Friday, January 28, 2011

Paleo Chili

It's chili season, and I'm excited to share this recipe that includes a blend of flavors I've been going over in my head for quite a while. I don't know about you, but I don't want to look at a bowl of meat and call it paleo chili. To me, chili includes a great combination of both flavors AND textures. Since beans are a no-no, I immediately went to one of my favorite go-to replacement foods: squash. It works well as a bean replacement in this dish. The combination of steak, sausage, and ground beef along with the vegetable combination, created exactly the texture I was looking for. Feel free to substitute the meat of your choice. I made a big batch, because that's the way I do chili. Feel free to scale this recipe up or down to suit your needs. But keep in mind that it freezes well, and the leftovers are great for lunch or dinner throughout the week. I recommend going all out and making the whole batch!

Serves 8-10.

2 8-oz sirloin steaks, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 pound nitrate-free bulk Italian sausage
1 small butternut squash
2 onions, chopped
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2-1 tsp sea salt
Garnish (optional)
2 avocados, cubed or mashed and seasoned with salt and pepper
sliced black olives
chopped onion
chopped jalapenos


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and cube squash, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it just begins to soften. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. While squash bakes, warm 1 Tbsp oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add steak and brown on one side, crumble meat and sausage into the pot, stir, and cook until all of the meat is just cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  4. At the same time, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 Tbsp oil. Add chopped onion and peppers and cook until onion starts to become translucent, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add squash, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices to meat mixture. Stir and simmer for 30-60 minutes or until all of the flavors are married.
  6. Top with mashed avocado, chopped onion, chopped jalapeno, and chopped black olive, if desired.


  1. This recipe is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are SO welcome, Anon! I'm glad you liked it! Even though this makes a big batch, it did not last long at my house! I appreciate the nice comments.

  3. This looks like something you could do in a crockpot pretty easily as well?

  4. Definitely, CK! You can prepare it through step 4 and let it cook in the crock pot all day.