This Healthy Butternut Squash Turkey Chili is so warm and cozy! Gluten and dairy free as written, it’s low calorie, protein packed, and super quick to come together on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
Is there anything better than a hot bowl of 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.
I just love chili season. There is something so special and cozy about a warm bowl of meaty chili. It’s one of those foods that I always gravitate towards in the cooler months because it’s so easy to make, filling, protein-packed and there are just so many ways you can switch it up.
This delicious chili recipe uses all your classic chili ingredients with the addition of butternut squash – our star ingredient! But if you rather use something else, diced potatoes or sweet potatoes would also work. It’s full of warm flavorful spices, rich tomato sauce and is just what you need this week to warm yourself up!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS BUTTERNUT SQUASH TURKEY CHILI
- Perfect cozy meal for this time of the year!
- Quick and easy chili recipe – made in a skillet in just 45 minutes! Or, let it cook in the Crockpot all day while you do other things.
- Lower in fat and high in lean protein. This chili has over 25 g protein per serving!
- Made with healthy, simple ingredients – all things you can find at your local grocery store.
- Great for dinner or meal prep lunches – healthy, hearty and flavorful!
- High in fiber – packed with over 7 grams of dietary fiber!
- Olive oil
- Ground turkey – I used 93% lean ground turkey. You could also use ground beef.
- Garlic – I used garlic cloves for maximum flavor.
- Onion – white or yellow onion.
- Bell pepper
- Seasonings – Grab some chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper!
- Beans – I used canned kidney beans. Black beans, pinto beans, or any other types of beans of choice would also work great here!
- Diced tomatoes – I used a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes.
- Tomato paste
- Chicken broth – or chicken stock, beef broth or vegetable broth.
- Butternut squash
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILI
- To a large dutch oven or large pot, add the olive oil and set to medium heat. When warm, add the ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until turkey is just about cooked through, stirring and breaking into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Then add the garlic, onions, and diced peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are tender.
- Next, add the chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir until combined.
- Finally, add the broth and butternut squash. Stir to ensure everything is combined; then, reduce heat to a simmer, place lid over the skillet, and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until butternut squash is soft.
- Refrigerating – Once the soup has cooled to room temperature, cover or store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for 6-7 days.
- Freezing – Add the cooled soup to an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bag and freeze for about 3-4 months. If freezing in a Ziploc bag, I recommend laying the freezer bags flat. Then, move it upright the next day once frozen to save space. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat the next day.
- Reheating – Add your desired portion to a saucepan over medium-heat and warm. You can also microwave portions in a covered microwave-safe container.
SWITCH IT UP!
It is beyond to easy to add and make substitutions with this recipe! Whatever you have on hand or are craving – make it work for you!
- Use traditional ground beef instead of lean turkey for more authentic chili.
- Add black beans instead of (or in addition to) kidney beans to make black bean chili.
- Add brown sugar to bring out the sweetness of the butternut squash.
- Add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give it a little bit of a kick!
- Add additional veggies – I love adding extra veggies in this easy recipe to increase the nutrients! Red bell pepper, green chilis, whatever you have on hand!
WHAT TO SERVE AND TOP WITH
This chili is amazing straight up! I will say though there have been some yummy toppings and additions that have really leveled this meal up for me and brought the flavors out even more. Here are some of my favorite toppings and way to eat it:
- Sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) on top – adds a level of creaminess.
- Avocado on top – adds a different sort of creaminess, plus healthy fats.
- Cheese on top – freshly shredded cheddar cheese tastes absolutely heavenly!
- Green onion – sprinkle a little on top to bring some freshness and a crunch!
- Grilled cheese sandwich – enough said!
- Bread – Toast, roll, biscuit, cornbread, you name it – bread is always a good idea.
- Tortilla chips – perfect for dipping!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH TURKEY CHILI: FAQ
Yes! Just add all the ingredients to your slow cooker (I would cook ground turkey first but you don’t have to), cover, and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
This chili is filled with lean protein (from the turkey), healthy fats (from the olive oil) and lots of fiber-packed vegetables. It’s low sugar and gluten free + dairy free (if you need that). I would definitely consider it healthy!
This chili is plenty hearty to serve as is! I love adding sliced avocado and some cheese on top and sometimes I’ll serve it with some cornbread or sliced baguette. To make it even more heartier, you can serve overtop or alongside rice, orzo, or roasted vegetables.
Let soup cool completely then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 6-7 days.
Add the cooled soup to an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bag and freeze for about 3-4 months. If freezing in a Ziploc bag, I recommend laying the freezer bags flat. Then, move it upright the next day once frozen to save space. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat the next day.
MORE WARM & COZY RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Healthy Harvest Chili (Crock-Pot)
- Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Italian Chicken Cabbage Soup (Dairy Free, Low Calorie)
- Creamy Lightened-up Chicken Gnocchi Soup (One Pot)
WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you try this Butternut Squash Turkey Chili and love it, please rate this recipe!
You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!