Turkey And Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

When winter rolls around, one of the first cozy dishes that comes to mind is a classic chili. It's super easy, super filling, and brings the cozy vibes we all need when the sun starts to sink down earlier and earlier. Classic chili often uses ground beef and beans as the bulk of the dish, but for our version, we're switching in lean, ground turkey and adding cubed butternut squash, which complements the smoky and spicy flavors of chili. We're keeping the beans, of course.

Once the chili is made (in less than an hour!), we'll top it with the classic fixings: sour cream, chives, and shredded cheddar cheese. Coming in at eight servings, it's a big batch, but the good news is that the flavor will improve after a day or two in the fridge. This chili will last up to a week, making it a perfect option for meal prepping.

Get the ingredients together for turkey and butternut squash chili

As you may have gathered from the recipe title, we'll need some ground turkey and a medium butternut squash (4 cups once diced) for this chili. We'll also need a can of dark red kidney beans, one can of pinto beans, and a large can of crushed or diced tomatoes. Chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin go into the seasoning mixture, along with salt and pepper. From the produce department, grab a yellow onion, a red bell pepper, and a small bunch of chives. Lastly, when it comes time to serve, make sure to have shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream on hand.

Step 1: Make the chili seasoning mix

Combine the chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl.

Step 2: Cook the ground turkey

Add oil, ground turkey, and seasoning mixture from step 1 to a large pot over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Cook the onion and bell pepper

Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes, until softened.

Step 4: Add the squash, tomato, beans, and stock

Add the butternut squash, crushed tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, and chicken broth.

Step 5: Simmer the chili

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 25–30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.

Step 6: Garnish and serve

Serve chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and chives.

Can I substitute something else for butternut squash in this turkey and butternut squash chili?

The butternut squash can be replaced with several other veggies, or even omitted completely! Considering the longer cooking time (30 minutes), you'll want to swap it for a hearty vegetable, such as carrots or potatoes. Virtually any other winter squash will work, as well– delicata, acorn, kabocha. Just be sure to peel and de-seed them prior to use. Sweet potatoes are a great option, and very similar in flavor to butternut squash. If you'd prefer something less sweet-tasting, try substituting an equal amount of yellow potatoes.

One of the best parts of making chili is the flexibility, which gives an opportunity for creativity. Pretty much anything in this recipe can be swapped out to adhere to dietary concerns or personal preferences. Don't like beans? Don't use them! Chicken broth can be swapped for vegetable broth or stock, and turkey can be changed to any meat or plant-based protein you prefer.

How can I make this turkey and butternut squash chili spicy?

If you follow the recipe as written, you'll end up with a mild-to-medium chili from the one teaspoon of red pepper flakes included. If you or someone you're cooking for is heat-sensitive, feel free to omit the red pepper flakes from the recipe altogether. The chili will still taste great, with the red bell pepper, black pepper, and cumin adding plenty of flavor.

For those who like a little (or a lot of) heat, there are plenty of ways to amp up the spice in this chili. An easy way to make it spicier would be adding a finely diced jalapeño pepper, seeds and stem removed, during step 4. A teaspoon or two of dried cayenne is an even simpler way to add more heat, as is doubling the amount of red pepper flakes to two teaspoons. It's always a smart idea to taste as you go and adjust accordingly. You can always add spice, but you cannot take it away! If you're feeling particularly adventurous, try toasting and grinding dried chiles such as àrbol, anchos, or pasillas.

Turkey And Butternut Squash Chili Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
The chill of winter is no match for the cozy flavors singing throughout this endlessly customizable, one-pot recipe for turkey and butternut squash chili.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
turkey and butternut squash chili in ceramic bowl
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 butternut squash, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
Directions
  1. Combine the chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Add oil, ground turkey, and seasoning mixture from step 1 to a large pot over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes, until softened.
  4. Add the butternut squash, crushed tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, and chicken broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 25–30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.
  6. Serve chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and chives.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 388
Total Fat 14.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 59.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.1 g
Dietary Fiber 10.0 g
Total Sugars 11.0 g
Sodium 1,163.0 mg
Protein 25.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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