Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

butternut squash and turkey chili

I’ve been trying to figure out how to actually write out the recipe for this butternut squash chili with turkey and poblanos. It’s been years since I’ve even glanced at a chili recipe. It’s just one of those things that I make up as I go. I don’t measure anything, I just throw some stuff in a pot (meat, onions, tomatoes, chili powder, beans, etc) and let it simmer a good long while, and eventually it turns out just right.

So, then, just throw some turkey and butternut squash into a pot with some canned tomatoes and kidney beans and it’ll magically come together! That’s it! No recipe required!

I kid, I kid. It’s not quite that simple (but it is really darn simple).

I am not against following a good chili recipe. In fact, I already have two different chili recipes up on this here blog: a Vegan Black Bean Chili and a Beef Chili with Garden Vegetables. They are both equally delicious (and so easy!), but I think this butternut squash and turkey chili takes the cake. I can say without any hesitation that this is my new favorite chili.

For reals, though, it’s hard to screw up this butternut squash chili. The real key to this recipe is time. Just let the pot of chili simmer away on the stovetop for as long as you are able (1-3 hours). The longer it cooks, the better it gets. The butternut squash starts to break down and become a part of the chili base and it is really freaking delicious. (I’ve not yet attempted to make this butternut squash chili in the slow cooker, but I imagine that the results would be stellar.)

And that, my friends, is all I have to say on the matter. Go forth and make chili!

butternut squash and turkey chili | Rosemarried.com

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 white/yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 (28oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can of kidney beans
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over med-high head. Add onion, carrot, poblano, and celery and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in ground turkey. Stir to combine, and cook over medium-high turkey until browned (5-8 minutes).
  2. While turkey is cooking, peel and seed the butternut squash with a large sharp knife. Cut into 1″ cubes.
  3. Once turkey is cooked through, add in spices, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, and butternut squash. Add water, just to cover the meat/veggies. (Note: I like my chili very thick and without much liquid. I usually add in about 1 cup of water, just to ensure there’s enough cooking liquid and so the meat doesn’t dry out). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  4. Allow the chili to simmer on low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Once the squash is fork tender, I like to take a potato masher to the pot, just to break up the squash a bit and infused it into the chili.
  5. Serve chili warm with a myriad of garnishes: cornbread, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, green onions, etc.



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