Healthy Turkey Chili

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turkey chili
turkey chili

This might be my new favorite chili! Packed with super foods like butternut squash, quinoa, black beans and tomatoes, this is one hearty chili that’s both nutritious and delicious.

Reader Request:

Marsha Y. wanted to know “how to cut up a butternut squash without cutting your arm off.”

Well Marsha, it’s been a really long time since I cut up a butternut squash and I honestly had forgotten how difficult it actually is! For this recipe, I used half of one medium sized squash, which ended up totaling to about three cups of cut squash. I did some research before cutting into the butternut squash I wanted to use for this particular recipe. Turns out, it’s actually best to de-seed and remove the skin by leaving the body of the squash intact – and the ‘surprise tip’ is to wear and apron while you do it!

How to cut a butternut squash:

  1. Use a large, sharp knife to cut off about one to two inches of the top and bottom of the squash so each end is flat. The bottom should be exposing the seeds.
  2. Place the squash on its top and use a spoon to scrape out as much of the seeds and stringy bits as you can.
  3. Wear your apron for this step: when the inside is hollow, place the top of the squash against your abdomen in a comfortable position to your hands. Butternut squash will stain your clothes!
  4. Using a standard vegetable peeler, hold the squash firmly against your body with one hand while placing the peeler at the bottom of the squash.
  5. Slowly pull towards yourself to remove the skin. Rotate the squash and continue to peel towards yourself until most of the skin is removed. Flip the squash over so the hollow end is pressing against you and repeat the peeling process until the top is peeled.
  6. To keep the squash from rolling around on the table, wrap one half in a dry, clean dish cloth and press it firmly to the table with one hand as you cut through the neck.
  7. Cut each half of the squash through the center lengthwise by keeping the cut flat end against the table. It’s easiest to get the most downward force this way.
  8. Cut each quarter of the squash into one inch cubes, then use according to your recipe!

Of course the actual best way to cut a butternut squash without cutting your arm off completely would be to buy the prepackaged butternut squash you can find in your produce section ???? ???? Hey, whatever makes the cooking easiest on you!

The butternut squash practically melts into the ground turkey and the quinoa adds a texture similar to that of a traditional chili. I’ve made turkey chili in the past, but I definitely think that adding the butternut squash takes this chili to a whole ‘nother level.

Do you need recipe tips or tricks? Have questions about a recipe? Need life advice? Don’t forget you can leave a comment on any post or submit your question or request in the footer on every page! I’d love to hear from you ???? ????

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Healthy Turkey Chili

The Starving Chef
Packed with super foods like butternut squash, quinoa, black beans and tomatoes, this is one hearty chili that's both nutritious and delicious.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Healthy
Servings 6


  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • ½ cup white onion
  • 3 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup fire roasted corn
  • ½ cup black beans drained & rinsed
  • ½ cup tomato diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups butternut squash cut into one inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley for topping
  • sour cream for topping


  • In a large pot over high heat, cook and crumble the ground turkey until it is no longer pink and has started to brown. Move the cooked turkey to the sides of the pot, leaving the center exposed.
  • Add the chopped onions and garlic to the opening in the center of the pot. Let the onions cook for three minutes without stirring.
  • Mix in the onions and garlic then stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper followed by the corn, black beans, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Stir in the butternut squash and cook for a minute or two, until the tomatoes has mostly lost their moisture. Pour in the chicken broth and stir everything together.
  • Bring the chili to a rolling boil and cook, uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until most of the excess water has evaporated. The chili should not appear liquid-y.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream and fresh parsley. Enjoy on a cold afternoon!
Keyword chili, slow cooker, turkey
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