Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash


There are some meals that I love so much I make them nearly every week! This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash is the perfect healthy and hearty family meal or even the best make-ahead lunch!

slow cooker turkey chili topped with avocado in a white bowl with a striped gray napkin

I love to add extra veggies into meals whenever possible, and this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash is no exception.  Instead of beans, I’ve swapped them out for some simple frozen cubed butternut squash, making it the perfect chili to eat for lunch or serve to guests!  It also utilized ancho chili powder for a smoky and rich flavor you just can’t get with regular chili powder.  I wanted to spice mine up even more, so I added some chipotle chili powder, but that is totally optional depending on the spice level you prefer.

slow cooker turkey chili in a round stainless steel slow cooker

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And just because butternut squash is typically something you think of in the fall does not mean this chili is only a seasonal recipe! I chose to use frozen cubed butternut squash because not only is it available year round, it also takes out all that work of peeling, seeding and cubing a fresh squash!

One of the most common questions when making slow cooker turkey chili (or any kind for that matter!) is…

Do you need to cook the meat before putting it into a slow cooker?

  • while the technical answer is no, in this case, I do suggest cooking/browning the meat first
  • ground meat will cook just like any other meat in the slow cooker, but it will turn out kind of clumpy if you don’t brown it up first
  • In this recipe specifically, browning up the meat also allows us to brown up the onion and jalapeño a bit as well as toast up the spices, which will give this chili and all around richer flavor
  • If you want to save a step, plus save time and dish washing, invest in a multi-cooker like this Kitchen Aid that I use that will allow you to sauté and slow cook all in one pot.

slow cooker turkey chili in a white bowl with a black spoon

Is turkey better for you than beef? Can I use beef instead?

  • ground turkey is not necessarily healthier than ground beef, it all depends on what kind you use
  • I prefer turkey in this recipe for it’s milder flavor because it lets the flavor of the butternut squash and roasted tomatoes shine
  • you can absolutely swap it out for beef, just make sure it’s a lean beef
  • or even better yet, I love swapping it out for ground bison, which is lower in saturated fat than regular beef and is super flavorful and packed with nutrients

slow cooker turkey chili on table with blue cup of water

My favorite ways to serve up this slow cooker turkey chili?

  • keep it simple with a little diced avocado and cilantro
  • topped with crushed tortilla chips and some sour cream
  • with a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Do you love this recipe but need your chili, like, now? Try my Instant Pot Chili!!

slow cooker turkey chili topped with avocado in a white bowl with a striped gray napkin

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

There are some meals that I love so much I make them nearly every week! This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash is the perfect healthy and hearty family meal or even the best make-ahead lunch!

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6

Calories: 192 kcal

Author: Slow Cooker Gourmet

Instructions

  1. Cook turkey in skillet, breaking apart with spatula, until browned

  2. Add jalapeño, onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes

  3. Add dried seasonings and saute for another 1-2 minutes

  4. Transfer to slow cooker and add tomatoes, broth, and squash

  5. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8

Nutrition Facts

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

Amount Per Serving

Calories 192 Calories from Fat 18

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 2g 3%

Cholesterol 41mg 14%

Sodium 763mg 32%

Potassium 1045mg 30%

Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%

Dietary Fiber 6g 24%

Sugars 11g

Protein 21g 42%

Vitamin A 179.3%

Vitamin C 40.6%

Calcium 8.6%

Iron 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

There are some meals that I love so much I make them nearly every week! This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash is the perfect healthy and hearty family meal or even the best make-ahead lunch! #slowcookergourmet #chili #turkey #turkeychili



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Post Author: Brianne Waters

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