Turkey Butternut Squash Chili

This is my favorite chili to make of all time for several reasons. One – it’s turkey based so it’s a lot lighter on my stomach and on the calories. Two – I love incorporating butternut squash as it gives this chili a creamy consistency and a sweeter taste, also adding to the texture.

I am a firm believer that you should use whatever beans are your favorite in this because it’s really the spices that make or break a chili, so use your favorite fall spice mix and don’t forget to taste throughout to see how the spices develop.

You can cook this in a dutch oven for up to three hours, for me 2 hours is usually enough. It is so rich on flavor that you won’t miss the beef, the cheese, or the sour cream.

*A note on chili – it gets even better the next day, as all the flavors marinate and develop overnight.

Turkey Butternut Squash Chili


  • 1.5 pounds of lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 of a large butternut squash, diced into medium squares
  • 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, hand-squeezed in a bowl to break them up
  • 14 oz. can of cannelini beans
  • 14 oz. can of black pinto beans
  • 14 oz. can of corn
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce of your choice, depending on heat level
  • 1 bottle of beer, use a flavorful ale
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil


  • Heat up a medium-size dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil then add the onions and sauté until transluscent. When the onions are soft, add the garlic and sauté until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add the ground turkey and cook until brown, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat.
  • Once the turkey has browned, add the rest of the ingredients, except for the hot sauce, and finishing with the beer.
  • Simmer on very low heat, covered, but leave a small slit for the steam to escape. Stir every 20-30 minutes. When you see the chili begin to thicken, after about 30 minutes, add the hot sauce and taste for flavor. Adjust your level of hot sauce depending on your heat preference. Also adjust the spices depending on your preference.
  • Continue to simmer over very low heat for at least 2 and up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve hot with a few slices of avocado and a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Add sour cream on top if you prefer. I did not because I don’t eat dairy.
  • Enjoy thoroughly on a cold day with a glass of flavorful beer or red wine!

turkey butternut squash chili close up

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Hey Guys! I’m Alex. I am a digital marketer by profession, traveler, foodie, and make-up junkie. I was inspired to start my blogs as a means of recording my many adventures while sharing my passion for all the things in life that make it a little bit brighter and more interesting. I’m an avid photographer, endless adventurer ( I love to climb mountains and rummage through forests) and an art history fanatic, with a passion for writing and learning about new cultures.

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