Butternut Squash Chili

After a very indulgent December, it’s definitely time to get back on track with healthier recipes… and less cookies!  After all of this cold weather we have been having, though, I am totally craving comfort food!  That’s why I love this chili recipe!  It combines a myriad of different veggies and spices for a chili that is hearty and healthy.  I use ground turkey in mine, but if you are going for a vegetarian option, feel free to forego it.  These veggies have so much flavor you won’t even miss it!


Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
(adapted from Cookie + Kate)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14-ounces canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups cooked black beans (you can use cans, just be sure to rinse and drain the liquid)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 avocados
  • cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • 3 corn tortillas
  1. In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more if desired.
  4. While the chili is cooking, cook ground turkey in a separate saute pan until cooked through, about 6-10 minutes.  Add the turkey to the chili when it has 15-20 minutes left to simmer.
  5. On a cutting surface, cut corn tortillas into small strips and add to a cookie sheet.  With a pastry brush, lightly brush with olive oil and top with a little bit of sea salt.  Bake at 450 for 6-8 minutes, until crispy and lightly brown.
  6. After plating the chili into individual bowls, top with tortilla strips, diced avocado, and cilantro. Voila!  Healthy and hearty!
(Photos by Aaron Pinkston)


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  3. Just made this chili with a few changes based on what I had in the cupboard and for a vegan friendly meal. Absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for sharing. Will last me through the week.

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  5. Bonnie


    How many servings does this make?

  6. Where are the napkins from? Swoon…..

  7. I made something similar using pumpkin. Took the lazy way out by using Trader Joes’ Taco Seasoning instead of adding spices separately. http://therichvegetarian.com/vegan-black-bean-pumpkin-chili/ is the link. It was yummy and tasted even better the next day!

    Happy New Year!

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