Loaded with protein and amazing veggies, Slow Cooker Chicken & Butternut Squash Stew is easy to throw together, hearty, full of flavor and is the perfect meal to make on a busy day. Whole30, Paleo, gluten free and dairy-free.Jump to Recipe
I started this crazy healthy living, real food eating journey when I was a brand new mom, working full-time as a preschool teacher. And my husband was deployed on the other side of the world. And my family was 3000 miles away. So to say that I was overwhelmed about how to cook a healthy real food meal while trying to juggle all the other things I had on my plate is totally correct. Perhaps a bit of an understatement.
And, while it would have been totally understandable if I had resorted to fast food and convenience foods during that exceptionally crazy season of life, I didn’t (for the most part, because no one is perfect nor is there a need to be). Mainly because I was determined. Determined to feed myself the way I knew I deserved to eat and to start my young daughter out on real food from the get go. So to help me keep my sanity and to get dinner on the table before 10pm, I learned to get creative and discovered a boatload of kitchen hacks.
This creative spark and kitchen hacks are one of the main reasons I started The Natural Nurturer. Because I truly believe that if I could make real, nourishing food with all the roadblocks I had in front of me during that season of life…that truly anyone can do it. I know some people hate it when others say that, but I truly believe it. If we want to be healthy bad enough, we will find a way.
Stepping off of my soapbox now and let’s get back to this Slow Cooker Chicken & Butternut Squash Stew.
One of the healthy kitchen hacks that I used all the time then (and still now) is slow cooker soups. Friends, if you don’t have a slow cooker (or Instant Pot), you totally need one in your life for simplifying meals. Nothing is better then coming home at the end of a busy, hectic day to find your house smelling like heaven and dinner done and ready to eat. Using my slow cooker ALL THE TIME when I was juggling a gnarly San Diego commute as a full-time working mom saved me from calling for delivery pizza more times than I want to admit.
And this Slow Cooker Chicken & Butternut Squash Soup is an amazing family-favorite! Quick to throw together in the morning before heading out the door, it is full of amazing flavor, beautiful veggies and oodles of protein. It truly is a complete meal that takes minimal effort to create but is such a comforting dish to come home to.
- Use frozen or pre-cut butternut squash to make it even easier to throw together.
- Make it ahead of time and store in your freezer as an emergency meal for an extra crazy day.
- Up the veggies by throwing in some dark, leafy greens at the end of cook time. Think baby spinach, kale, or chard. These will wilt down in the hot soup in minutes.
- Top with diced avocado for some extra healthy fat!
- Serve the soup deconstructed to young eaters. Sometimes, a big bowl of new foods (or just a new recipe of familiar foods) all mixed together can be overwhelming for kids (and even some adults). Try serving the shredded chicken and cooked veggies separate and offering the broth on the side for sipping. That way a resistant eater can try the elements of the soup individually, making it less intimidating.
- Make it in your Instant Pot. Simply combine everything as you would for the slow cooker, but cook it on high pressure for 6 minutes. Naturally pressure release the end of the cook time.
Other recipes you are going to love
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup
- Slow Cooker Lemon Thyme Chicken
- Slow Cooker + Instant Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Almond Butter Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Creamy Vegetable Chicken Stew
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Slow Cooker Chicken Butternut Squash Stew
- slow cooker
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 pound raw boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 3 cups raw butternut squash cubed
- 3 1/2 cups broth
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder or to taste
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or to taste depending on how salty your broth is
- 2 tbsp fresh sage minced
- black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. This is an optional step, but it adds to the flavor of the soup.
- Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker, stirring a few times to combine.
- Cover and cook on high until the chicken and veggies are cooked through, about 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low (times vary depending on your slow cooker).
- Once cook time is up, carefully remove the chicken and shred it with two forks or simply dice it. Add back to the slow cooker, stir, and taste. Add additional salt or garlic powder if desired. Enjoy warm!