Southwestern-style turkey and squash stew

A hearty meal that’s ready in 15 minutes or less!

There’s a good reason that squash is a favourite vegetable to serve with roast turkey; it’s an irresistible flavour combination. For this stew, I decided to play up on the squash’s natural sweetness by adding some typical southwestern seasoning. It’s so fast to make in an InstantPot (just 10 minutes!) but also very speedy cooked on a stove in a conventional pot. We loved it with goat cheese on top but sour cream would also be delicious.


  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb (500 g) ground turkey
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) cubed (1/2 inch or 1.25 cm pieces) butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) cayenne
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach leaves


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Lime or lemon wedges


  • Using the Instant Pot’s sauté setting, cook onion, garlic and ground turkey in the olive oil until meat is thoroughly cooked (4 – 5 minutes), breaking up any clumps as it cooks.
  • Alternatively, sauté the meat, onion and garlic in oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat, until meat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Stir in spices and water. Add butternut squash cubes.
  • Place lid on the InstantPot and press the ‘Manual/Pressure Cook’ button. Use the [-] button to change the cooking time to 5 minutes.
  • If using a regular pot, put the lid on and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender (about 8 – 10 minutes).
  • Depressurize InstantPot and open lid (or remove lid on conventional pot); stir in spinach. As soon as the leaves have wilted, spoon the stew into serving bowls and top with goat cheese and fresh herbs. Add a wedge of lime or lemon to squeeze over top. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.