Spice up your dinner with this easy ground turkey chili recipe! It’s a comforting dish that’s simple to make in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot.
If you’re tired of your boring old ground turkey recipe that lack flavor, then this chili is just the thing you need. It’s so simple and delicious that you’ll making it over and over again just like our Filipino fruit salad!
If you choose to make this butternut squash paleo turkey chili recipe in the crock pot, you’ll need to brown the meat in a pot first. Otherwise, the meat tends to cook in large clumps.
We enjoy making this simple chili in the fall and winter when winter squash is fresh and plentiful. But, you can also use frozen butternut squash chunks year round.
Ingredients For Healthy Paleo Turkey Chili
In addition to ground turkey, the recipe adds in vegetables and spices. You’ll find the complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Fresh minced garlic and chopped onions enhance the taste of the meat. Bell peppers, celery, diced tomatoes, and butternut squash add flavor and nutrition. Tomato sauce is also included for a zestier taste but you can use tomato paste instead.
The dish is seasoned with chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. If you like it spicy, sprinkle in some extra cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
To add some additional flavor, feel free to top your chili off with sliced jalapeños, avocado, and cilantro. If dairy isn’t an issue for you, you can also toss on some sour cream and cheese.
How To Make Slow Cooker Turkey Chili In An Instant Pot
The easiest way to make the recipe is to use an Instant Pot. But, it can also be made in a regular slow cooker or the stove top. The directions provided are for slow cooking in an electric pressure cooker so adjust as needed.
Sauté The Meat
To start, turn the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting. Then drizzle the bottom of pot with olive oil. Add turkey, onions, green pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté until meat is browned.
Add Tomatoes And Spices
Deglaze the pot with a quarter cup of water. Add in tomato sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
With Instant Pot still in Sauté mode, bring to a boil. DO NOT STIR.
Add Butternut Squash And Slow Cook
Once boiling, add in butternut squash. Secure lid and set Instant Pot to slow cooker mode. Make sure you have the steam release sent to venting position (that is how the slow cooker mode works).
Adjust slow cook timer to 4 hours on normal cooking mode. If wanting to use the instant pot feature, turn the steam release to venting, hit SOUP mode and cook for 12 minutes. Ensure that you release steam after the cooking process.
Slow cooking brings out the best flavor. So you’ll want to allow adequate time for simmering the dish slowly on low heat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turkey Chili
Is turkey chili healthy?
The combination of ground turkey and vegetables makes this chili a healthy choice. Plus, turkey has less fat, calories, and cholesterol than lean ground beef.
What setting should be used on a standard slow cooker?
If you aren’t using the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot, you should set your slow cooker to the low setting. The normal slow cooker setting on the Instant Pot is 200°F while the low setting on a standard slow cooker is usually 190°F. Therefore, it may take a bit longer to fully cook the squash.
Can the chili be cooked under pressure?
Yes! If you want to cook the dish quickly, just set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 5 minutes. Once the time is done, allow for a natural pressure release before opening the valve.
What goes good with turkey chili?
Most people like to serve their chili with cornbread or nachos. But if you follow a Paleo diet, you’ll want to use a gluten-free and grain-free alternative.
How long do leftovers last?
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months, but the squash tends to get a little mushy when frozen.
Reasons We Love This Chili
Ground turkey is packed with protein but it can be very bland. Adding in a variety of seasonings and vegetables makes the dish very flavorful.
The combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne bring out the best in the meat. Butternut squash adds a nutty and sweet taste to this spicy turkey chili.
We like to serve with jalapeno slices, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro on top. But you can add grated cheddar cheese on top if you aren’t on a paleo diet. A dollop or two of sour cream or greek yogurt tastes great too!
You can make this dish meatier by adding crispy bacon bits. Or, try adding vegetables like chopped zucchini to make it even more loaded with nutrition and goodness!
Another idea is to stuff the chili into bell peppers to serve in an edible bowl. You can also serve it with pork rinds or nachos on the side.
Other Recipes To Try
Need a few more comfort foods to feed your family? If you like this recipe, we think you’ll love these other favorites too:
- Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole is a low-carb and keto-friendly. There’s also an easy option to make it dairy-free.
- Ground Beef Zucchini is a quick and easy dish made in a skillet that’s perfect for busy weeknights.
- Chicken Cabbage Soup with curry and turmeric is a nutritious dish that’s easy to make in an Instant Pot or on the Stove Top.
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms add a little heat with jalapeños but the cheese tempers the spice.
Butternut Squash Paleo Turkey Chili Crockpot
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
- 2 pounds Ground turkey
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium onions diced
- 2 bell peppers diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- ¼-1 ½ cups water used as needed
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes with juice
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled & cubed
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute.
- Drizzle bottom of pot with olive oil and brown turkey, onions, green pepper, celery and garlic.
- Deglaze the pan with ¼ c of water.
- Add in tomato sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- With Instant Pot still in saute mode, bring to a boil. DO NOT STIR.
- Add in butternut squash.
- Secure lid and set Instant Pot to slow cooker mode. Make sure you have the steam release sent to venting position (that is how the slow cooker mode works).
- Adjust slow cook timer to 4 hours on normal cooking mode.
- If wanting to use the instant pot feature, turn the steam release to venting, hit SOUP mode and cook for 12 minutes. Ensure that you release steam after the cooking process.
- Serve with jalapeno and/or avocado and fresh cilantro.