Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

This Butternut Squash Turkey Chili has been a tried, true and tested recipe in our household. Tender butternut squash, turkey, black beans and spices are simmered together to create a chili loaded with flavor. A batch will be made and eaten on for a couple days and it never disappoints! It is definitely a family-favorite recipe! I made this just a couple weeks back and my husband was SO excited about it. He even went as far as saying that it is one of his top favorite things that I make! You know it’s gotta be good when that is said :).

2017: Keep on reading below for the original recipe posted last year with some updated pictures. We just harvested 64 butternut squashes from my mom’s garden, so I thought it would be VERY fitting to update this recipe and pictures! If you have any ways to use up butternut squash, shoot them my way because we are up to our eyeballs in them.

2021: Years later and this recipe is still a family fav! 🙂 I may just plan on re-shooting this recipe every couple years because we love it so much…

Eating healthy and what’s good for your body doesn’t mean you should have to give up comfort. Drum roll please… Turkey Chili with Black Beans and Butternut Squash! Put all your fears of only crunching on celery and slurping down kale smoothies aside and put your pjs on because we are about to get comfy. Not only is this chili loaded with flavor, warmth and is good for your soul, but it carries a lot of healthy protein from the turkey and black beans and friendly fiber and potassium from the butternut squash. Healthy, delicious chili and snuggles, what more could you possibly need?

Tips for Working with Butternut Squash

Taking on a butternut squash can seem like a daunting task because of it’s shape and toughness, but don’t fear! I’ve got some simple tips that will help you conquer it:

  • Use a good, strong vegetable peeler to peel the skin. It comes off easier than you would think!
  • Have a sharp knife ready to go. 
  • After peeling, cut the squash into “disks” that can then be cut into squares.
  • If it’s too much to take on, buy pre-cut butternut squash!

Originally, this recipe came to be on whim. I was out at my parents house on the farm, the menfolk were working outside and my mom had made a quick trip into town. So, with dinner time nearing and having been decorating their Christmas tree all day and being in the mood to get in the kitchen, I got to cooking. There was nothing laid out or defrosted, so I started scrummaging through the freezer and cupboards to see what I could put together. And voila! The turkey chili of our dreams was born.

Secret Ingredient:

Drumroll please… cinnamon! That’s right! Just a hint of cinnamon really drives this chili recipe home. It adds just the right amount of warmth and slight sweetness to accompany the butternut squash. Don’t skip it!

How to Serve this Chili

I love how not only is this a healthy alternative, but it is definitely a crowd pleaser. I mean, we’ve already made it twice this week with no regrets! As any soup does, this chili gets better and better with time. The leftovers heat up perfectly (may just need to add a bit of water to thin it out) and it is a great go-to to have for dinner. We’ve been snarfing this down with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese and green onions as our toppings, but any chili toppings you desire would go great with this bowl of goodness. Avocado anyone? I’ve been making this recipe on the stovetop, but I don’t see why you couldn’t throw it all into a crockpot as well. Snuggle up with a blanket and enjoy this delicious bowl of chili!

Looking for other soup and stew recipes? Look here!

Recipe Video:

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Butternut Squash Turkey Chili


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Not only is this chili loaded with flavor, warmth and is good for your soul, but it carries a lot of healthy protein from the turkey and black beans and friendly fiber and potassium from the butternut squash. Healthy, delicious chili and snuggles, what more could you possibly need?


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • (2) 15 oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the ground turkey and cook until browned, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Add both cans of the tomatoes and the butternut squash into the pot. Stir and let simmer on high for 5-8 minutes. Add in the garlic, chili powder, dried basil, cinnamon and black beans. Stir until combined.
  3. Cover the pot and let simmer on low-medium heat for at least 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with your choice of toppings.

Notes

  • Pre-cut butternut squash can be used for this recipe for ease.
  • The leftovers store wonderfully! Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

Share the love!

If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂

Thanks for following and cooking along with me!

 

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