Chili is one of those “throw it all together in a pot and it’s gonna be great!” kind of hearty meals. I’ve recently developed an enjoyment and appreciation for chili. It’s so easy, flavorful, and you can take it in for lunch the next day (my favorite!).
So this chili definitely wasn’t what I had envisioned in my mind. Not even close. I originally wanted to do a hearty, meaty chili with lots of beans. This was pretty far from that idea. But I still think it was fantastic! (And if you don’t trust me, I even had an audience approval for it.)
Nevertheless, I opted for a lighter, ground turkey chili. I knew I wanted to involve butternut squash somehow, seeing as though it’s a perfect end of Autumn/early Winter vegetable. I checked my pantry, and of course: No black or kidney beans. Bummer. BUT I did find some garbanzo beans! Now, you’re probably thinking, “ummm that sounds pretty weird”. Trust me, it was a great cooking decision. I spiced everything thoroughly with chili powder, chipotle powder, paprika, cumin, and a tiny touch of cinnamon and this chili was mighty tasty. The flavors really worked well together and the sweetness of the butternut squash was very prevalent despite all the spice. Now that, my friends, is what I like to call a win-win. This was such a nice, healthy meal.
What are some of your favorite flavor combinations with chili? Any other healthy but hearty suggestions?
Ingredients: (Yields 4-6 servings/bowls)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 2-3 tsp minced garlic
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas!)
- 20 ounces chicken broth
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut and peel the butternut squash. I cut off about 1/2 inch from both ends and then I peeled the entire squash with a potato peeler. Then I sliced approximately 1/2 inch circles and then chopped each cube. Pro tip: You will definitely want a large chef’s knife for this job!
- Season ground turkey with 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.
- In a medium stockpot over medium heat, add ground turkey and minced garlic and simmer until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Tip: Add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help the turkey from not sticking and burning.
- While turkey simmers, dice onion and yellow pepper and add to the pot along with the cubed butternut squash. If your pot has a lid, cover and let the vegetables cook for about 7-10 minutes, increasing heat slightly. If uncovered, stir frequently and allow for 5 extra minutes of cooking time.
- Add diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and remaining spices and stir.
- Add the chicken broth and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat, stir for a few minutes, then remove from heat and serve.