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My Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash is a great way of remembering that “Turkey is not just for Christmas”. Its a delicious and lean meat which is great to use year round. This Turkey and Butternut Chowder is also one of my favourite ways to use up odds and ends from the fridge!
This chowder is relatively low cal and low fat despite being beautifully creamy. I love to make chunky soups like this in batches to freeze in portions for work lunches. Versatile meal-prep at its finest!
Everyone needs to have a couple of recipes in their repertoire to use all those bit and bobs languishing in the fridge. This Chowder is one of my favourites. Whilst turkey and butternut squash are my standard main ingredients, there are a million ways to vary the recipe.
I always keep a tin of Creamed Sweetcorn in the cupboard for such an occasion. I’m sure I will horrify someone by playing so fast and loose with what I call a “chowder”.
So What Makes Chowder, Chowder?
To me, as long as it is chunky, involves a high ratio of sweetcorn, includes some kind of potato product and is of the creamy variety, its a chowder. Some sort of ham/bacon is fairly essential but you can go without (I’d really rather not!)
The quantities given in this recipe are what I used on this particular occasion. They are by no means to be stuck with rigidly. So your pepper is 150g? Throw it in! Your potatoes are 185g? Throw them in! There are plenty of extras that you can add or substitute too. Keep scrolling for more ideas.
The point is to use up what you have and invariably you’ll make a big batch. It freezes super easily and reheats really well. I like to portion this up in freezer bags which I seal properly, write on with a sharpie and lay flat in the freezer.
This is a great way to maximize storage space in the freezer and makes them easy to transport to my office. I also use this method with my Peanut & Lentil Soup which is also gluten free.
Make Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
I’ve included this chowder recipe in my Alternative Americana Feast. The menu makes a star of my Glazed Ginger Ham as a brilliant centrepiece. Other sides include my Green Bean Casserole and Sweet Potato Pancakes. Not to mention my Chocolate Lime Pie for dessert.
Don’t forget to head over to the Big Americana Feast post for all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my other feast collections and all my Americana inspired recipes.
Ingredients for Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash
Cream style corn is available in tins in most supermarkets. I always a keep a tin in the cupboard for emergency pancakes or chowder. You can make your own by blitzing regular kernels in a blender with a little milk or water. Don’t strain it though as the texture is still vital to the overall texture of the soup.
I have used turkey breast fillets sliced thin and cooked straight in the soup. You can equally use leftover turkey or thigh/leg meat. The latter will take a little longer to cook through and the former will not need quite as long. The same will apply with any other meat.
Don’t be scared to use frozen veg in this recipe. I like to keep cubed butternut squash in my freezer. I generally either roast it in the oven, cook it in the actifry or steam it in the microwave. I use this steam method in my Chorizo & Butternut Risotto. In this case, you can even add it in frozen or cook it first to speed up the cooking process.
Peeling fresh butternut squashes can be difficult. I tend to prefer to use a speed peeler on a squash with less tough skin. Otherwise I cut the whole thing into horizontal slices, then use my knife to slice off the skin from around the edge of each slice.
Never add cornflour to a recipe without first mixing it with a little water or milk. This is called a slurry and will prevent you ending up with a thin soup and little lumps of cornflour floating around in it.
Ensure that the soup is creamy, make sure it contains some kind of sweetcorn and lots of veg. Other than that, you can otherwise add what you want!
I’ve previously used smoked sausage or chorizo, leftover roast chicken or shredded boiled gammon. I’ve also substituted the potato with gnocchi which I’ve added in for the last couple of minutes and sweet potato. You could cook pasta shapes into it instead to make something a bit more akin to an American style chicken noodle soup.
Instead of using boiling water and chicken stock concentrate, I will use fresh stock if I have it available. I especially love to use the cooking water from boiling a ham. (Don’t use the cooking liquor from my Ginger Ham though, it would be a little strange flavour wise!)
Make it Vegetarian
Don’t add the bacon and turkey. Use a vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You could add another protein such as tofu chunks or quorn or just keep the soup as a vegetable chowder.
Make it Vegan
After following the instructions to make the recipe suitable for vegetarians, you will also need to substitute the skimmed milk for a plant based milk of your choice. I would avoid anything with too strong a flavour like coconut unless that is a flavour you’d like to come to the front of the soup.
Don’t worry about the “cream style corn”. It doesn’t (or certainly shouldn’t!) contain cream. All of the tins I’ve checked are suitable for vegans.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts and eggs.
Gluten Free: This recipe is suitable for those on a gluten free diet but you should carefully check the ingredients of the stock that you use as some of them contain a bit of pesky gluten.
Dairy Free: Switch the skimmed milk for a dairy free alternative.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash
I use a saucepan that is larger than I really need. Soup has a horrible tenancy or spitting and spluttering as it cooks so I find that a larger pan contains this.
I always peel my butternut squash using a speed peeler as I find this the easiest way to get rid of the skin. I know that some people eat it but I find it tough and best removed.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Get Ahead and Using Leftovers
This turkey chowder is perfect to make in advance. It will either store quite happily in the fridge for a couple of days or you can portion it up and freeze it.
Once cool, I portion the soup into sandwich bags, remove any remaining air and seal them. I lay them flat in the freezer ready for easy defrosting and reheating. Perfect for office lunches.
I’ve included this recipe in my roundup of hot recipes which are ideal to meal prep and then reheat at the office for lunch.
The collection also includes ideas from other top food bloggers as well as advice about how to store, transport and reheat the meals.
Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash Tips
If I’m aiming for lower cal, I’ll use turkey steaks and skimmed milk but for a more decadent version I’d use chicken thighs and double cream.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Turkey Chowder with Butternut Squash
- 150 g Bacon
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 200 g Butternut Squash
- 250 g Potatoes
- 125 g Onions
- 100 g Red Bell Pepper
- 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes – + more to taste
- 1 litre Water
- 2 tbsp Chicken Stock Concentrate
- 400 g Cream-style Sweetcorn
- 250 g Turkey Breast
- 100 g Green Beans (String Beans)
- 150 g Sweetcorn
- 3 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 300 ml Skimmed Milk
- Dice 150g Fatty Bacon and start frying gently on a medium heat in a good sized stockpot with 1 tbsp Olive Oil.
- Meanwhile, peel 200g Butternut Squash and 250g Potato.
- Chop both into cm chucks along with 125g Onion and 100g Red Bell Pepper.
- Once the bacon is vaguely cooked, add the chopped veg into the pan along with 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes.
- Move everything around the pan to heat up and start cooking the veg for around 5 minutes. Boil a kettle in the meantime.
- Add 1 litre Boiling Water, 2 tbsp Chicken Stock Concentrate and 400g Cream-style Sweetcorn to the pan.
- Give it all a good stir, bring it to a simmer and pop on the lid. Leave for 10 minutes. You can give it a quick stir every now and again if you like to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Whilst the veg is cooking, cut 250g Turkey Breast and 100g Green Beans into small pieces.
- Add both to the pot along with 150g Sweetcorn. Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Make a slurry with 3 tbsp Cornflour and a little cold water.
- Stir the slurry into the soup with 300ml Skimmed Milk.
- Stir over the heat until slightly thickened. Season to your preference with Sea Salt Flakes and serve.
This post was shared with the #CookBlogShare group which is hosted by Recipes Made Easy, Lost in Food and a selection of guest hosts.
You can learn more in my guest host post and see the recipes that I chose to create an Easy Everyday Feast!