This hearty, healthy stew is perfect comfort food for cooler Fall days! With yummy ingredients like quinoa and butternut squash this fantastic meal cooks itself in the crockpot.
Konrad and I received a beautiful slow cooker with recipe book for our wedding. And I think we used it maybe … once or twice (?!) in our first year of marriage. Then we decided to travel and we had a garage sale in an attempt to minimize the things we had to put in storage.
I am ashamed to say that I practically gave away that slow cooker during the garage sale. And I regretted it deeply.
While traveling I discovered so many fantastic food blogs and Pinterest. Both of which have an abundance of mouthwatering slow cooker recipes. I was sad to know that no slow cooker was awaiting me back home. I couldn’t wait to try all these delicious recipes I had seen online.
But then I got lucky. Just as we returned my mother-in-law got herself a new slow cooker – a Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System which is awesome, by the way. I have used it and I love its ability to pre-brown right in the slow cooker. Fewer dishes and pots is always a win.
Anyway, MIL has a new slow cooker and we got her previous one, which is still awesome. And we use it at least once a week (!) now. With our crazy busy working schedules it is great to come home to ready-cooked meals. Usually I cook a full pot so we have dinners and/or lunches for at least 2 days.
This wonderful Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Stew with Chicken Quinoa (what a mouthful – I know) came into being one day when I really felt like combining some butternut squash with quinoa. This sounds so cliche but I literally threw a bunch of ingredients into the slow cooker not knowing what to expect in the end.
Well, we absolutely loved the result – a flavorful, slightly spicy and hearty stew. Perfect for these cold Canadian winter days that don’t seem to want to end. We actually loved it so much that I made it again the following week. This time I actually paid attention and wrote down what I ‘threw’ together.
This recipe doesn’t even require any pre-browning of the meat. The most time-intensive part is peeling and cutting the butternut squash. Using a really good, sharp knife is the best advice I can give.
I love to eat it straight up as a stew, while Konrad prefers it on top of another carb like steamed brown rice.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)
- 14 ounces (1¾ cups) diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa
- In a small pan heat the olive oil, then saute chopped onion and garlic until lightly browned.
- Place chicken breast in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients on top of chicken and cook on high for 3-4 hours or 7-8 hours on low.
- When finished cooking, discard bay leaf. Take out chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks etc. Return shredded chicken to stew and stir to combine everything evenly.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley.
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