Winter squashes like butternut squash are full of beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, antioxidants, and niacin. They offer numerous brain and body health benefits while keep calories in check. Butternut squash contains high levels of potassium, which is an essential mineral for our brain, nerves, and heart. Stay healthy with my Turkey, Kidney Bean and Butternut Squash Chili.

Turkey, Kidney Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Chili—with vegetables, lean protein and beans—is a complete, satisfying and nutritious one-pot meal. If desired, you can substitute an equal amount of sweet potatoes for the squash, and use any variety of beans. Serve over rice or a baked potato.

Nutrition Tip

Commercial tomato sauce and canned tomatoes contain excess sodium. Just 1/2 cup (125 mL) carries 400 to 550 milligrams of sodium. Healthier options include making your own favourite sauce or using low-sodium canned tomatoes.

For Kids

Serve this dish over rice, pasta or a baked potato. Butternut squash contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, which improves your child’s immune system.

Recipe by Rose Reisman

Turkey, Kidney Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Turkey, Kidney Bean and Butternut Squash Chili Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 23 mins Calories: 326 Serves: 6


  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) minced garlic
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped (with or without seeds)
  • 1 lb (500 g) ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) tomato sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced peeled butternut squash
  • 1 can (19 oz/539 g) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded light sharp (old) cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) reduced-fat sour cream


  1. 1 In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and jalapeño and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the ground turkey, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, and sauté until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  2. 2 Stir in the tomato sauce, stock, squash and beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes or just until the squash is tender.
  3. 3 Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with cilantro, cheese and sour cream alongside.
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