My Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili takes traditional chili and kicks it up a notch with color, flavor and nutrition! It's the perfect dish to curl up with on a cold night or serve at your next game day party. This one-pot chili is also so easy to make! Once you get all your ingredients in, just let it simmer away on the stove and in 30 minutes, dinner is ready!
There’s something so comforting about curling up with a piping hot bowl of chili on a cold day. Whether you’re making dinner for the family or feeding a crowd on game night, a hearty bowl of chili is always sure to be a hit!
My butternut squash and turkey chili with black beans takes the traditional flavors of chili but kicks it up a notch in terms of color, flavor, and nutrition!
Many of us are used to eating butternut squash in dishes like soup, salad or pasta. But it works perfectly in this delicious and hearty ground turkey chili!
I use lean ground turkey rather than beef in this tasty chili. I pair the ground turkey with sweet butternut squash and protein-packed black beans.
Then I simmer them all together in a smoky sauce infused with dried spices and chipotles in adobo. The combination of the rich spices with the sweet butternut squash is out of this world!
Why You'll Love This Dish!
- It's so tasty- savory and smokey, with a little heat and a touch of sweetness
- It's easy- a one-pot dish that's simple to make
- Feeds a crowd- a fun dish to serve at a party with a bunch of toppings
- Stores well- perfect for meal prep! Can make a large batch and store it in the fridge or freezer; it's perfect to heat up on busy weeknights.
Butternut squash is packed with nutrients! It's a rich source of fiber and several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C as well as potassium and magnesium.
Its rich orange color means it is packed in beta carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. One cup of cubed squash has 457% of the recommended daily allowance!
Vitamin A is important for vision, immune health, growth and reproduction. Read my post about the nutritional benefits of butternut squash.
- Olive oil
- Bell pepper- I like to use red bell pepper but you can use green or yellow
- Chipotles in adobo- these are canned, smoked jalapeño peppers and they add a delicious smoky heat to dishes. I would recommend buying a can for this recipe but if you don’t have them, you can substitute chili powder.
- Dried spices- cumin, oregano, and allspice (allspice is optional but adds nice flavor)
- Ground turkey- I use 93% lean ground turkey
- Butternut squash- you can cut up your own or buy pre-cut squash to save time
- Black beans- I used low sodium black beans
- Canned diced tomatoes- I like to use fire roasted tomatoes for extra smokey flavor
- Chicken broth- I use reduced sodium so that I can control the amount of salt in the dish
- Cilantro- adds a pop of bright flavor
- Toppings- I like to put out a selection of toppings like Greek yogurt or sour cream, scallions, shredded cheese, diced avocado, and diced tomato
How To Make Butternut Squash Turkey Chili With Black Beans
- Step 1- sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil in a large pot. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned.
- Step 2- Stir in the chipotles, dried spices, butternut squash, beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Step 3- Simmer the chili covered for 15 minutes, then uncover the pot and simmer another 15 minutes until it thickens and the squash is cooked through.
- Step 4- Serve butternut squash and ground turkey chili in bowls and top with fresh cilantro and other desired toppings.
How To Serve This Dish
If you’re serving this butternut squash, turkey and black bean chili for a crowd, I would suggest setting out a toppings bar.
I like to set out bowls with toppings like Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheese, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro leaves, and sliced scallions. Then everyone can top their chili with their own favorite ingredients!
You can also serve this butternut squash and ground turkey chili with a salad or some crusty bread on the side. If you're watching your carb intake, try my low carb keto Cauliflower Cheesy Bread, which is always a crowd pleaser.
Looking for more Game Day recipes? Check out my Super Bowl Recipe Round Up.
You can store this chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can be frozen in a freezer-safe air-tight container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months. You can reheat it in a pot on the stove on medium-low heat until heated through.
Yes, you can make this chili in a slow cooker. Follow the same steps up until you brown the turkey. Then, add all the remaining ingredients and cook on low for about 6 hours until the squash is cooked through.
Yes, you can make this dish vegetarian by simply leaving out the ground turkey. You can make the dish even heartier by adding other ingredients like leafy greens, chickpeas or lentils.
More Game Day Recipes
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Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped*
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon allspice (optional)
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 ½ cups, 20 oz)
- 2 (15 oz) cans low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped plus extra for garnish
- Optional toppings: shredded cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream, diced avocado, diced tomato, sliced scallions
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or wide-based pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 4-5 minutes until partially softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Stir in the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stir in the chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and allspice. Add the butternut squash, beans, tomatoes, broth, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes, then uncover and cook another 15 minutes or until chili is thickened and squash is cooked through. Stir in the cilantro.
- Garnish chili with cilantro. Serve with any desired toppings.
Hi Sonali, I discovered your website a couple of months ago and have tried some of your recipes that have become favorites on the dinner menu rotation. This is a delicious wholesome meal. The only subsitution I made was homemade garam masala instead of allspice. Thank you for your recipes. I look forward to trying more of them out!
Dr. Sonali Ruder says
Hi Madhavi, thanks for your comment! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe. Garam masala sounds like a great addition- I will try it next time! I hope you get to try out lots of recipes on the site 🙂
Anne Clark says
Such an awesome looking recipe (and your pics are great too)! I love butternut squash, but sometimes have a hard time finding a good recipe for it. Your's looks great! Thanks for sharing!
Hello Sonali, I just discovered your lovely site and made this chili tonight. It was delicious! I saw allspice in the instructions, but not in the ingredient list. I added 1/4 tsp., but it could stand more. How much did you have in mind? Thank you for this wonderful resource.
Thanks for catching that! So glad you liked the dish! I edited the ingredients to include 1/4 teaspoon allspice, which is what I use, but you can use 1/2 teaspoon if you'd like a stronger flavor.
I don't know why I've never put butternut squash in chili but that's a genius idea and will probably be next week's meals after I finish all the free food I managed to score on Friday! ;P! This looks amazing! <3
Kris ~ Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies says
I love a good bowl of chili, and I know this one would make me happy. I agree on chipotles being a great part of a chili recipe.
Ann -- The Fountain Avenue Kitchen says
I'll have my with avocado and cheese, too! Looks fabulous! 🙂
Kristy from Southern In Law says
I've never added butternut squash to chili before but now I really, really need to try it! Yum!
Nettie Moore says
Your chili looks scrumptious! Love the butternut squash and Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese!
Mmmm this looks so yummy!
I LOVE the chili that has butternut squash or sweet potato in it! So much flavor, color, and so filling!
Lynn Elliott Vining says
Wow! This looks delicious!
LOOOOOOOVE butternut squash in soup! this looks delish
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
This looks absolutely delicious Sonali! I love butternut squash in chili and the avocado on top is the perfect way to finish it off!
we love anything with butternut squash. Healthy, simple to prepare and tasty. Thanks.
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
Sounds so comforting and perfect for enjoying during Super Bowl commercials 🙂