Never make plain ole chili again! We love this hearty Turkey Butternut Squash Chili that is easily made in the slow cooker. There is no precooking with this recipe; add your ingredients and let it simmer while you are away.
Why This Recipe Works
This healthy turkey chili with butternut squash is a delicious fall twist on traditional chili. Not to mention the gorgeous color of the butternut squash. The slow cooker cooks the meat and butternut squash at the same time! Maybe the easiest chili you will ever make. It’s a fun way to eat butternut squash that is different than soup, or stew!
Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
Did you know that butternut squash is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C? It also contains several different phytonutrients, including folate and carotenoids (including beta-carotene and lutein and zeaxanthin), which can help fight heart disease and cancer. The fiber content will keep you feeling full longer, while the healthy carbohydrates will help give you energy.
- Ground turkey – You do not need to brown the meat! Though if you prefer to, you can.
- Butternut squash – no need to precook this, it will cook up perfectly in the slow cooker.
- Black beans– canned, drained & rinsed
- Yellow onion – Diced
- Tomato sauce – This makes a rich and velvety chili.
- Canned diced tomatoes– do not drain
- Seasonings – Chili powder, cumin and salt.
Step One – Add the ground turkey to the bottom of the slow cooker; you will want to break it up a bit to help it not clump while cooking.
Step Two – Next, add the onion, butternut squash, and black beans.
Step Three – Top that with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir. Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!
What do I top this with?
I usually think cheese for a topping when I make chili. Instead, this chili is best without it! Squash and cheddar cheese aren’t a match made in heaven. Top your turkey butternut squash chili with a combo of these items:
- Sour cream – Add a small dollap to each bowl
- Cilantro – Chop it finely
- Mini saltine crackers or oyster crackers – Can’t have chili without crackers!
- Diced jalapenos – Adds crunch and heat
- Cornbread – Serve on the side with honey butter.
No, you don’t need to cook the ground turkey first. Just add it to the slow cooker raw and all of the other ingredients. The onions and ground turkey will cook nicely in the slow cooker with no extra effort on your part. Just put it in the crockpot and let it do its thing. Is it safe? Yes! Meatloaf is made in the crockpot from ground meat and is perfectly safe to eat. If you feel the need to brown the meat, go for it.
This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to three months.
If you’d like a spicier chili, increase the amount of chili powder and add some red pepper flakes, or add chopped jalapeno peppers for an extra kick.
Yes! You can add bell peppers, jalapenos, or mushrooms to this chili.
Yes! Sweet potatoes are excellent in this chili and give the same color and similar flavor.
Yes, omit the turkey or substitute with soy crumbles for vegan chili.
If you’re looking for a hearty and easy-to-make recipe, this crockpot turkey butternut squash chili might be perfect. It’s packed with protein and the vitamin C and fiber of the butternut squash. It makes a great dinner choice for friends since it can easily be multiplied to feed an entire group.
Slow Cooker Turkey Butternut Squash Chili
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 3 cups butternut squash diced large (use as much or little as you want!)
- 30 oz. black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- 28 oz. can tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes do not drain
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- sour cream for serving optional
- cilantro for serving optional
- Place ground turkey on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Top the ground turkey with butternut squash, black beans, onion, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stil gently to mix ingredients together.
- Add seasonings and mix again to distribute evenly.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- When cooking time is complete, scoop chili into serving bowls and top with sour cream and cilantro for garnishing (optional).
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.