Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Not your average chili, this butternut squash and turkey chili features red lentils and is simmered in a creamy coconut milk and tomato broth. Make this in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!

Not your average chili, this butternut squash and turkey chili features red lentils and is simmered in a creamy coconut milk and tomato broth. Make this in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!

Isaac’s brother got us the Power Pressure Cooker XL for Hanukkah and I was so excited because I’ve been wanting an Instant Pot and the Power Pressure Cooker XL is really similar. Over the past month or so I’ve been testing it out and now I’m basically hooked on cooking everything in it— rice, beans, soups, shredded chicken. It can cook just about anything. Plus,  you can make a flavorful chili that tastes like it’s been cooking all day in about 20 minutes… it’s amazing!!

Power Pressure Cooker XL

The butternut squash and turkey chili I’m sharing today is the first recipe we made in the pressure cooker after and it sealed the deal! I was so impressed with how quickly the chili cooked, the texture and the flavor. I was worried the pressure cooker would totally overcook the chili and turn the ingredients into mush, but it actually cooked everything perfectly. The butternut squash chunks were tender, but still held their shape.

Not your average chili, this butternut squash and turkey chili features red lentils and is simmered in a creamy coconut milk and tomato broth. Make this in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!

I have to admit that I am kind of using the term chili at my own liberty as this recipe might technically be more of a soup or stew, but it does have chili powder, cumin and tomatoes so it totally counts as chili in my book. It also has turmeric and coconut milk, which honestly makes it taste better than traditional chili, in my opinion.

And with the pressure cooker, this chili is so quick to whip up!! (Don’t worry, I know not everyone has a pressure cooker so I’ve given instructions for how to make this on the stove top too.)

In terms of serving,  don’t skimp on the kale, cilantro and green onion. These items are added after the cooking and give the chili a pop of color and add a ton of fresh flavor!

Not your average chili, this butternut squash and turkey chili features red lentils and is simmered in a creamy coconut milk and tomato broth. Make this in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!

Even if you don’t have a pressure cooker, no worries! I’ve provided instructions for how to make this on the stove top as well and hope you’ll give the chili a try. It’s our new favorite winter meal over here! The butternut squash and turkey paired with red lentils and kale make for a hearty meal that’s  so warming and comforting — perfect for chilly evenings.

If you make this butternut squash and turkey chili, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

 

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Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

Not your average chili, this butternut squash and turkey chili used red lentils and is simmered in a flavorful coconut milk and tomato broth. Make this in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 114 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 114 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 23 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 12 cups chopped kale or spinach
  • chopped cilantro and sliced green onions, for garnish
  • cooked brown rice or quinoa (optional)

Instructions

Pressure cooker:

  1. Push the sauté/browning/meat button on your pressure cooker. Add oil to the inner pot.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add ground turkey and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking.
  4. Add spices (turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper) and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add butternut squash chunks, veggie broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste and apple cider vinegar to the pot.
  6. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, lock lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed.
  7. Press cancel on the pressure cooker and then press the soup/stew button. The timer should be set to 15-20 minutes.
  8. Once the timer reaches 0, the cooker will switch to keep warm. Carefully switch the pressure release valve to open (I use tongs for this). Once the steam is released, remove the lid and add in chopped kale or spinach. Give the chili a stir and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the greens to wilt.
  9. Portion chili into bowls, top each bowl with fresh cilantro and green onions before serving. You can also serve the chili over brown rice if you’d like.

Stove Top:

  1. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking.
  3. Add spices (turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper) and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add butternut squash chunks, veggie broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, red lentils, tomato paste and apple cider vinegar to the pot. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and simmer the chili uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the butternut squash is fork-tender and the lentils are cooked, reduce heat to low.
  6. Add in kale or spinach, stir to combine and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the greens to wilt.
  7. Portion chili into bowls, top each bowl with fresh cilantro and green onions before serving. You can also serve the chili over brown rice if you’d like.

Notes

  • If you’re serving a crowd or just want to extend the servings of the chili you can serve it over brown rice or quinoa. We did this one night and it was delicious!
  • Inspired and adapted from Oh She Glows.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 314
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 21g

Keywords: butternut squash turkey chili

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    39 comments
  1. Hi! Love your recipes, love your approach. Just wanted to know, in a recipe like this, is there a huge downside to using pre-cut frozen butternut squash? Or does it have to be fresh?

    Blessings to you and your fam on the new addition! Thanks for the service you provide with this blog!

  2. This is so delicious. Wonderful flavors! Can this be frozen in batches? Not sure how it would taste after defrosting.

    • Yay! So pumped that you liked it, Diane. It’s one of my favorites too. And I so appreciate you coming back to leave a comment and star rating too. In terms of freezing this, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure how it would taste after defrosting. Let me know if you decide to try freezing it. I’m curious too!

  3. does the coconut milk separate when added at the beginning? i have seen other IP recipes where you add coconut milk at the end after pressure cooking.

  4. This was the best soup I have ever made…and I make some mean homemade soups! I used three different kinds of squash and an eggplant. I couldn’t find red lentils, so I just used regular ones. Absolutely delicious! On my way over to give my neighbor some (it was made with the squashes from their garden). Can’t wait for them to taste it! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • Sure! It should definitely work in a slow cooker. Just follow steps 1-4 to sear/cook the turkey in a regular pot (unless your slow cooker allows for searing) and then add everything into the slow cooker. I’m not sure exactly how long it will take to cook because I haven’t tested it. That said, most stews and chilis are cooked on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. Basically you’ll just want to cook until your butternut squash and lentils are tender. Let me know what you think if you end up trying it. 🙂

  5. Saw this through a link from Self. I used random squashes that I had stored in the basement (can’t remember what kind, but not Butternut) and it is fabulous. Thank you!

  6. Wow! This is so delicious. I added a little more heat with some extra chili powder and hot sauce at the end. I also thickened it a little by mashing some of the squash on the side of the pot and stirring into the rest of the soup. Even better the next day when the the flavors have had some time to meld together. Will definitely make again!

  7. Wow this one looks really delicious and warm, perfect for the snowy days here in New York! I happen to have an pressure cooker, will try it out during the coming weekend!

  8. I just made this. I used red beans because I had no lentils. Very very delicious! Love the coconut milk in it. I’ll make this often! Thanks for much for this recipe!

  9. How many things in the section of ingredients :O
    It should taste in a different way because of this number of ingredients.
    It looks like Indian recipe.
    Anyway thanks for sharing Brittany.

  10. I really love the addition of butternut squash in a chili, whether it is a vegetarian-style chili or one with poultry, etc. I’m also curious about a pressure cooker. I’ve seen one demonstrated on TV before and it looks so multi-faceted! It’s my goal to buy one sometime soon.

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