Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Last Updated on September 15, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili is the ultimate cozy and comforting weeknight dinner recipe! Made with butternut squash, ground turkey, bell pepper, black beans, and pinto beans … this warming dish is simple, delicious, and loaded with nutrients. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese for a hearty and healthy meal that is sure to satisfy your whole family!

butternut squash turkey chili in a bowl with sour cream and cheddar cheese, spoon taking a spoonful

Hearty & Healthy Chili For Chilly Evenings

Y’all it is fall!!! If you can’t tell, I am very excited. Because as much as I love my bright spring meals and summer barbecues, fall and winter food is where it is at in my opinion.

In other words, I am happiest in chili season. I am all about cozy and comforting meals. Now this could be soups, casseroles, or pasta dishes … but of course chili tops them all.

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili is everything you could want and more for all those chilly evenings coming up! Hence the name.

It is creamy, rich, simple, flavorful, and incredibly easy to make. Plus it is full of vegetables, beans, lean meat, and loads of nutrients. The perfect balance of healthy and hearty!

This delicious chili is the perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. It is also a great meal prep option, since it tastes even better the next day.

overhead shot of butternut squash chili

Ingredients

This easy recipe calls for all the classic chili ingredients – ground meat, tomatoes, beans, and flavorful spices! Plus a fun vegetable twist with butternut squash.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is of course the star of the show here! It adds an unbeatable creamy texture, slightly sweet taste, and loads of nutrients. You’ll need 1 squash.
  • Ground Turkey: You could make this a vegetarian chili recipe, but I do prefer a meat-full rather than meat-less chili. And lean ground turkey works wonderfully here. Add 1 lb!
  • Garlic & Onion: Aromatics add the best flavor to this chili. Add 5 fresh garlic cloves and 1 yellow onion.
  • Bell Pepper: I love bell peppers in chili! They add great flavor and color too. You’ll need 1 red, orange, yellow, or green bell pepper.
  • Tomatoes: Add 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes. You could use petite diced too!
  • Beans: Beans are another vital element of chili! Black and pinto are both required here. Use a 15.5 oz can of each.
  • Olive Oil: Sauté the aromatics, spices, and turkey in 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Chicken Broth: Add 2 cups of chicken broth to this healthy chili.
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon give this recipe incredible flavor! Add 2 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tsp, and 1/4 tsp respectively.
  • Salt & Pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste.
butternut squash turkey chili ingredients

Substitutions & Additions

This hearty chili is actually quite customizable! It’s a throw everything in a pot, season to taste, and enjoy kinda recipe. I don’t really think you can wrong!

Here are some substitutions and additions you could make for it to meat your personal preferences, tastes, or needs.

Meat: You could leave the meat out of this chili completely or swap the turkey with ground beef or ground chicken.

Broth: The chicken broth here could be replaced with either beef broth or vegetable broth!

Beans: There are so many types of beans you can use in a chili! The best bean to either add to this recipe or replace one of the existing types with is kidney beans.

Butternut Squash: Although it is the key ingredient of this recipe there are a few swaps you could make for butternut squash. I think sweet potatoes are the best alternative!

Spice: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking away spices, but you could definitely add more. Perhaps red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika.

chopped butternut squash in a bowl

Kitchen Tools Needed

This recipe does not require many kitchen tools at all! Just some basics.

How To Make This Recipe

Butternut squash chili is a super quick and easy recipe to make! It is perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

The chopping takes the most time, but then you just combine the ingredients and let cook. The result is a creamy, hearty, and healthy dish – that really does not require much effort!

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until soft and the onion is translucent.

sautéed onion, garlic, and spices

Step 2: Then add the ground turkey and brown.

cooked ground turkey in a dutch oven

Step 3: Next add the black beans, pinto beans, red bell pepper, butternut squash, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly.  

butternut squash turkey chili ingredients in a dutch oven

Step 4: Cover the chili and let simmer on medium-high heat for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Remove the lid.  Taste and add any extra seasonings you’d like.  Then turn to low heat and let simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the chili reaches your desired thickness.

Step 6: Serve with all your favorite toppings and enjoy!

cooked chili in a dutch oven

Expert Tips

Buy pre-cut butternut squash! Honestly peeling and cutting the butternut squash for this recipe is the lengthiest part of the process so buying pre-cut from the grocery store would be a total time saver.

Prepare all ingredients ahead of time! Similar to the above tip, chopping and preparing the ingredients ahead of time will save you tons of time for a weeknight dinner. Just chop and place in the refrigerator for later.

Small, bite-sized squash! Make sure to chop the squash into very small, bite-sized, even pieces. This will ensure the squash is all cooked through and softened evenly in the chili.

Season to taste! I find this tip is so important for soups, chilis, etc. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, salt, and pepper to your personal taste.

close up shot of butternut squash chili with a spoon taking a spoonful

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you put cinnamon in chili?

I absolutely love cinnamon in chili! It is a surprise ingredient that in my opinion enhances any chili recipe.

Especially this one! It adds a rich and warm flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the butternut squash.

If you are doubtful just try a sprinkle and see how it goes!

How can I thicken my chili?

I personally like a slightly soupier chili, but if you want a thicker one simply simmer uncovered for a longer amount of time. It will thicken up beautifully and the flavors will only develop more.

Is this recipe healthy?

I am not a dietitian or nutritionist, but in my opinion this recipe is 100% healthy! It is loaded with so many real, wholesome ingredients that provide tons of nutrients.

You get protein from the turkey, fiber from the beans, and vitamins from both the bell pepper and butternut squash. It is a gluten free, dairy free, and easily vegan recipe too!

How to best serve this recipe?

I love to enjoy a hot bowl of chili with with a dollop of sour cream, fresh green onions, and cheddar cheese on top. Ugh, it is so delicious!

Other great toppings include tortilla chips or strips, fresh cilantro, avocado, or hot sauce.

You could also serve on top of brown rice or pasta for an even heartier meal!

How to best store this chili?

This chili is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for about 5 days – 1 week!

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes, totally! Simply transfer the recipe to freezer bags or containers and place in the freezer. It should keep for 1-2 months.

When it comes time to re-heat, I like to place in the fridge in the morning to thaw throughout the day. Then I just pop in the microwave or heat on the stovetop when it is time for dinner.

chili topped with sour cream, cheese, and green onions

Love this recipe? Check out some similar recipes…

Cozy Comfort Foods

Ground Turkey Recipes

Connect With Me!

If you make this butternut squash and turkey chili recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

butternut squash and turkey chili

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.

Print

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili is the ultimate cozy and comforting weeknight dinner recipe! Made with butternut squash, ground turkey, bell pepper, black beans, and pinto beans … this warming dish is simple, delicious, and loaded with nutrients. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese for a hearty and healthy meal that is sure to satisfy your whole family!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until soft and the onion is translucent.
  2. Then add the ground turkey and brown.
  3. Next add the black beans, pinto beans, red bell pepper, butternut squash, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly.  
  4. Cover the chili and let simmer on medium-high heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid.  Taste and add any extra seasonings you’d like.  Then turn the heat to low and let simmer uncovered for for another 10 minutes or until the chili reaches your desired thickness.
  6. Serve with all your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Keywords: butternut squash chili, butternut squash turkey chili, butternut squash in chili, chili with butternut squash, turkey butternut squash chili, butternut squash chili recipe

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2 Comments

  1. I made this for dinner this weekend & it was SOOO good. The butternut squash was so good and the recipe was so easy! I loved the cinnamon addition and it was the perfect fall meal! Also it made so much food so we ate it for a couple nights and you can freeze any leftover too! Will make again! 🙂

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