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Delicious & healthy with all the traditional chili seasonings plus the sweetness of butternut squash. It’s a match made in heaven. Instant Pot Turkey Chili just might be your new go-to chili recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

3 bowls of turkey chili with butternut squash garnished with sour cream and cilantro.

As you probably know, the Instant Pot is all the rage these days. I have to admit, I love a good kitchen tool. But, I’m also pretty conscientious about bringing more stuff into my house.

Before I make a purchase, I’m already thinking about where it’s permanent home will be. I have to have room for it, or make room for it, which means probably getting rid of something else. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, one day, after making a Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef, I noticed it had leaked. Actually at first, I thought I just spilled. But when I went to wash out the crock, there was a big crack all the way across the bottom.

Turkey chili with butternut squash made in the Instant Pot.

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No idea how this happened. But, live without a Crock Pot? Ummm, not sure it’s possible. ๐Ÿ˜‰  Okay, it’s possible, but my Slow Cooker is a life saver for me! Perfect for those busy days, I know you all agree, right?

Well, here was my chance. I could either replace the ceramic pot part of the slow cooker, or… I could check out this Instant Pot thing everyone is talking about.

I’m happy to report that I LOVE MY INSTANT POT! This is the Instant Pot I have.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili is one of the first recipes I made in it. One of my favorite features is the Saute’ function. When I typically do chili in a slow cooker, I still have to brown the meat in a separate pan. Not so with the Instant pot!

bowl of chili made with ground turkey and butternut squash garnished wtih cilantro and sour cream.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

For this recipe, I was able to saute’ my meat, onions and garlic, in the same pan that I was going to cook the chili. Because even one less pan to clean is helpful. Am I right?

Besides making this fantastic turkey chili recipe, I’ve been experimenting with the pressure cooking as well. Last week, I cooked a whole frozen chicken! It took about 3 hours total. Amazing. And it was delicious.

Then I made some bone broth in a fraction of the time it normally takes me. Yep, I’m sold. Oh, and I love to use bone broth in all my soups/stews for added benefits.

But let’s talk about this Instant Pot Turkey Chili! It just might be your new favorite. A little lighter because you’re using ground turkey instead of beef, and I love the flavor the squash adds. Let me know what you think! (P.S. Are you one of my Trim Healthy Mama friends? This recipe is THM friendly! It’s an ‘E’. Just don’t eat those chips you see in the corner, k?)

Instant Pot turkey chili with butternut squash.

You certainly don’t have to cook this in an instant pot. It’ll work in your traditional slow cooker or even on the stove top. I love these 8 oz ramekins for serving soup and chile. They’re not too big and not too small. Pioneer Woman has these colored ramekins which I’d love to own.

Looking for more chile recipes (personally, I can’t get enough)?

Instant Pot turkey chili with butternut squash

Instant Pot Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

Ground Turkey, white beans, chili spices and butternut squash.  A lighter version of the traditional chile with a touch of sweetness.
3.50 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 415kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups prepared Great Northern beans, or Navy beans You can start with dried beans and cook them yourself, or use a can.
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 4 oz can of green chiles
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chile powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)


  • Turn Instant Pot on to the Saute’ feature.
  • Add olive oil and onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add ground turkey and brown until cooked through.  If the turkey isn’t very lean and you have a lot of grease, you may strain it and return it back to the pot.  This is optional.  
  • Add chicken broth (I like to use bone broth for extra nutrients), beans, tomatoes, squash, chiles, cumin, chile powder, salt & pepper.  Stir to combine.
  • Cover and turn the Instant Pot on to the Slow Cooker function.  Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
  • Serve topped with cilantro and plain yogurt or sour cream.  


This Chili can also be made on the stove top or in the crock pot.  
Stove top directions~ Saute’ onions, garlic, turkey.  Add the rest of the ingredients except cilantro and yogurt. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Crock Pot directions~ Saute’ onions, garlic and turkey in a skillet on the stove. Transfer to Crock Pot, add the rest of the ingredients (except cilantro and yogurt), cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 1117mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 13812IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 5mg
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  1. Hi Kim, You are right! Thanks for catching this. I re-read the instructions and I actually used the instant pot on the slow cooker function. And I gave you slow cooker instructions, so yes, I can see why this is confusing. I will update that info!!
    For the pressure cooking: after you are finished sauteing and have all the ingredients (except for garnishes) put the lid on, make sure the valve is in the sealed position, manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Natural release for at least 10 minutes. Then serve.

  2. Hi – for some reason I am having a hard time finding the cook time for the instant pot version. The directions for slow cooker and instant pot both say 4 hours on high – is this correct for both? I need to cook this hours on high in the instant pot? Thanks for your help!!

  3. Hi, Actually if you read the notes in the recipe card there are instructions for cooking this in the Slow Cooker or Stove top. The main part of the recipe card gives instructions for the Instant Pot. I’m not sure which one you wanted to try, but all three ways are there. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. I didnt realize this was a slow cooker recipe until it wad too late…I searched instant pot THM recipes and picked this one aling with several others for my weekly meal plan. Failure on my part for not reading beforehand. So I’m going to try it on the pressure cooking setting ad I’ve done other chili recipes. Do you have any idea how this effects the flavor?