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.

 

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon

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

This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    65 comments
    1. Merryl H
      October 22, 2020 AT 4:57 pm

      Made this recipe exactly as listed and omg IT WAS SO FREAKING GOOD!!! We could not stop eating it (including my husband and kids). It is so comforting without being too heavy and the flavors are amazing! The kale at the end added great texture and the toppings were perfect! I’ve shared this with lots of friends already and will most definitely make again! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2020 AT 4:15 pm

        Ahh yay, that seriously makes me so happy to hear!! I’m so glad this chili was a hit with your entire fam. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Merryl. I really appreciate it!

    2. Marisa
      October 12, 2020 AT 7:46 pm

      When I first read this, I thought the combination of spices and ingredients sounded strange, but they come together in a delicious way. It’s such a unique and flavorful dish. Moral of the story: don’t judge it until you taste it! Definitely will continue to make this again and again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:50 pm

        Woo!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Marisa. Thanks for giving it a chance. 🙂

    3. Natalie Z
      September 28, 2020 AT 8:34 pm

      Absolutely delicious! My husband loved it too. Will definitely make it again!

    4. Janet
      August 29, 2020 AT 11:49 am

      Been making your recipe for a while. Tho I split the lentils as they cook into the broth. This way there’s a lentil mouth feel. I don’t make regular chili anymore. The spice profile is wonderful. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 30, 2020 AT 7:39 pm

        So glad you’re loving this chili, Janet!! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Victoria
      May 14, 2020 AT 11:39 am

      Can this be made in a slow cooker? If so, what are the directions?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 14, 2020 AT 3:53 pm

        Hey Victoria – 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. 🙂

    6. Suzei
      May 6, 2020 AT 7:33 pm

      Super delicious and I would make this again! Thanks for the recipe 😊

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 6, 2020 AT 10:58 pm

        Ahh yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed this chili recipe, Suzei. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    7. Laura
      April 7, 2020 AT 7:02 pm

      I was wondering if I can use sweet potatoes instead of squash since I dont have them.

      Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 8, 2020 AT 1:34 pm

        Hey Laura – Definitely, you can use sweet potatoes instead of the squash. 🙂

    8. Edrys
      April 7, 2020 AT 9:11 am

      How much would you say the five cups of squash weigh please? I’m new to cooking and not very savvy with volume to weight for most foods.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 7, 2020 AT 12:10 pm

        A 3-pound squash yields about 4 1/2 cups of uncooked squash, so 1 cup of butternut squash would weigh about 2/3 cup. Hopefully that helps!

    9. Heather
      February 25, 2020 AT 2:36 pm

      Made this last night with no changes and it was excellent!

    10. Lora
      February 18, 2020 AT 9:11 pm

      Made this according to recipe with one small change. I used garlic infused oil and skipped the garlic cloves. It was delicious and will definitely make again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 19, 2020 AT 2:07 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Lora! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it!

    11. Laura
      February 18, 2020 AT 3:38 pm

      I’ve now made this twice and I love this unique take on turkey chili. I appreciate the complexity of the flavor profile the coconut milk and spices bring.
      I’ve followed the stovetop recipe exactly the times I’ve made it and think the 25 minutes on medium without the lid is the key to it’s thickening.
      Fans of a chili with more kick will just want to up the cayenne.
      Yummy and healthy!
      Also, it yields a TON of servings. As a singleton I freeze half for later and it taste’s just as lovely.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 19, 2020 AT 2:34 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoy this turkey chili, Laura! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. 🙂

    12. Alessandra
      February 6, 2020 AT 11:36 am

      I haven’t made it yet but I can’t wait to try! I have full fat coconut milk and green lentils on hand, can I substitute those instead? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 6, 2020 AT 4:55 pm

        Totally! Full fat coconut milk and green lentils should work just fine. 🙂 Definitely let me know how it turns out for you, Alessandra!

    13. Dina
      January 22, 2020 AT 6:50 pm

      Way to liquify. This should be called soup not chilli!
      Taste is nice though. Not sure if I will make again

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 23, 2020 AT 4:19 pm

        Hey Dina – I’m so sorry to hear this recipe didn’t turn out for you. Did you end up adding any extra liquid or change anything about the recipe?

    14. Bryan
      December 7, 2019 AT 7:45 pm

      Very first recipe in my instant pot. Most excellent. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t have cayenne pepper, but fortunately was a good thing because it turned out great. Just a slight spicy warmth to it which made my beautiful wife happy.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 9, 2019 AT 8:26 pm

        Yay, I love hearing that, Bryan! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    15. Erin Dunsmore
      December 1, 2019 AT 7:54 pm

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2019 AT 3:42 pm

        Hey Erin – I think using frozen butternut squash would be just fine! I would just make sure to thaw it out beforehand. 🙂

    16. Julie
      October 23, 2019 AT 12:35 pm

      Made this today. Delicious and beautiful.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 23, 2019 AT 1:00 pm

        Yay, that makes me so happy to hear!! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating, Julie! I really appreciate it.

    17. Kathy
      October 21, 2019 AT 12:56 am

      Could you make a double recipe of this in an 8 quart instapot?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 21, 2019 AT 10:35 am

        Hi Kathy! I think you could double it and it would still fit in an 8 quart Instapot, but you’d need to check to make sure the volume doesn’t exceed the max fill line.

    18. Leslie
      September 26, 2019 AT 1:24 pm

      We just made this recipe and love it. I want to save it, but the link to pin it is not working.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 26, 2019 AT 3:55 pm

        Hi Leslie! I am so happy to hear that. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it! I am sorry you’re having trouble pinning this recipe. I’m working with my developer to fix the pinning function but in the meantime you can repin from my pin here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/44754590035700629/. Let me know if that isn’t working for you.

    19. Diane
      September 12, 2019 AT 7:50 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 13, 2019 AT 8:46 am

        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!

    20. Debbie
      November 26, 2018 AT 9:09 pm

      Just made this tonight. It’s my second time using the Intant Pot. So delicious!

    21. helen
      November 25, 2018 AT 4:03 pm

      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.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 26, 2018 AT 9:30 am

        Hi Helen. No, I haven’t found that the coconut milk separates.

    22. Mai
      September 11, 2018 AT 1:25 pm

      Looks awesome can what can I substitute for the coconut milk?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 11, 2018 AT 3:24 pm

        The coconut milk is essential to the recipe and makes the chili super creamy and so delicious. I wouldn’t recommend substituting it.

    23. Rhonda
      August 31, 2018 AT 4:18 pm

      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!

    24. Kerith
      January 16, 2018 AT 11:06 pm

      Could this be done In a crockpot?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 17, 2018 AT 3:38 pm

        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. 🙂

    25. KellyMpls
      January 15, 2018 AT 10:03 pm

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 17, 2018 AT 3:39 pm

        Ahh!!! This makes me so happy to hear. So glad you found me AND so glad you liked the chili.

Subscribe + get eating!

Grab your Free 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan

Subscribe to our list and get your free printable PDF of the 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List!