This ground turkey chili recipe is so divine! It calls for many classic chili ingredients, but features butternut squash, a touch of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. The result is a unique, sweet and spicy flavor combination that can't be beat.
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You can whip up this delicious, gluten free & dairy free meal in under an hour on the stovetop, making it an excellent option for dinner on a busy weeknight.
Leftovers are perfect for meal prep and make easy lunches throughout the week. And this recipe makes quite a lot, so there's a good chance you'll have plenty to spare.
Plus, this delicious chili tastes even better the next day because ingredients have had time to marinate in all of those yummy spices.
If you're looking for a more traditional recipe be sure to check out my scrumptious Easy Ground Beef Crockpot Chili. Or, try this exceptionally good Creamy White Chicken Chili! You can't go wrong with either of these fantastic options.
Lean ground turkey: you can substitute ground beef or chicken if you prefer.
Yellow onion: a white onion will also work well.
Mild chili powder: I prefer using mild chili powder in this recipe because I can taste the sweet and cinnamon undertones better. If you like spicy food, feel free to substitute a medium or hot chili powder.
Brown sugar: I add just a touch of brown sugar to this chili which gives it a subtle, sweet flavor that is seriously good.
Seasonings: salt, pepper, ground cumin and ground cinnamon.
Butternut squash: peeled and cubed. You an also substitute sweet potatoes, yum!
Beans: pinto, red kidney beans and black beans. Using three different varieties makes this chili extra colorful. And maybe it's just me, but colorful food always tastes better.
Red bell pepper: diced into small pieces. You can use a different color if you'd prefer.
Jalapeno peppers: remove the seeds and veins or leave them if you want a little more spice.
Diced green chilies: canned, with juices!
Crushed tomatoes & vegetable stock: these two ingredients create the broth for this chili. Chicken stock will also work.
How To Make This Chili
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card and measurements. We'll start here with a quick overview!
Step 1: brown turkey
Place a large pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop on medium heat. Add turkey and let it brown fully, then add diced onion and sauté the two ingredients together for 5-10 minutes (until onion begins to soften).
Step 2: add spices
Add seasonings and brown sugar to the meat and onions. Mix until well combined.
Step 3: legumes & veggies
Add cubed butternut squash, beans, diced bell peppers, diced jalapeno and canned green chilies.
Step 4: broth and tomatoes
Stir in canned/crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth, mix well. Cover the pot and turn heat to high. Once chili comes to a boil, reduce heat down to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
Step 5: serve
Once butternut squash is nice and tender, your chili is done. Ladle into serving bowls and add all of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Add some heat: this recipe calls for mild chili powder but you can use hot or medium if you prefer. Looking for even more spice? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or extra diced jalapenos (don't remove the seeds, they're the hottest part of the pepper)!
Butternut squash: looking to save time? Buy pre-cubed squash at the grocery store (look for it in the produce section). Frozen will also work, though I do prefer the taste of fresh.
Slow Cooker Instructions
This chili can also be made in the crockpot! Fully brown your ground turkey in a frying pan. Add diced onion and sauté the two ingredients together until onions begin to soften and then transfer mixture to the crockpot. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8!
Sides For Chili
Toppings & Garnish
- Sour cream
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Avocado slices
- Red pepper flakes
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Jalapeno slices
- Diced red onion
- Chopped cilantro
- Hot sauce
Allow chili to cool completely and place in an airtight container. Press to remove as much excess air as possible. Refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheat in the microwave on in a pot on the stovetop over medium to medium-high heat.
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More Comforting Soup Recipes
- Creamy Chicken Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Italian Stuffed Pepper Crockpot Soup
- Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- Turkey Noodle Soup
- Creamy Ham & Bean Soup
Butternut Squash Turkey Chili (With Cinnamon)!
- 1 lb ground lean turkey *see note below
- 1 small yellow onion *diced
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups (16 oz) butternut squash *Peeled & cubed *see note below
- 3 14.5 oz cans beans (black, red kidney, and pinto beans) *drained & rinsed *see note below
- 1 medium red bell pepper *diced
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers *diced *see note below
- 1 4oz can diced green chilies *with juices
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3 & ½ cups (or two 14.5oz cans) vegetable broth *see note below
- Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, avocado slices, red pepper flakes, shredded cheese, jalapeno slices, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, hot sauce
Recipe notes:Ground turkey: substitute another ground meat, like beef or chicken, if desired. Butternut squash: looking to save time? Buy pre-cubed squash at the grocery store (look for it in the produce section). Frozen will also work, though I do prefer the taste of fresh! Beans: you can use different types of beans if preferred. Jalapenos: remove seeds to reduce spice level or leave them if you like the heat! Vegetable broth: instead of buying canned or boxed broth all throughout the soup season, I like to keep bullion or broth base on hand!
- Place a large stock pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop on medium heat. Add turkey, break it up with a spoon and brown fully. Add diced onion to the browned turkey and sauté the two ingredients together for 5-10 minutes, until onion begins to soften.1 lb ground lean turkey, 1 small yellow onion
- Add chili powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon to the meat and onions. Mix until well combined.2 tablespoons mild chili powder, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add butternut squash cubes, beans, diced bell pepper, diced jalapenos and canned chilies with juices.3 cups (16 oz) butternut squash, 3 14.5 oz cans beans (black, red kidney, and pinto beans), 1 medium red bell pepper, 2 medium jalapeno peppers, 1 4oz can diced green chilies
- Mix in crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir until everything is well combined.1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 3 & ½ cups (or two 14.5oz cans) vegetable broth
- Cover pot and turn heat to high. Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat down to low, simmer mixture for about 30 minutes.
- Once butternut squash is nice and tender, your chili is done. Taste test and add a bit more salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into serving bowls, add desired toppings and enjoy!
- Fully brown your ground turkey in a frying pan. Add diced onion and sauté the two ingredients together until onions begin to soften. Transfer mixture to your crockpot and add all other ingredients, stir well. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8!
- Allow chili to cool completely and place in an air-tight food storage container. Press to remove excess air and refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Did you make this recipe?!
Wahoo! Thank you so much for trying it out – would you leave a rating and review in the comment section below?! Your feedback is so important to me.