Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

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What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with a delicious turkey chili recipe? You have an edible bowl that’s not just good for you, it tastes great too!

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!
Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!
These turned out better than I could have expected! The turkey chili is mild and savory, which is the perfect balance to the slightly sweet acorn squash (would be great with delicata too!). If you want to make this dairy-free and Whole30 friendly, simply omit the cheese.

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!
I had this for dinner last night and I loved every bite of this. It was filling and so good I am excited to have leftovers for lunch today. This reheats well, if you want to save half for another night, leave the cheese off until you’re ready to reheat. Here’s a short video if you would like to watch how it’s made.

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!
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4.94 from 45 votes
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Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

320 Cals 28 Protein 29.5 Carbs 12 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!


  • 2 acorn squash, halved, seeded
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 ounces canned Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons shredded sharp cheese, omit for Whole 30 and dairy free
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Place squash halves on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake until soft, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and bay leaf.
  • Cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaf, flip the squash over and fill each half with 3/4 cup chili.
  • Top with cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Top with cilantro.


To reheat, bake in a 350F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.


Serving: 1stuffed half, Calories: 320kcal, Carbohydrates: 29.5g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 650mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3.5g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: Acorn Squash, chili recipe, Stuffed Acorn Squash, stuffed acorn squash ground turkey, Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too! What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too! What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that's not just good for you, it tastes great too!

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  1. Delicious!!  I will definitely make this again!

  2. This is absolutely delicious! Made it for the first time and loved it! My taste buds are overjoyed! I used ground chicken because that’s what I had on hand. You have to try this!

  3. There are 3 of us. Can I freeze one half for a “left-over” night?

  4. Wow! This was delicious and very filling. I couldn’t get the tomato with green chilies, so I added a small can of green chilies. I increased the spices and added a little of low fat cheddar cheese to the mixture. Served with avocado, salsa and low fat sour cream.

  5. Made this tonight. Delicious. I left the cheese off my portion and have a question: 
    All of the ingredients are listed as zero points (on WW Blue); where do the points come from?

  6. I followed the recipe almost exactly and it was delicious. By my error added a tsp of chili powder, I would do it again. One issue I ran into though is the turkey mixture took along time to cook down, I waited until the there was no water in the pan before stuffing the squash. Worth the wait, and will make them again!

  7. I’ve made this recipe twice now with small variations on the chili and my family loves it!! Thank you so much:)

  8. Made this tonight! Didn’t have green chilis so I substituted with habanero. No chilli peppers but it tasted delicious. My hubby and I enjoyed it 😀

  9. Soooo good! Definitely a keeper and so easy to prepare. Got rave reviews when I prepared it.

  10. Just made these…huge family hit!! We’re vegetarian so I used impossible grounds instead of turkey. Yumm! One thing that I realized after…you have a delicious 3 bean chili recipe on the site that I make all the time (without meat) that would go GREAT with the squash (just less liquid)! I want to try that next time 😉

  11. I see this tonight. It was absolutely delicious!  My new favourite!

  12. This was amazing. I was worried about the minimal spice but it was perfect! This will be a repeat in our house!

  13. Made this for dinner tonight. Hubby and I loved it and will definitely make again. I added beans to the chili

  14. I think the spices are way too low. I used 1 Tbs cumin, 1 tsp chili powder & 1 tsp of paprika. It’s a chili for goodness sake. With that adjustment it was great!

  15. Yum   2nd time making this   Used a little coconut oil when baking squash and added a jalapeño to the turkey Chile    Sweet and savory and such a delicious combination of flavors in this dish!

  16. This is very tasty. I did add a jalapeño pepper and cooked the acorn squash for 45 minutes. 

  17. This was delicious! I absolutely loved it!  

  18. I made these tonight!  They were awesome!  When reheating two of them do I cover them or not?

  19. I have made this a few times already,it’s so delicious! making it again today. a great fall dish…

  20. One of my most favorites! Dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Delicious and super easy to make!

  21. Delicious, easy to make and reheat for another day.
    I made no changes in recipe.

  22. Really delicious. I had my doubts, but was really impressed.

  23. This was a good one! I used a muffin pan to keep the stuffed halves upright and it worked really well.

  24. So delicious… Will definitely make again

  25. I have made this recipe too many times to count and it comes out perfect every single time, definitely a keeper.
    Most of the time I prepare exactly as written but every now and then I switch out the acorn squash for spaghetti or delicata squash and it’s still fabulous!
    I love all your recipes but this and your zucchini lasagna are my two faves, thank you!

  26. Easy, delicious, we save carbs by skipping the squash .

    Great tasting cold too!

  27. This was so delicious. Even reheated the next day it was great.

  28. A really quick way to cook acorn squash is to cut it in half, remove seeds and cook with squash side down in the microwave for 10 minutes. Saves electricity and time. You can press butter, margarine, or rub squash inside with oil if you wish.

  29. Holy cannoli this is AMAZING! Simple, cheap, tasty, healthy, and it looks fancy af! 

    I used 99% fat free ground turkey, and no salt added tomato sauce and it rang up at ZERO ww points without cheese. 

    Can’t thank you enough for the amazing recipes!

  30. I loved this, Gina! I am a huge proponent of your recipes – always sharing with friends and WW classmates. This is always my go-to website for meal planning and trying new dishes! I had bought an acorn squash and needed a recipe – I will buy another tomorrow to use up the filling and freeze for lunches. Thank you – my hero!!!

  31. I added about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the simmering chili. I also increased the water to 1/2 cup water and added 1/4 to 1/3 cup quick barley. Yumm.

  32. Awesome, tasty, beautiful, easy, with left-overs for tomorrow! Thank you 🙂

  33. These were absolutely fantastic, wish I could post a pic because they look just as delicious as yours! Thanks so much!

  34. This was great! First time ever having acorn squash. I added a baked potato on the side and some steamed corn and green beans. So filling 🙂  can’t wait to try the spaghetti squash version of this next 

  35. Hi! Looks delicious! I’m new to WW Freestyle, but from what I’ve been reading, this seems like the only ingredient adding points is the cheese. Why is it 5?

  36. Made this tonight and it was a hit with the whole family. Thank you a wonderful recipe!

  37. So delicious! I made this tonight for dinner. The whole family enjoyed the squash and it was our first time eating this variety. Skinnytaste you never disappoint!!! 🙂 Perfect Fall dinner. 

  38. Made it with turkey pumpkin chili and it was a gobbled up!  Barely have enough for my lunch tomorrow. LOL

  39. Why isn’t this Paleo, without the cheese obv.

  40. Absolutely Delicious!!! Very flavorful and great Fall Dish.

  41. Made this tonight! Such a hit especially on the first day of fall. The whole family enjoyed it tremendously. I added half can of black beans and halved the dose of water since it looked wet enough already. I’m so impressed how quickly you can make something so warm and  homey that you’d think took hours to prepare!  

  42. It was easy and simple to make. Tasted delicious!

  43. This recipe was SUCH a hit!! Hubby and I both inhaled it and I will DEFINITELY make again. Such a filling and satisfying meal for only 5 Points… especially with a side of corn!

  44. Can you tell me how you got 5 points – I have been trying to figure it out and it’s not coming up considering most of it is 0 with rhe exception of the cheese?

  45. This recipe is amazing! I have made it 5 or 6 times now. It is SO easy to make and it looks so fancy. I love the sweetness of the acorn squash and the little spice to the chili, they compliment each other perfectly. The leftovers are just as good!

  46. Absolutely loved it!!! The cheese isn’t even necessary (especially if you are Whole 30). And it makes the best leftovers!

  47. Needed something quick to make and I already had roasted acorn squash. Have liked chili very much that has butternut etc in it so this looked just as good. I added a tablespoon or so of black beans to it as well., as I had some leftover.

  48. I made this today taste great and it’s easy to make 

  49. Delicious!  I love how the chili and the squash complement each other.  I did omit the cilantro and halve the cumin for my own taste.  Excited for the leftovers.

  50. That was so good! I only had 1 squash so I kept the other half of the chili to fill zucchini boat for tonight ????

  51. We love this recipe! Delicious and filling!

  52. This recipe is easy, delicious, and so filling! My Mom has been begging me to make it since the last time she had it!

  53. So tasty and easy!! This recipe will definitely be a fall staple. I had trouble cutting through the acorn squash and had to enlist my husband’s help. Maybe there’s a trick that I don’t know of? Regardless, it was delicious and perfect served with a simple arugula side salad. 

    • i know for spaghetti squash, I’ve read if you microwave it for a few minutes before cutting, it softens it a bit and makes it easier. I assume all squash would be the same?

  54. I made your 0pt Turkey Chili Taco soup. Delicious!!  The next night I made stuffed peppers with it just added rice. Delicious!! Tomorrow I will make this. 

  55. I bake my squash with the seeds and this way I can remove the seeds easier! Can’t wait to try this recipe! 

  56. Grown up food! Love the sweet vs. spicy. I did leave the cumin and Bay leaf out. Husband (who doesn’t like vegetables) loved it!

  57. What will the freestyle point value be?

  58. Hi Gina. Another fabulous recipe!! Since my husband has retired, he does the cooking so he NEVER strays from the recipe. This was so amazing and tasted even better the following day for lunch. I have lost a total of 40 pounds on WW and I have my personal chef (my husband) and your website for keeping me on track. You never disappoint!!

  59. This was delicious. I made it for me with one squash, but made the full chili recipe and froze half for another time. Mine seemed a little watery, so I threw in some plain tapioca to thicken it up a little bit. Love SkinnyTaste!

  60. Could you do in the insta pot?

  61. This was GREAT!!! Very easy to make and so delicious. Thank you for another great recipe to add into my fall rotation. 🙂

  62. Super random question – the packages of 93% ground turkey I buy are 1.3 lbs – I’ve seen you use the 1.3 lb packages in your recipes before but this says only 1 lb – do you save the rest or just buy a different brand that’s only 1 lb? Thanks!

  63. This is fantastic! We will definitely make this again!

  64. Made them tonight – deelish. I feel like I’m an official adult when eating (and liking) squash. I like that squash takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with. For my 8-year-old, I mixed a bit of the squash into her chili – only a little complaining but she ate it. Thanks again for another easy go-to meal.

  65. Gina, I would like to make this in my instant pot. Would it be a good idea to make the chili part first and then stuff the squash halves and cook them in the instant pot with the chili stuffed in them?

  66. I made these tonight using 96% lean ground beef instead of turkey. My husband said he wasn’t excited about them when I told him what I was making, but he tried it. He just told me that he can’t believe how good they are! We added low fat sour cream on top, and even with those changes, these are a serious smart points bargain! ?

  67. Hi Gina
    When you say edible bowl do you eat the skin on the acorn squash? Whenever I make them plan I never ate the skin.

  68. Made this dish and it was excellent, would make it again.

  69. This is a great recipe, very tasty and filling. We had a simple salad on the side. Next time I will cut a thin slice from the bottom of each squash half prior to baking, to prevent wobbling after they are filled.

  70. This chili is fantastic. I did mine in the IP (browned meat and onion, added everything else, high pressure 5 min, NPR). I baked the squash early in the day and then scooped out each portion and reheated to serve in the bowl with the cheese-sprinkled chili (worked great). I had some leftover diced tomato handy, so I used that instead of the tomato sauce . I also included some black beans I cooked earlier in the week. (I love that Gina’s recipes are adaptable to what I have on hand/like.) Everyone loved it and I can’t wait for the leftovers for lunch. This will be on rotation this winter for sure. Yet another stellar recipe, Gina! (PS, I love seeing your recipes in Cooking Light. I have been a subscriber for many, many years and have followed your site/cooked your recipes/sang your praises for 3 or so years…it’s fun to see both together. Congratulations on that, what an accomplishment!)

  71. I made these tonight, they are really good!!!! I love a good recipe like this, all in one edible, don’t have to wash, bowl – THANKS!

  72. Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it, including the 15 month old grandbaby! When ever we try out a new recipe we always ask each other “would you order this in a restaurant?” If the answer is yes, then the recipe is a keeper. Everyone agreed that they would all order this dish in a restaurant and wanted to know when I was going to make it again, Thanks Gina!!

  73. What would be a good side to go with this (besides corn…I’m always making corn as a side with chili-like recipes…trying to think of something different)?

  74. Made this last week, kept meaning to come back and comment. It was absolutely delicious! My husband and daughters agree! This will become a regular item on the menu in the fall/winter months, very tasty and reheated for lunch the next day with no problem!

  75. This was delicious! I have a hard time enjoying many of the weight watchers recipes but yours are always tasty! Thanks so much! I just hit 10 pounds lost today. 🙂

  76. What cookbook is this recipe in?

  77. Hola Gina! Con que puedo acompañar este plato? Gracias!

  78. This looks so delicious! Pinning it for later!! Thanks for great recipes

  79. Looks so yummy!  I’m having my second baby in a few weeks and am looking for meals to have in the freezer. Do you think I could assemble (omit the cheese for now) and freeze?

  80. What a great idea. I have a crock pot cooking with your chicken taco chili, and this same idea could work great for the leftovers of that tomorrow. (If there are any –that kids have already laid claim to it for lunch tomorrow!)

  81. We add cumin twice? Or is the first instance supposed to be pepper?

  82. HI Gina! 
    When I log this recipe into the recipe builder of My Fitness Pal it calculates each serving as 800 calories (yikes!) — can you explain how you reached your calorie count? Im not sure which calorie number I should use when logging 🙂  THANK YOU! 
    PS: This was fantastic

    • I did it on My Fitness Pal and for some reason it calculated the 1/3 c. onions at over 2,000 calories!  Obviously a mistake.  When I made sure all the ingredients were matched, it came to 331 calories, including cheese.

  83. We’re having this for dinner tonight. Delicious!! Thumbs up from kids and adults alike. 

  84. This recipe officially takes its place in the pantheon of glorious Gina recipes right next to the chicken cordon bleu meatballs. They are easy to make, worthy of company, delicious and nutritious, and amazingly only 320 calories that made us feed stuffed. The next time I make this, which will be soon, I will double the chili recipe and freeze serving portions so that I only have to roast the squash for an absolutely satisfying meal. As always, thanks Gina!

  85. Can’t wait to try this tonight! I’m not a huge acorn squash fan, but I do have a carnival squash at home, and a delicata, so I’m thinking I’ll sub those out instead. I just started WW, so I’m loving all of the options on here! I’ve always loved your recipes, but never paid much attention to the points part. I love that I can browse the blog by the number of points! Thank you! 

    • Just updating that I made this with a carnival squash and a spaghetti squash (my delicata had gone a little funky). It was a big hit! The carnival squash was delicious! I brought one of the spaghetti squash halves for leftovers today. Heating the whole thing in an oven, as recommended, wasn’t practical for work, so I just scooped it all out and mixed it in a bowl to heat and it was very tasty. I will definitely be making this one again! 

  86. Sounds good, and the chili could be combined with so many other vegetables, like a baked sweet or white potato!!

  87. This recipe was delicious. I made it exact to your directions and it was a crowd pleaser. This recipe will be a staple throughout the week during fall and was easy to make. Thank you Gina!

  88. Cheese?!! So, I take it that the recipes on the Whole 30 app aren’t Whole 30 compliant??!
    Seems contradictory and has me hesitant to trust this app. 

    • In the narrative of the recipe I did mention “If you want to make this dairy-free and Whole30 friendly, simply omit the cheese.” 🙂

  89. Hey Gina –

    Can you explain how you got to 5SP?  We used your nutritional calculation and it comes out at 8.  Also confirm the points include the cheese?  

    • Hi Pearlee! Yes I included the cheese. Are you using the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  90. Made this tonight. It was wonderful!! Kids and hubby had it over rice instead of in the squash.

    Perfect for a chilly fall evening.

    Thanks Gina!

  91. Hi Gina do you think this would work with kombucha squash?

  92. Gina,

    If we wanted to add a can or half of a can of red kidney beans or another type of bean what would the change be on points or calories?