Butternut Squash Chili

Dinner  |  Published Oct 10, 2021  |  Updated Oct 10, 2021  |  By Tawnie

chili in a white soup bowl topped with green onions and sour cream

Let me introduce to you the BEST Butternut Squash Chili.

I’m spilling the beans (pun intended) on how to make this ultra flavorful butternut squash chili and you’re going to be making it on repeat all soup season long!

There’s nothing better than a warming, filling, cozy bowl of chili during the Fall and Winter months.

Or if you’re anything like us you love chili year round you’ll have to try my four bean chili and white chicken chili too! They are both made in the slow cooker which is a win.

Chili is usually rich, deep in flavor and often spicy. Which is why I love the addition of butternut squash because adding in something sweet like this winter squash is a great way to balance the flavors of the chili.

butternut squash chili in a big dutch oven pot

Here’s why you’ll love this chili:

  • It’s full of a variety vegetables
  • Big on flavor
  • Easy to make!
  • Can easily be made vegetarian
  • Delicious for meal prep and leftovers
  • Perfect for game day, tailgate parties or just Sunday supper!
  • Comforting and warming for you you get the hankering for a big bowl of chili!

Hello chili season, I see you and I welcome you with big, open arms!

Ingredient Notes

This chili is loaded with veggies and rather simple chili ingredients.

ingredients to make chili in small glass bowls
  • Butternut Squash: Obviously! I’m showing you down below how to prepare your butternut squash into cubes to add to the chili. You can also purchase butternut squash pre-cut, just be sure the cubes are cut in uniform pieces and are small enough/bite sized chunks.
  • Russet Potatoes: I like to bulk up this chili with potatoes too. Feel free to use Yukon or red potatoes as well.
  • Ground turkey: Feel free to use ground beef or ground pork instead for a more hearty chili. The fat from those meats will also add more flavor. But don’t worry this chili isn’t a lackluster dish by any means by using ground turkey!
  • Crushed tomatoes and tomato paste: tomato products are an essential. The tomato paste infuses the chili with a bright, zest flavor that compliments the overall flavors.
  • Carrots: Diced carrots are an easy way to add natural sweetness to balance out the spicy flavors.
  • Bell pepper: Any color works. I like adding in green or yellow.
  • Beans: Drained kidney beans and black beans get stirred into this chili at the end. Feel free to use a different type of bean, like great northern or pinto beans but be sure to drain them so the liquid from the cans doesn’t thin out the chili.
  • Vegetable broth: Adding broth helps thin out the tomato products. Feel free to use chicken broth or beef broth as well.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Or you can feel free to use 2-3 Tbsp. of your favorite chili seasoning. This is my favorite homemade chili seasoning you can easily make and add to this recipe!

How to cut a butternut squash:

It can be intimidating cutting a butternut squash, I totally get it! Here is a simple way to do it and hopefully these step by step photos are helpful for you!

step by step photos of how to cut a butternut squash
  1. Cut both ends of the butternut squash off using a sharp chef’s knife on a stable surface, like a sturdy cutting board. (Cutting about 1/2 inch off of the top and bottom is plenty”
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel all of the skin off. Discard skins.
  3. Slice the butternut squash down the middle, carefully. Scoop the seeds out and discard seeds.
  4. Cut and chop the butternut squash into small, bite sized cubed for the chili.
  5. That’s it! You can cut and prep the squash in advance so when it’s time to make the chili this step is already done! Cubed butternut squash will last up to 3 days in a container in the fridge.
chili in a white soup bowl topped with green onions and sour cream

Step by Step Directions

It’s easy to make and will make the house smell delicious while it simmers on the stove!

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot and cook ground turkey until no longer pink.
  2. Add onions, then add garlic, tomato paste and seasonings.
  3. Add in carrots, bell peppers, butternut squash, and potatoes. Stir.
  4. Add in crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and water.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Then cover and simmer on low for an hour or until potatoes and squash are fork tender.
  7. Before serving stir in beans.
step by step photos of making chili in a dutch oven

I don’t know about you but I love a good chili with a ton of garnish options. Here are some of my favorite toppings to add:

  • Sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeños
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  • Crunchy tortilla strips
  • Chopped tomatoes

Tips and Variations

  • Types of meat: feel free to use ground beef, ground pork or even ground lamb. We like the ground turkey for a lighter option, but meats with more fat can also give the chili a more hearty flavor.
  • Even though this is a butternut squash chili, you could also use sweet potato in it’s place!
  • Add more spice to this chili by adding hot sauce or red pepper chili flakes.
  • To make in the slow cooker: cook the ground meat first then add all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. It’s best to take it off heat when the butternut squash and potatoes are fork tender so they don’t come mushy.
  • Storage: Store cooled chili in a container in the fridge for up to five days. Or, let cool completely and freeze up to 3 months in a freezer safe container or plastic gallon baggie.
  • Reheat: reheat chili on the stove and add any broth or water, if desired.
  • Enjoy chili as is or with cornbread, garlic bread or a side salad.
chili in a white soup bowl topped with green onions and sour cream

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or InstagramSign up for my email list, too!

chili in a white soup bowl topped with green onions and sour cream
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Butternut Squash Chili

This butternut squash chili is filled with cubed butternut squash, ground turkey, red kidney beans and is comforting, veggie packed & flavorful!
5 from 5 reviews
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 273kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. ground turkey*
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced into small cubes (~4 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced small (~1 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and diced
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes (~2 cups)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1, 15.25 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Garnish ideas: green onions, lime wedges, avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese

Instructions

  • Chop all of the vegetables before you begin to cook. Place cubed potatoes in a bowl with water to prevent them from browning.
  • Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, chopping up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. ~5-7 minutes.
  • Add onions and cook for ~2-3 minutes. Add in garlic, tomato paste and seasonings and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add in the cubed butternut squash, potatoes, carrots and bell peppers Stir to combine.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and water. Stir. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until butternut squash and potatoes are fork tender.
  • About 10-20 minutes prior to serving, add in the beans and stir.
  • Taste chili, add any additional seasonings (salt, hot sauce, etc.) if desired.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Video

Notes

  • Feel free to use ground beef or ground pork.
  • Use my homemade chili seasoning (2-3 Tbsp.) in this recipe for even more flavor!
  • To make in the slow cooker: cook the ground meat first then add all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. It’s best to take it off heat when the butternut squash and potatoes are fork tender so they don’t come mushy.
  • I have not tested this recipe in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker, so I can’t say if any adjustments would need to be made, or how long to cook it. So sorry! 
  • Storage: Store cooled chili in a container in the fridge for up to five days. Or, let cool completely and freeze up to 3 months in a freezer safe container or plastic gallon baggie.
  • Reheat: reheat chili on the stove and add any broth or water, if desired.
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (no garnishes) | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 1331mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 5mg

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11 Comments
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13 days ago

That looks heavenly! Bring it on!

Mindee Taylor
13 days ago

Delicious! Also made the best leftovers!

Jess
13 days ago

Saving this to make on Halloween! Perfect for a cold night!

Kushigalu
13 days ago

Your pics are amazing plus this chili recipe is so flavorful. I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing.

Rika
13 days ago

I can have this every day in the cold season. It’s so filling and healthy. Love it.

Diane
1 month ago

Did you create this Butternut Squash recipe before you came up with your Easy Homemade Chili Seasoning? I noticed it’s not used in this recipe. If it were available, were some of the ingredients
not s good complement to the b nut squash? Would you mind sharing why you didn’t use it?

Just discovered your site and LUV IT!!! I have saved both your lamb and be nut squash chili recipes to make as soon as I shop for missing ingredients. Thanks for sharing!!!

I hear ya about the weather. Living in south Florida, I definitely miss the change of season, but I would love to dive into this scrumptious bowl of chili any time of the year!

I am pinning this for the future! This sounds perfect for a chilly fall Saturday 🙂

6 years ago

This looks amazing! Love the addition of Butternut Squash.

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