This hearty butternut squash turkey chili has a short ingredient list and is great healthy comfort food on a cold day!
One of my favorite meals to make is a big pot of homemade soup or chili. It’s so easy and cozy. I always find myself craving homemade soup or chili on cold, windy days like today.
So, for lunch, I had a bowl of this butternut squash turkey chili with one of these flourless pumpkin muffins. Chili + a pumpkin muffin turned out to be like an even better version of chili with cornbread!
Ingredients for this Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
Just broth, cooking oil (I usually use avocado oil), fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, an onion, bell pepper, ground turkey, and butternut squash!
When I’m looking for time-saving shortcuts, I buy pre-chopped butternut squash ($4 for 2 pounds at Harris Teeter if you have one of those grocery stores near you!), and this butternut squash chili becomes even quicker to make.
I also used my favorite chili ingredient, which is canned fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. They add a ton of flavor and spice all on their own, and I always keep some in my pantry to use in chili, soup, or pasta sauce.
I adapted one of my other favorite recipes, this black bean, lentil, & sweet potato vegetarian chili, to make this butternut squash turkey chili, and it’s pretty simple.
Just sauté the ground turkey, veggies, and spices…
Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, chopped butternut squash, and broth and bring to a boil…
And simmer until the butternut squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
I often end up increasing the amount of veggies or decreasing the amount of broth called for in other chili or soup recipes. So, I made sure that this butternut squash chili is super thick and hearty, which I love.
Since I’m usually cooking for one, I often freeze leftover soup or chili in individual portions in mason jars. They freeze really well and are still delicious after being defrosted and reheated. Both pint mason jars and pint-and-a-half mason jars are good sizes for individual servings.
I usually just move a jar from the freezer to the fridge a day or two in advance to defrost. Then, I’ll pack the mason jar itself in my lunchbox for a super easy meal that requires no prep work.
Having “homemade frozen meals” on hand for especially busy school weeks is a lifesaver for helping me eat healthy without actually having to cook anything!
I topped my butternut squash turkey chili with just fresh cilantro, but it’d also be great with shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, or avocado slices. Hope you enjoy!
If you try out this butternut squash turkey chili, let me know in a comment (with a star rating!) or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram! I’d love to see!
Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
- 1 tsp. cooking oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 28 oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes*
- 2 1/2 cups veggie broth, chicken broth, or water
- 2 pounds chopped butternut squash (weighed after peeling- approx. one unpeeled 2.5 lb butternut squash)**
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, sliced avocado
- Heat oil on medium-low heat. Add ground turkey, chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until ground turkey is cooked through.
- Add spices (chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt), fire roasted tomatoes, broth/water, and chopped butternut squash. Turn heat up to high until broth comes to a boil. Once liquid has reached a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until butternut squash is soft. Add black beans.
- Use an immersion blender to lightly puree some of the chili (or run a potato masher through the chili and roughly mash about half of the chili) to thicken it up. Top with fresh cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt, cheese, avocado, and any of your other favorite chili toppings.
A Healthy Liv original recipe
Originally published February 2017; photos & recipe updated January 2020.