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

chili ingredients


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 

Wooden spoon 

Ladle (for serving)

spices, ground beef in pot with wooden spoon

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.

chili in pot

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.

chili being labeled in bowl

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?

chili with toppings in two bowls

More Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes

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.

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below.You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

chili in bowl with toppings

Black Bean Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • 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
  • 115 oz can fire-roasted canned tomatoes
  • 115 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings!


turkey butternut squash chili, turkey black bean butternut squash chili, healthy butternut squash chili

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  1. Amazing!!!

  2. Made as written and it was delicious! Perfect meal and bonus make ahead meal prep!

    1. Ashlea Carver says:

      so happy you loved the recipe, Jennifer!

  3. I made this delicious chili last night and it was a BIG hit! I’ve saved this recipe to my chili files and will make it again!

  4. I planned to make this as written while visiting my parents, but I accidentally left the bay leaves and chipotle powder at home. I made it without the missing ingredients and it was really good. I felt like it was missing a little something (probably because it was) so I added some Saigon cinnamon and that did the trick. I plan to make it again as written.. I am sure it will be wonderful. Thank you for this forgiving recipe.

  5. ERICA HARRIS says:

    I made this but used vegan “meat crumbles for the Turkey, and Rotel for the tomatoes, it was delicious. I used avocado and sour cream with shredded cheese for the toppings.

    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      So glad you were able to make this work for you, Erica! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Made this tonight and it is delicious! Perfect for a chilly, rainy night.

  7. This chili is phenomenal!! I’ve always made my grandmas chili recipe (it is THE BOMB) so i was nervous to try a new one since my grandma’s is undefeated. BUT this is insanely good!! I added a green bell pepper and corn in mine and topped it off with some avocado and it is perfection. So many different colors and flavors it’s a must try! Whether or not it’s better than grandmas is up for debate LOL its super close

  8. Listening to it bubble on the stove now! My taste test bites have been quite good, can’t wait to serve to the fam tonight!

  9. I made this with some subtle alterations. First though I have to say I love the combination of ground turkey, butternut squash, and black beans, it’s a winner through and through. I think this is a great recipe. I did one thing to take it a step farther: instead of using chili powder and chicken broth, I used dried ancho and guajillo chilis and blended them into the chicken stock or broth. Use 5 each of the ancho guajillo chilis. Cut them open and remove the seeds. Toast them in a dry pan until you can smell them, than place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak 45 minutes or so, then drain off the water. Place the now- reconstituted chilis in a blender with warm chicken broth/stock, then purée until smooth. Add this mixture to your meat, veggies, and seasonings in the big pot and simmer until the squash is tender. This will take it to another level. 😉 enjoy

  10. Great chili! Made it with the lowest fat turkey (always a risk LOL), and it was delicious! Loved the addition of the butternut squash. And I threw a bell pepper in for a little more color (and because I needed to use it up). Great spice blend. Thanks for a keeper!

  11. This was delicious! We loved butternut squash, never thought to add it to chili before. Will definitely make again!

  12. This chili is delicious! I made it tonight and we loved it. It also came together so quick and easily too. Honestly, I have liked every single one of Ashlea’s recipes that I’ve tried Will for sure make again!

    1. Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it, including my 1.5 year old. I’ve never made a chili recipe that I loved exactly as written, but this one is PERFECT the way it is and so easy too. My mom isn’t a huge chili fan and she said it’s the best chili she ever had.