Cincinnati Turkey & Butternut Squash Chili

I absolutely love this chili recipe. It’s different and delicious. It ends up in the dinner rotation at my house on a fairly regular basis.

Cincinnati Turkey & Butternut Squash Chili (makes 6 servings)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • Optional topping: shredded cheese

To Make It

  • In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up into small pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder, cocoa, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cloves. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with their juices, butternut squash, kidney beans, water, molasses, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture has thickened but is still soup like, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • When ready to serve chili, remove bay leaf. Serve over spaghetti, topped with cheese, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger.

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