Throw on your favorite flannel shirt and boots, cozy up by a warm fire, and get ready for the most comforting and healthy bowl of fall chili! Packed with nutrients and flavor, and one that you’ll want on repeat in your regular dinner rotation.
It’s chili time!! A big pot of chili is usually the first thing I make the second the weather gets cooler in late September or early October. It signals to me, my favorite time of year is here!!! I crave everything cozy after a fun filled and busy summer. A hot bowl of chili with all the yummy toppings makes my fall loving heart happy. I even love a white chicken chili variation! Both my buffalo chicken and pumpkin chicken are two of my favorites.
This past weekend, we spent a few days up in the mountains in a very remote area. It was the kind of place that doesn’t have a grocery store or restaurant in a 30 mile radius, and we had to be prepared. I packed our car full of our daily favorites and necessities, and made a big crockpot of chili for us to enjoy in the evening.
I had been dreaming up a butternut squash chili for awhile (my favorite fall veggie), and this version did not disappoint!!
How to Make Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
What I love about this recipe, and I know you will too, is that we can throw everything in the slow cooker and let it do all the work! The hardest part is cutting up all of the vegetables.
We start with browning the turkey on the stovetop with the onion. Place the turkey in the bottom of the slow cooker, and then top with all of the diced peppers, canned tomatoes, and celery. Sprinkle with the spices and mix it all together. From here, we top with butternut squash and secure the lid.
Cook on low for 6 hours. That’s it!
- Turkey: You can swap out turkey with ground beef or ground chicken and still have the same yummy result!
- Black Beans: a can of black beans would also make taste great in this recipe if you are not following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and can tolerate beans.
- Butternut Squash: Can also be substitute with chunks or pumpkin!
Serving and Storing
Once cooking is complete, add in your favorite toppings: avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. This chili tastes even better after sitting for a day or 2 (or 3!) The cubed butternut squash provides just the right amount of sweetness to the smoky and savory spices.
Store in the fridge for up to one week. You can freeze this chili, as it freezes beautifully! Store in an air tight, freezer friendly container.
For a complete meal, you may even want to pair with a delicious and easy salad:
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
Set it and forget it with this super simple Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Turkey Chili! You'll love the minimal prep time with maximum flavor!
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 2 14.5 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 poblano peppers diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced with seeds removed
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
- 1 large butternut squash* peeled, diced and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (for serving)
- 1 large avocado diced (for serving)
- 2 limes (for serving)
Begin by heating a large skillet to medium high heat. Once hot, coat with oil. Toss in turkey and onion. Cook until turkey is browned and cooked (about 5-7 minutes), continuing to stir and break up with a wooden spoon. Drain fat and liquid.
Place turkey in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes with juices, celery, and all peppers. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and chipotle powder. Pour in the slow cooker, and give the mixture a good stir so that the turkey, tomatoes, and peppers are all well coated with spices.
Top the chili with the butternut squash (don't stir), allow it to sit on top of the mixture. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. Alternatively, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3-4 hours.
After cooking is complete, stir the mixture, adding in additional salt if needed. Serve hot with fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.
*You can use store bought pre-cut butternut squash. You will need about 4-5 cups of diced squash. Fresh pumpkin is also a great alternative to the butternut squash!