30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option) - Real Food Whole Life

30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option)

November 2, 2017 (Updated on December 12, 2021)

Packed with goodness and done in under 30-minutes, Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili is sure to become a weeknight staple!

This chili, you guys!

Is is so darn good. Plus it’s paleo. And Whole30 compliant. And done in under 30 minutes. Plus there’s a vegetarian adaptation.

It’s pretty much what dreams are made of.

Since chili is a weeknight staple around our house, I’m always looking for ways to up the nutritional profile while still keeping it “normal” enough for my family to eat.

This beef and butternut combo fits the bill, and offers a paleo-friendly twist by skipping the beans in favor of vibrant butternut squash.

Mushrooms also make an appearance in this hearty dish because they are so packed with goodness.

Seriously, guys, mushrooms are where it’s at.

Don’t worry, though, I give you an option to chop the mushrooms together with onions in the food processor, making the mushrooms disappear into the chili.

Perfect for people who may otherwise turn their nose up as mushrooms in chili.

Check out the adaptations, below, for some ideas of converting this one into a vegetarian-friendly one-pot meal.

One more tip: smash the cooked butternut squash with the back of a spoon if you’re feeding someone who would rather not eat the squash chunky (ahem: my 5 year-old).

Once it’s smashed it stirs together well with the other ingredients.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese (or a giant handful of cheese: again my 5 year-old) and you’re good to go.

I like mine with a generous helping of sliced avocado or scoop of guac, a squeeze of lime juice, and a dusting of chopped cilantro and green onion.

So good!

I hope you’ll make this one soon. It happens to freeze well, too, so make a double batch and eat well all week long.

Now, let’s make some 30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili!

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS

1 | Use a food processor to chop the onions and mushroom into very fine pieces for resistant eaters who may night like the texture of mushrooms.

2 | Triple the mushrooms and omit the beef for a vegetarian option.

3 | If you don’t have or don’t want to use mushrooms use 2 pounds of ground beef instead.

4 | Once cooked, mash the butternut squash into the chili, then stir together for resistant eaters. They probably won’t even know it’s there.

more ground beef recipes

Easy Ground Beef & Mushroom Ragu Sauce

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone (No Beans)

Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option)

Slow Cooker Easy Beef and Bean Chili

This Recipe Is

Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegetarian (with adaptation), Paleo and Whole30 Friendly

5 from 3 votes

30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option)

Yield 4 -6

Packed with goodness and done in under 30-minutes, Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili is sure to become a weeknight staple!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms*
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 pound ground beef preferably grass-fed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups 1-inch cubed butternut squash
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Chopped scallions cilantro, and sliced avocado for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, mushrooms, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and mushrooms soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the beef, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the butternut squash, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, tomato sauce, and water, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on medium-low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender.
  • Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve warm with scallion, cilantro, and avocado if desired.

Notes

*For a vegetarian alternative, triple the mushrooms and omit the beef.
If you don’t have or don’t want to use mushrooms use 2 pounds of ground beef instead.
Use a food processor to chop the onions and mushroom into very fine pieces for resistant eaters who may not like the texture of mushrooms.
Once cooked, mash the butternut squash into the chili, then stir together for resistant eaters. They probably won’t even know it’s there.
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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16 comments to " 30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option) "

  • Adrienne

    Super tasty–I needed to cook a bit longer at the end to get the butternut squash soft enough to eat. I can’t wait to make this again!

    • Robyn Downs

      So glad you enjoyed this one, Adrienne, and made the adjustments on cook time. You can try cutting it into smaller pieces, too, to cut down on cook time. 🙂

  • Lori

    Love this!! Another family favorite.

  • Candace Wood

    Made this last night and the whole family devoured it! It is on my weekly "must make" list now. Thank you!

  • Rachel

    My husband and 2 year old LOVE this recipe! I accidentally got tomato paste instead of sauce, so I used an additional cup of water and it turned out great!

  • Shelly Sekki

    5 stars
    This recipe was super delicious! I did add a little more spice. The butternut squash gave it a nice sweetness and with the fresh cilantro, yummy! 🤤

  • Shelly Sekki

    5 stars
    Really love this quick, easy recipe. The butternut squash and mushrooms add such a great flavor. We will definitely be making this one again!

  • Ann

    5 stars
    We tried this recipe out yesterday and loved it! I’ve really been wanting to incorporate seasonal squash into our meals and this recipe fit the bill. In our household, I am the 5 year old when it comes to squash, but I am trying to act like a grown up and try out foods I haven’t always been crazy about. We added sour cream, shredded mozzarella cheese, and avocado as our toppings and it was oh so yummy. It even tasted great as a cold lunch today. As I work on creating a capsule meal plan, this will definitely have its place on chili day.

    • Robyn Downs

      Ann, yay, so glad you enjoyed this one and you were able to add it to the capsule rotation. Love that. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! —Robyn

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