Hearty Black Bean Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili! Made with plenty of flavorful spices, lean ground turkey, protein packed black beans, and of course butternut squash. This delicious chili is a great (and different!) way to use butternut squash.
Is there such thing as too many chili recipes? I think NOT. When it comes to chili season the more chili recipes, the better, and this hearty butternut squash chili is the next recipe you need to add to your list.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
This chili is made with lean ground turkey instead of traditional ground beef. It packs a punch of flavor thanks to plenty of delicious spices and extra protein from black beans. My personal favorite ingredient is the butternut squash which takes on the flavor of the chili and has a slight sweetness that just WORKS.
Top the chili with all your favorite things like Greek yogurt or sour cream and handful of crushed tortilla chips for good measure. I know you will love it and I’m sure your family will, too!
Reader Favorite Chili & Soup Recipes
- black bean soup
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Healthy Southwest Chicken Chili
- White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Chili
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Ground Turkey: this recipe uses lean ground turkey instead of traditional ground beef. You can use ground dark meat or extra lean ground turkey breast if you prefer.
Onion and Garlic: to help build the flavorful base of the chili you have to have plenty of diced onion and fresh minced garlic.
Butternut Squash: to keep things extra easy you can grab pre-diced and peeled butternut squash instead of of peeling and dicing yourself.
Diced Canned Tomatoes: for extra flavor, this recipe uses fire-roasted canned diced tomatoes.
Black Beans: instead of traditional kidney beans this recipe uses black beans which pair really well with the butternut squash and ground turkey.
Spices: a combination of flavorful spices like ground cumin, chili powder, and chipotle powder give the chili a deep flavor.
Chicken Broth: I prefer to use low-sodium chicken broth in this recipe so that I have better control the amount of salt in the chili.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
- Butternut Squash: don’t have butternut squash? feel free to substitute diced sweet potato or another similar squash like honey nut squash.
- Black Beans: if you don’t have black beans you can always use kidney beans or even white beans instead.
- Ground Turkey: you can easily sub ground turkey for ground chicken or even lean ground beef if you prefer.
- Broth: vegetable or beef broth will both work well in this recipe if that’s all you have!
Helpful Kitchen Tools You May Need
Large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven
Measuring cups and spoons
Ladle (for serving)
How to Make This Healthy Butternut Squash Chili
Step One: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high. Add the ground turkey to the pan and brown. Use a wooden spoon to break it up as it cooks.
Step Two: Once the ground turkey has browned, add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pot. Continue to cook until the onion begins to become tender and translucent.
Step Three: Next, add the dried bay leaves and chili spices to the pot. Stir until everything is well combined and the spices are fragrant.
Step Four: Add the diced butternut squash, canned tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir until well combined and then bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the chili simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.
Step Five: Give the chili a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Can You Make This Recipe in the Slow Cooker?
Yes! You can easily make this recipe in the slow cooker if needed. You’ll start the chili on the stovetop by browning the ground turkey, onion, and garlic. Next, you’ll move these to the slow cooker as follows:
- Transfer the ground turkey mixture to your slow cooker. Add in the butternut squash, black beans, tomatoes, spices, bay leaf, and broth. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Cover and cook the chili on high for five to six hours or on low for seven to eight hours until the butternut squash is tender.
Can I Add Extra Veggies?
Yes! Adding veggies to your chili is a great way to increase the vegetable content in a meal. Because chili is so forgiving, you can add just about anything.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- bell peppers – red, green, orange, yellow…you name it! they would all be great in this chili.
- kale – chopped tuscan kale would be a delicious addition
- mushrooms – diced mushrooms would be a great addition
- spinach – stir in a handful of spinach at the end before serving
Tips and Tricks for the Best Chili
Tip #1 – If you like your chili on the spicier side, feel free to increase the spice level by adding more chipotle pepper or red pepper flakes.
Tip #2 – Want to make a vegetarian version of this chili? You can leave out the ground turkey altogether and add an extra can of black beans instead. You can also use your favorite vegetarian or vegan substitute instead of ground turkey.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Store: store the chili in an air-tight container in the fridge for three to four days.
Freeze: transfer the chili to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to three months.
Reheat: easily reheat the chili on the stovetop or in the microwave. If you are reheating from frozen, allow the chili to thaw in the fridge and then reheat.
Favorite Topping Options
- Greek yogurt or sour cream – both Greek yogurt or sour cream add an extra bit of creamy deliciousness to the chili.
- Sliced green onion – I love the subtle flavor of green onion on chili.
- Shredded cheddar – go with extra sharp cheddar for even more flavor.
- Avocado – if you want to add a little creaminess without the dairy, avocado is also a great option!
- Cilantro – I mean this is the obvious choice, right?
More Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes
- The Best Turkey Meatloaf
- Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- Easy Turkey Taco Soup
- Turkey Burrito Bowls
- Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
- Avocado Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Aioli
Get all of our reader favorite ground turkey recipes!
I hope you give this Black Bean Butternut Squash Turkey Chili a try! It’s the perfect hearty lunch or dinner.
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Black Bean Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 – 15 oz can fire-roasted canned tomatoes
- 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
- Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
- sliced green onion, for serving
- shredded white cheddar, for serving
- avocado, for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high. Add the ground turkey to the pan and brown. Breaking it up as it cooks.
- Once the meat has started to brown, add the diced onion and garlic to the pot. Continue to cook until the onion begins to become tender.
- Add the dried bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, paprika, chipotle powder, salt, and black pepper to the pot and stir until well combined.
- Next add the diced butternut squash, canned tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the chili simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.
- Serve the chili with your favorite toppings!
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