NO bean turkey & squash chiLi

I started making chili when I first moved from Miami to Chicago, and the novelty of it never wore off. In my past life, I only ate chili on the rare occasion it dipped below 60 in South Florida. However, the Midwest taught me there are countless ways to tailor and incorporate chili into your diet — regardless of temperature or dietary restrictions.

Fast forward through three years of testing ground meats, different colored beans, root vegetables and spices, and we have my tried and true NO BEAN, SUPER LEAN, TURKEY & BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILI. Inspired by SkinnyTaste and tailored to my palette, this low calorie chili is perfect for big groups and weekly meal preps. The trick? Start with a sofrito. True to my Hispanic roots, all stews and bean dishes begin with a sofrito of finely chopped garlic, onions, tomatoes and peppers.

As for my preference for butternut squash, it takes little time to cook and has less calories than sweet potato. Plus, squash is readily available year-round with harvest times during fall and summer — perfect for shopping at the farmers market or pumpkin patch. With that being said, this recipe allows for some serious mixing and matching. From ground turkey and sweet potato to red beans and squash, this chili is yours to tailor.








*gluten free *paleo friendly


  • Large Dutch Oven (For mine, visit Le Creuset)
  • Cooking oil (I like using La Tourangelle Avocado Oil because it has a high smoke point and little flavor)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • A tablespoon of  garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 jalapeños (depending on your desired spice level). sliced
  • 4 on the vine tomatoes, diced
  • Lean ground turkey
  • One 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • One 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Butternut squash (fresh > frozen), peeled and cubed
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Bay leaves


  • Daisy Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Green scallions


  1. Prep your vegetables:
    1. Dice your onion, red bell pepper, jalapeños and tomatoes. (Note: the heat from a jalapeño stems from the white seeds. Remove seeds according to desired spice level.)
    2. Peel and cube butternut squash, if not already prepped.
  2. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat
  3. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper
  4. Once onions appear semi-translucent, add diced red pepper, jalapeños, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add ground turkey to the dutch oven, cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper. Mash up with a wooden spoon and let cook for 5 minutes or until turkey is brown.
  6. Pour in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (drain some juice) and butternut squash.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and red chili flakes. Mix well.
  8. Add a bay leaf, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes allowing the flavors to develop.
  9. Serve with any variety of toppings, including: shredded cheese, chopped green scallions, sour cream and/or crunchy tortilla strips.

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