This is a no bean super healthy whole 30 approved (and I dare say) paleo chili recipe. Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili is a forever favorite of mine that is quick to put together and quiets my comfort food craving every time.
Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili may seem like a far cry from a bowl full of ground beef simmering away. But whether you are trying to eat healthily or just looking up a new recipe for chili, it’s fun to play around with this classic comfort dish. I love mixing things up with taco chilis or cranking up the heat with classic simmered dishes. hell, one of my favorites is this huge batch slow cooker chili I make every year for the big game.
But today, I was feeling inspired by my local market. There were buckets of winter squash for a reasonable price. Scooping a few up, I snagged some ground turkey on sale too, knowing just what I was going to make.
Chili is a favorite of mine. Hearty big batches get reduced to portions, sealed and frozen for busy weeknights. I love that I can just heat it and eat it by the spoonful or top potatoes, nachos, or cauliflower rice with it.
A go-to for when I want to sedate my inner health junkie, but also feel satisfied. It’s packed with healthy protein and I always load mine with beans or veggies to fill me up longer.
Butternut Squash in Chili
Hearty winter squash, acorn, buttercup, and butternut are my go-tos for chili. Where they will soften when simmered for hours, they don’t become mush and make chili feel incredibly filling. The only one I won’t use as chili filler is spaghetti squash. Although, it is great for topping with chili!
Winter squash are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin A and C along with a slew of other health benefits. And fun fact, they are a fruit. Not a veggie.
My simple rule of thumb for squash in chili is if there aren’t beans, add squash. Otherwise, I tend to keep my bean chilis just meat and beans.
If you are looking to hurry this dish, and don’t have hours to simmer the chili, try roasting the squash first. The caramelization the squash gets from oven roasting adds a robust depth to chili deepening the flavors.
NEED MORE WHOLE30 INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
- Enchilada Stuffed Smoked Poblano Peppers
- Sausage with Roasted Cabbage and Butternut Squash Puree
- Paleo Sesame Tuna Bowls
- Grilled Harissa Avocado Baked Eggs
WHOLE30 APPROVED Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili
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Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded and minced
- 6 cups butternut or other winter squash chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pure cocoa powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can Marzano tomatoes
- juice from 1 lime
- red onion chives, and minced scallions for topping
- In a large heavy duty Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the turkey and brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Saute until softened, 3 minutes longer.
- Stir in the chopped squash and garlic.
- Add the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt, cocoa powder, paprika, cayenne, and mustard to coat.
- Add in the broth, a bit at a time, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add in the bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, and tomatoes.
- Bring to a simmer over low heat, covered, for 2 hours.
- Off heat, squeeze in the juice of one lime.
- Serve with minced red onion, chives, or scallions for garnish.