Molasses & Mayhem

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slow cooker turkey chili with butternut squash

easy recipes, slow cooker recipes, comfort food, weeknight dinnersLauren HaslettComment

chili is one of the ultimate winter comfort foods – hearty and spicy, whether you choose a majorly meaty version or a bean-heavy vegetarian one, it will quickly warm you up from the inside out.



this recipe falls somewhere between the two usual extremes. there is meat (leftover roast turkey i had stashed in the freezer from the holidays), but this dish is also loaded with three different types of fiber-rich beans and sweet butternut squash, so you definitely get a good dose of veggies, too.


10-12 dried red chilies: i used a mix of guajillo, tien tsin (a pepper commonly used in chinese cuisine), and chile de arbol, but you can feel free to use whatever varieties or blend you prefer.

3 cloves garlic

1 ¼ cups dried peruano beans*

1 ¼ cups dried red kidney beans

⅔ cup dried black beans

About  ½ one large butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice (2 ½ cups total)

2 large stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced horizontally (1 cup total)

½ large sweet onion, minced (1 cup total)

1 ⅓ cups diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken or turkey  stock

4 cups water

3 cups shredded or chopped roast turkey meat

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground aleppo pepper

½ teaspoon ground cayenne

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon celery seed

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

sour cream, for garnish (optional)


how to do it:

1. first, rehydrate the chilies: soak chilies in 12 fluid ounces of warm water for 20-30 minutes. once softened, put the chilies, soaking liquid, and garlic cloves into a blender and process until smooth.

2. put the chile mixture and all other ingredients (except the last two) into the slow cooker. cook on high for about 6 hours, or until all beans are soft and tender and liquid has been partially absorbed and thickened.

3. spoon into bowls and serve with sour cream and green onions, if desired.


*note: if you can't find peruanos at your local market, you can certainly substitute another bean of your choice here, like pintos or great northern white beans.

copyright molasses & mayhem; 2014.