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A bowl of butternut squash turkey chili with cilantro on top. A silver spoon rests inside the bowl of chili.
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4.69 from 61 votes

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. It can be made in your pressure cooker or on the stove top!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash turkey chili
Servings: 6
Calories: 373kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ 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
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup dried red lentils rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 cups chopped kale or spinach
  • chopped cilantro and sliced green onions for garnish
  • cooked brown rice or quinoa optional

Instructions

Pressure cooker:

  • Push the sauté/browning/meat button on your pressure cooker. Add oil to the inner pot.
  • Sauté onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking.
  • Add spices (turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper) and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add butternut squash chunks, veggie broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste and apple cider vinegar to the pot.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker, lock lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed.
  • Press cancel on the pressure cooker and then press the soup/stew button. The timer should be set to 15-20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
    A large pot with sautéed onions and garlic.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking.
    Turkey added to a large pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Add spices (turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper) and cook for an additional minute.
    Turkey, onion, garlic, and spices mixed together in a large pot.
  • Add butternut squash chunks, veggie broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, red lentils, tomato paste and apple cider vinegar to the pot. Stir to combine.
    Broth, ground turkey, and vegetables in a large pot.
  • 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.
  • Add in kale or spinach, stir to combine and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the greens to wilt.
    Chopped kale added to a large pot with vegetables and ground turkey.
  • 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.

Video

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.
  • Slow Cooker: You can make this recipe in your slow cooker as well. Just sear/cook the turkey in a regular pot and then add everything into your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. You’ll just want to cook it until your butternut squash and lentils are tender. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 674mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g