An Introduction to Turkey Salsa Hash with Butternut Squash

Turkey salsa hash with butternut squash is a delicious and nutritious one-skillet meal that is packed with flavor. By bringing together lean ground turkey, cubed butternut squash, zesty salsa, and fresh vegetables, you end up with a dish that is full of color, texture, and vitamins. The butternut squash adds natural sweetness and vibrant orange hue, while the salsa incorporates juicy tomatoes, spicy peppers, and fresh cilantro to complement the turkey perfectly. This turkey salsa hash with butternut squash is easy to throw together, makes great use of seasonal produce, and contains plenty of protein to keep you satisfied. Read on to learn just how simple it is to make this balanced skillet dinner at home.

The Health Benefits of Turkey

Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, making it a smart choice for those looking to maintain muscle, keep hunger at bay, and meet daily protein needs.

Some key benefits of turkey include:

  • High in protein: A 3-ounce serving provides 25 grams of satiating protein while remaining low in fat. This supports stable energy levels.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Turkey contains sizable amounts of ni

Why Butternut Squash Makes This Hash Extra Nutritious

Butternut squash brings more than its bright orange color to this turkey salsa hash. It also provides key vitamins and minerals.

Some of the top nutrients in butternut squash include:

  • Vitamin A: Butternut squash gets its vibrant hue from beta-carotene, which converts to active vitamin A. This vision and immune-boosting vitamin also acts as an antioxidant.
  • Vitamin C: With 17% of your daily value per cup, vitamin C supports immune health and iron absorption.
  • Magnesium and potassium: These minerals are involved in muscle contraction, heart rhythm, and nerve signaling.
  • Fiber: A one-cup serving delivers 12% of the daily target for fiber, supporting digestion and heart health.

Combining turkey and butternut squash ensures this hash offers a well-rounded nutritional package!

Salsa Adds a Boost of Bold, Fresh Flavor

No turkey hash would be complete without a good helping of zesty salsa. Salsa incorporates fresh veggies like tomato, onion, chile pepper, and cilantro to perfectly complement lean poultry.

Choosing the Best Ingredients for Scrumptious Turkey Salsa Hash

To make this feel-good turkey salsa hash really sing, it pays dividends to seek out high-quality ingredients. Here is a close look at some of the key components that give this skillet meal its nutritious edge and signature flavors:

Picking the Right Ground Turkey

Ground turkey keeps this hash lean and protein-packed. When selecting ground turkey, consider these tips:

  • Go for lean ground turkey: Choose 93% lean or 99% lean ground turkey to limit fat and calories without sacrificing texture or moisture during cooking.
  • Watch out for preservatives: Some commercial ground turkey contains additives like sodium phosphate or broth injection. Opt for additive-free when possible.
  • Consider local options: Buying pasture-raised ground turkey from a local farmer’s market or co-op connects you with more ethically raised meat.

Select Fresh, Firm Butternut Squash

Butternut squash should be smooth-skinned, firm, and heavy for its size. Squash that’s gone bad may have shriveling, soft spots or mold. For best texture and flavor, select squash with the long neck still attached.

The vibrant orange flesh offers a perfect hint of natural sweetness and pairs beautifully with spicy salsa.

Pick Ripe Tomatoes, Onion, Peppers & Cilantro for Salsa

Creating homemade salsa calls for vine-ripened tomatoes, crisp onion, spicy peppers, and fresh cilantro. Rinsed and prepped, these can be chopped and combined in minutes for maximum freshness and pop of flavor.

When choosing ingredients for salsa:

  • Prioritize ripe red tomatoes: Beefsteak or roma tomatoes offer hearty meatiness and juiciness.
  • Sweet white onion balances acidity without overpowering other ingredients.
  • Jalapeño, serrano or habanero peppers bring the heat! Adjust quantities to your spice tolerance.
  • Fill out flavor with fresh cilantro: No salsa is complete without refreshing herbal notes from fresh cilantro. A little goes a long way!

With all elements combined in perfect synergy, homemade salsa makes an invaluable component in this hearty skillet meal.

Step-By-Step Process for Assembling Turkey Salsa Hash

Preparing this zesty turkey and squash hash requires no special skills—just some simple veggie prep and one-pan cooking!

Follow these straightforward steps:

Prep the Veggie Mix-ins

  1. Peel and cube butternut squash into 1⁄2 to 1-inch pieces.
  2. Dice one white onion.
  3. Core and chop 2-3 tomatoes or use halved grape tomatoes.
  4. Mince jalapeños, garlic, and cilantro. Customize quantities to taste.
  5. Grate pepper jack cheese, if using.

Brown the Ground Turkey

  1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground turkey and cook 5-7 minutes, breaking it into smaller chunks as it browns.
  3. Once no longer pink, remove turkey crumbles to a plate and set aside.

Sauté Vegetables & Warm Salsa

  1. Add more olive oil to the hot skillet along with onions. Sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Next add butternut squashtomatoesspices and garlic. Cook another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in fresh homemade or jarred salsa until warmed through.

Finish the Hash

  1. Return cooked ground turkey to the veggie hash mixture.
  2. Toss together and heat through 1-2 minutes.
  3. Serve turkey hash into bowls and garnish with cilantrocheese and extra salsa as desired!

And that’s all it takes to pull together an easy yet totally tasty turkey salsa hash exploding with flavors, nutrition and gorgeous colors! Adjust any vegetables to your liking.

Alternative Vegetable and Add-In Ideas

While butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, and peppers build a delicious base, this recipe allows for customization. Try swapping for these veggies or mix-ins:

Swap Summer Squash for Butternut

Come summer, take advantage of vibrant zucchini or yellow squash in season. Their fresher flavor and softer crunch contrasts nicely with the heartier turkey and salsa.

Sub in Sweet Potatoes

Swap out squash for sweet-tart sweet potatoes. Diced small, they cook quickly. Sweet potato offers a hint of sweetness along with doses of vitamin A and fiber.

Stir in Leafy Greens

For extra color and nutrients, throw a handful of baby spinach or kale into the cooked turkey vegetable mixture just until wilted. Dark leafy greens amp up veggie goodness.

Add Beans or Corn

Black or pinto beans add plant-based protein and fiber. Corn offers vitamin C and sweet crispy contrasts. Customize to your preferences!

Grate in Nutritional Yeast

Sprinkle on this natural seasoning for a savory, cheesy umami kick with no added fat or calories. It packs a B-vitamin bonus!

Mix and match components to build your own signature spicy turkey hash creation!

Best Cooking Practices for Optimal Flavor

Applying these tips during the cooking process guarantees the most flavorful results:

Brown the Ground Turkey Well

Browning ground meat effectively boosts depth of flavor. Be patient during this step, using a spatula to break up turkey chunks until evenly browned without any pink spots remaining.

Don’t Under-Season

Turkey and squash both benefit from ample seasoning. Sample as you go, gradually adding sea salt, cracked pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano and other spice blends until flavors pop.

Let Caramelization Work Its Magic

Allow veggies like onions and butternut squash to cook undisturbed for several minutes to bring out their natural sweetness through caramelization before stirring.

Make the Most of Leftovers

Like many hashes and stir-fries, these flavors only improve with time. Refrigerate leftovers in meal prep containers for easy reheating during your busiest days of the week ahead.

Mix Up the Salsa

Customize each batch with new salsa flavors and heat levels. Rotating between fresh pico de gallo, red enchilada sauce, verde salsa, pineapple salsa and more keeps meals vibrant.

Try New Spice Blend Combos

Southwest seasoning, lemon pepper, Cajun rubs, garam masala or Italian herbs offer global flavor twists on traditional turkey hash.

Troubleshooting Common Pitfalls

Even experienced cooks face minor baking mishaps. Here are some turkey hash trouble spots and how to prevent them:

Mushy Squash

If using butternut squash, cut uniform small dice pieces to ensure even cooking. Overly large chunks may burn outside before the insides soften.

Undercooked Ground Turkey

To banish pink specks, use a thermometer to confirm ground turkey reaches 165°F internally. Breaking meat into smaller crumbles as it browns makes this easier.

Too Spicy or Too Bland

Adjust salsa ingredients to find your ideal level of heat. Sample the hash before serving to tweak seasonings as needed for personalized flavor balance.

Dry or Sticky Mixtures

If mix seems dry, add veggie broth or water 1⁄4 cup at a time until the desired saucy consistency emerges. For stickiness, increase oil or turkey fat during cooking.

Serving Suggestions for Satisfying Meals

This hearty one-skillet preparation makes for a satisfying meal anytime of day. Consider these serving ideas:

Breakfast Hash

Wake up to Turkey salsa hash by cracking eggs right over the top in the hot skillet so they fry sunnyside up alongside the hash mixture.

Lunch Bowls

Scoop turkey hash into meal prep bowls alongside brown rice, greens, avocado, Greek yogurt and hot sauce for build-your-own lunch bowls.

Festive Entrees

Heap the flavorful turkey, veggie and salsa mixture over warmed corn tortillas for DIY tacos. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese and lime wedges. Olé!

Simple Side Dishes

In smaller portions, turkey hash makes a slimmed-down alternative to heavy traditional potato or corned beef hash as a hearty side for chicken, pork chops or plant-based proteins.

This single-skillet preparation pulls double duty as either a full meal or accompanying dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare turkey salsa hash ahead of time?

Yes! Prepare the full recipe then refrigerate hash in an airtight container up to four days. Reheat stovetop or microwave until steaming. Salsa flavors continue developing.

What drinks pair best with this dish?

Cold beer or white wine make excellent choices. Herbal iced tea, lemonade, horchata or sparkling water also balance flavors.

Do I need to salt each ingredient as I add it?

Taste before seasoning each element, but realize flavors combine during final simmering. Often less individual salting equals better overall flavor balance.

Can I freeze any leftovers?

Absolutely! Allow to cool completely first, then divide into single portions in freezer bags or containers up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.

What if my household doesn’t enjoy spicy food?

Substitute a mild green chile salsa or omit peppers altogether. Customize heat elements based on your audience while allowing other flavors to shine.


From its lean, protein-packed turkey to vibrant squash, tomatoes and spicy homemade salsa, this sensational hash truly brings all food groups together in one nutritionally balanced, craveably delicious skillet meal. Simply prep fresh vegetables, brown ground meat, stir together and serve!

Adjust heat, vegetables and consistencies to cater this recipe to your unique preferences. Leftovers hold up wonderfully for effortless lunches on the go, too.

For a meal that’s as fun to eat as it is good for you, whip up a batch of zesty turkey salsa hash with butternut squash this week! Your tastebuds will thank you.

“Did you enjoy this turkey salsa hash with butternut squash recipe? Follow us on Instagram @ketotacosalad for more delicious keto recipes and mouthwatering food photos!

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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