alessi Foods. As always all opinions are 100% my own.