Butternut Squash Quinoa Turkey Chili


I’ve been experimenting with new squash, sweet potato, and pumpkin recipes to support the spleen/pancreas and stomach in the season of late-summer. These veggies are helpful in supporting these organs according to Chinese medicine. Paired with aromatic spices and sour flavored foods is the perfect trifecta for supporting, nurturing, and strengthen these organ systems during their associated season of late-summer. As the air turns crisp around us, have you felt yourself starting to hanker for more cooked foods? Maybe even denser, slow cooked foods like chilis and stews? If yes, than you are feeling the pull of the season. If you’d like to learn more about Chinese medical nutrition and why squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin help out the spleen/pancreas and stomach, take a gander at our nutrition video series. Link in the sidebar.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups 1/2 in cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 t olive oil


You can make this on the stove or in a crockpot.

Stovetop:Over medium heat add the oil t a Dutch oven or thick bottomed soup pot. When the oil is shimmering add the garlic and onions. Sauté until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the butternut squash cubes and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add the turkey and brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa is completely cooked through. Roughly 30-40 minutes.

Crockpot version:  Add all the ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve with any of the following optional garnishes: pumpkin seeds, sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and/or chives.

Lindsey Thompson is an East Asian Medicine Practitioner at the Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic in Walla Walla, WA. She loves growing vegetables, raising chickens, and striving to get the most out of life. Practicing medicine and help people find ways to improve their health at home is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her career.

One comment

  1. […] via Butternut Squash Quinoa Turkey Chili — Stick Out Your Tongue […]

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