Easy Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Is there anything better than a huge bowl of warm chili on a cool fall night?! Only thing I can think of is a warm bowl of chili AND a grilled cheese. Ha! Besides that, I can’t think of anything that quite hits the spot.

Truly, there is something special about a warm bowl of chili. It is one of those foods that I continue to gravitate to because it’s so easy to make, filling, and there are just so many ways you can switch it up!

This chili was extra fun for me to make because it required me to step out of cooking comfort zone some. For one, I have never cooked chili in a skillet before (turns out it’s the easiest thing ever). I have also never added squash to my chili before, or any soup for that matter. I really don’t know why because I LOVE squash. Delicata, butternut, yellow, spaghetti – you name the squash and I am about it! Nothing against potatoes, but to be honest, I am not huge on potatoes unless they are air-fried (or in straight fry form) and I have some sort of dipping sauce. Because of that, I have always avoided potatoes in soups. So I didn’t know what to expect when adding these butternut squash chunks to the mix or if it would even work – but boy do they complete the turkey chili oh so perfectly!

Really, this recipe is so warm and cozy. And because of the squash and turkey, it just really feels and tastes like FALL. How does fall taste you ask? Well, make this chili and you will see 😂

What to eat with?

This chili is amazing straight up! I will say though – there have been some yummy additions that have really leveled this meal up for me and brought the flavors out even more so. Here are some of my favorite ways – with:

  • Sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) on top – love the creaminess this adds!
  • Avocado on top – pure heaven here
  • Cheese on top – enough said 😉
  • Grilled cheese sandwich – also enough said!
  • Rice – I didn’t want to add rice to the chili itself because I was already adding the squash and wanted to keep this recipe as more of a chili than soup – but boy is it amazing with rice! I have been eating it with jasmine rice for some extra carbs and the two pair so well together.
  • Cauliflower rice – if you are wanting a similar effect as rice but with less carbs, cauliflower rice would go great.
  • Bread – Anyone else love a good piece of bread with their chili!? Toast, roll, biscuit, you name it – bread is ALWAYS a good idea.
  • Cornbread – OK. I have to try this with it, but no doubt it would be amazing.

Make it yours!

It is beyond to easy to make substitutions with this recipe! Whatever you have on hand or are craving – make it work for you!

  • 99% lean turkey – I don’t mind 99% lean turkey – it tastes perfectly amazing to me (especially when combined with other ingredients like in this recipe) and I would rather just get my fats from cheese and peanut butter (if i’m being honest 😂) but by all means – you can easily sub with ground chicken, ground beef, or a less leaner turkey!
  • Butternut squash – another super easy sub. Delicata squash or acorn squash would be amazing! Or if you’re not feeling squash – white or sweet potatoes!
  • Onions, peppers, tomatoes – I feel like the onions and tomatoes are part of what make this chili a “chili” – but still, any of these veggies can be subbed/omitted to your liking.

Can you make this chili in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

You can totally make this recipe in a slow cooker or Instant Pot too – I honestly just wasn’t patient enough for either on this particular day. But I will definitely be trying both ways in the future! Either way, this is such an easy recipe!

  • If cooking in the slow cooker, I would add all the ingredients, cover, and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • If cooking in the Instant Pot, I would first set it on the Saute setting and follow the same instructions as below. Just instead of adding a lid and letting it simmer – add the lid, change the setting to high pressure for 10 minutes, then allow steam to release naturally.

As always, if you try, tag me on Instagram (@LaurenFitFoodie) because I love seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 6

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Hearty, perfectly spiced butternut squash turkey chili. Perfect for a cool fall night or to pack for meal prep. Top with a dollop of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt), avocado, and fresh oregano to bring the flavors together even more! This recipe makes about 6 servings but is easy to double if cooking for a larger group.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large (270g) onion, diced
  • 1 lb (16 oz.) lean ground turkey, raw (I used 99% lean)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium (150g) green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can (400g) diced tomatoes *I used fire roasted
  • 1 6 oz. can (155g) tomato paste
  • 2 cups (480 mL) chicken broth - or water
  • 3 cups (364g) butternut squash, cubed


  1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add olive oil, minced garlic and onion. Cook on medium-high heat, continually stirring, until onions start to brown - about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the turkey and continue stirring until it's mostly done, breaking into small pieces as you go.
  3. Add the spices and the green pepper. Stir well and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  4. Next, add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir until combined.
  5. Finally, add the broth and butternut squash. Stir to ensure everything is combined; then, reduced heat to a simmer, place lid over the skillet, and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until butternut squash is soft.


MFP entry: Lauren Fit Foodie Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

342g (about 2 cups)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 2.4gCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 22g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

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