Turkey Chili Recipe

5 from 5 votes
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You’ll love this easy Turkey Chili Recipe with butternut squash! Hearty ground turkey and black beans give the chili plenty of protein, while the medley of squash, bell peppers, and tomatoes add tons of flavor and nutrition!

Close-up shot of a bowl with turkey chili, studded with cubed butternut squash, tomatoes, and a garnish of sour cream.


It’s chili weather, you guys, and while I love my no-beans chili and this classic chili, I’m so excited to share my turkey chili recipe because it includes butternut squash, and it’s really easy to make. I know chili might not seem like an easy dish, but this turkey version is here to change the game. It’s a one-pot meal loaded with ground turkey, beans, spices, and tomatoes – it’s not just a knockout recipe but also wholesome and hits the table in about an hour.

Why We Love This Chili Recipe

  • Cozy Fall Soup: This chili incorporates ground turkey with butternut squash and delivers savory and slightly sweet flavors.
  • Spices: The recipe guarantees a richly flavored and aromatic chili thanks to the number of spices.
  • One Pot Wonder: The entire recipe is prepared on the stovetop and in one pot, making it easy and convenient without needing multiple gadgets or appliances.
  • Perfect for Leftovers: It gets even better with time! The flavors meld beautifully, ensuring that the next-day leftovers are even more delicious.
Overhead shot of two white soup bowls filled with turkey chili and garnished with a dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients For Turkey Chili

  • Olive Oil: For sauteing.
  • Onion: I use a yellow onion, but you could also use a white onion.
  • Bell Pepper: Finely dice your bell pepper, and feel free to add extra if you prefer.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is my go-to, but you could also use garlic powder.
  • Ground Turkey
  • Chili powder, Cumin, Coriander: To give the dish that classic chili taste with a hint of sweetness.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Tomato Paste: Be sure to use paste, and not sauce, which is less concentrated.
  • Butternut Squash: Peel and cube the butternut squash.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes help make this recipe quick and easy.
  • Chicken Broth: I use low-sodium broth to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Beans: I use canned black beans, but you could use a can of pinto beans, great Northern, cannellini, etc.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This chili benefits from a splash of apple cider vinegar, but this is optional. You could also use white vinegar or even rice vinegar.
  • Garnishes: Sour cream and chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to top the chili!

How to Make Turkey Chili

  1. Saute the Aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven, saute the onions and peppers in the hot oil, and then add the garlic and cook for about 15 seconds.
  2. Ground Turkey. Cook the ground turkey for 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.
  3. Add the Seasonings and Tomato Paste. Season the mixture with the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste.
  4. Add the Squash, Tomatoes, and Broth. Transfer the squash cubes and canned tomatoes to the pot. Add the chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate any browned bits into the broth. 
  5. Simmer. Increase the heat to high, and bring the chili to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender.
  6. Add the Beans and Optional Vinegar. Stir in the canned beans and apple cider vinegar, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve. Taste the chili for salt and adjust accordingly. Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish each portion with sour cream and parsley or cilantro. Serve.
Overhead shot of a soup pot with cooked turkey chili with butternut squash in a tomato-based broth.

Tips And Variations

  • Rinse the Beans: When using canned items, it’s good to rinse them to wash off the extra salt and starch.
  • Omit the Beans: For a no-bean version of Turkey Chili, I recommend increasing the amount of ground turkey or adding other veggies like potatoes, mushrooms, or zucchini.
  • Sweeten the Chili: If you like a sweeter chili, try mixing a small amount of maple syrup into this recipe.
  • Veggie Swap: Out of butternut squash? Sweet potatoes make a great substitute.
  • Taste as You Go: Chili’s flavor can change as it simmers. So, do a taste test every now and then to adjust the spices to your liking.
  • Stay Saucy: If the chili gets too thick, just splash in a bit more chicken broth to keep it saucy.
  • Heat Level: If you like it spicy, toss in some diced jalapeños or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

What to Serve with Chili

When it comes to serving chili, I am all about having some great sides to soak up all of the saucy goodness, like this Light Skillet Cornbread loaded with cheese and corn kernels. Homemade Cheese Crackers are a family favorite, perfect scattered over your bowl of chili. Wholesome and well-seasoned Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges are a welcome addition to any meal.

Close-up shot of chili in a soup bowl.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Leftover chili should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat, place the desired portion in a saucepan over low heat and cook until hot all the way through, stirring occasionally.

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5 from 5 votes

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili is a cozy and tasty recipe prepared with ground turkey, butternut squash, black beans, onions, and bell peppers.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,, diced
  • ½ cup finely diced bell pepper,, any color
  • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans,, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar,, optional
  • sour cream,, for garnish
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro,, for garnish
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  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and diced peppers; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper; cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomato paste; continue to stir until well combined.
  • Add the cubed squash and diced tomatoes; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer; lower heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender.
  • Stir in the beans and apple cider vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls. Garnish with sour cream and parsley or cilantro, and serve.


  • Wash The Beans: Give the canned beans a quick rinse to freshen them up.
  • Skip the Beans: Go bean-free and bulk up the chili with more turkey or toss in extras like potatoes, mushrooms, or zucchini.
  • Sweetness: Drizzle in a tad bit of maple syrup if you like a sweeter chili.
  • Squash Sub: if you don’t have butternut squash, sweet potatoes are a great substitute.
  • Flavors: Taste the chili and add more spices if needed.
  • Keep it Saucy: Pour in more chicken broth if the chili is too thick for your liking.
  • Turn Up the Heat: For added heat, throw in some chopped jalapeños or a dash of cayenne.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 739mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5110IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Catalina says:

    All these delicious flavors in one dish! It sounds amazing and so perfect for winter season!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

  2. Betsy says:

    Wonderfully hearty chili! Love the butternut squash! It really gives the chili a unique flavor & texture! Really good spice level! Super delicious!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. Jessica Burgess says:

    This is incredible!! I wanted to make soup last night but wanted something we hadn’t had before so I chose this one. I’m so glad I did! It was a HIT. Thank you!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. Valentina says:

    This hearty turkey chili butternut squash is the ultimate comfort food! So GOOD!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂