This Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Turkey Chili is the perfect easy recipe when you want comfort food with no fuss & minimal cleanup! It simmers away in the slow cooker all day filling the house with mouth watering smells that will make you hungry when you walk through the door. It’s bean free and perfect for loading up with all sorts of toppings. It’s also Whole30, paleo, and gluten free as well.
I really hated chili growing up. I mean we’re talking so much dislike that I would gladly go without dinner if I could. Whenever chili was on the menu, I would eat about 1/4 cup chili with a big bowlful of toppings, (yay for toppings)!
It wasn’t until I was older I realized that is wasn’t the chili so much as the kidney beans that I hated. And I’ll admit I still don’t like them despite my best efforts. Lately though, one of my friends has been making chili with sweet potatoes, and that got me thinking I should give chili another chance. This time around without any beans whatsoever.
So… that brings us up to the present, and I’ve just had this chili 4 DAYS IN A ROW and I’m loving it. This is a definite success on the chili front! I’m head over heels for the way the spicy meat pairs with the sweet potato.
And of course… there’s nary a mealy / chalky kidney bean in sight. I’ve also added a few new toppings as an adult. And I must say that avocado, lime wedges, and cilantro are just the thing to take chili to the next level!
So that’s the story for how I ended up loving chili. And maybe if you’re not the hugest fan of chili, this might be the recipe that changes your mind. I even fed this to a family member who hates sweet potato and he ate several bowls!
The combination of chili spices with the sweetness of sweet potatoes is so good. Also as a bonus this chili recipe ended up being allergy friendly since it’s gluten free, paleo, and Whole30 as well.
Make this recipe step by step
Step 1: We’re going to start by dicing up the onions.
One key to this recipe is to cut the onions into a small dice, otherwise they’ll be a tad crunchy.
Step 2: Next we’ll mix together the ground turkey with the spices and diced onions.
Make sure to break up the ground turkey well as you mix.
Step 3: For the sweet potatoes, cut off both ends and trim any bad spots. My sweet potatoes were only a couple of inches in diameter, so I cut them in quarters and then, cut the quarters crosswise into 1 -1/2 inch chunks.
Feel free to peel you sweet potatoes as well if they have lots of spots on the skin or smell musty.
After the sweet potatoes are added to the slow cooker, pour the blended tomato sauce mixture over the top.
Mix everything together and choose a slow cooker time – 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 on high. When the chili is done, season to taste with salt and serve with toppings galore.
Best toppings for chili
- Diced red onion or sliced green onion.
- Avocado which is probably my favorite!
- Chopped fresh cilantro.
- Sour cream/dairy free alternative.
- Sliced jalapenos for a touch of spice.
- Grated cheddar cheese if you can have dairy.
Tips & Tricks
- Everyone’s slow cooker seems to work at different speeds. Mine took 10 hours to cook my sweet potatoes all the way through. I would recommend trying this or any slow cooker recipe the first time on a day when you’re home. That way, you’ll be around when it’s ready and you can add your own notes about cooking time to the recipe.
- The whole tomatoes, combined with the tomato paste really adds to the chili experience. I added the tomato paste in an effort to make a fuller sauce, not quite so watery. It worked wonders for the texture, adds a natural sweetness that cuts the acidity, and adds depth to the sauce. This also makes for a super thick chili. If it’s too thick for your taste, feel free to add some broth at the end of the cooking time.
- The recipe calls for ancho chili powder which is really tasty, (try it as a rub on grilled chicken or fish). If you can’t find it, don’t worry, you can use regular chili powder with great results!
More slow cooker recipe inspiration
- Rosemary Chicken with Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooker Applesauce
- Honey Lime Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken
- Slow Cooker Salsa Beef
I hope you get a chance to make this Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili, and if you do, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here in the comments. And also over on Instagram where you can tag me at #getinspiredeveryday with your photos of what you make.Print
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
- Total Time: 8 hours 15 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This chili is one of the easiest and tastiest dinners you’ll ever make! It’s also Whole30 and perfect for loading up with every topping imaginable.
1 pound ground turkey or chicken, (I like dark meat)
1 onion, about 12 ounces, diced very small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder, (or 1 additional Tablespoon chili powder)
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 Teaspoons sea salt, or to your taste see notes
2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes
1 – 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
lime wedges, cilantro, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, grated cheddar, sliced jalapenos, diced red onions or sliced green onions
Place the ground turkey, onions, garlic, spices, and sea salt in a 4-quart crockpot. Use a wooden spoon to break up the turkey and mix everything together.
Cut the ends off the sweet potatoes and trim off any unsightly bits. Then, cut them into quarters lengthwise. Cut the quarters crosswise into chunks about 1 1/2 inches in size.
Place the sweet potatoes over the top of the turkey mixture.
Place the whole tomatoes and tomato paste in a blender and blend until combined but still chunky. Pour the tomato mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes and turn the crockpot to low.
Cook for 8-10 hours, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Taste the chili and add salt to your taste.
Serve with any and all toppings you desire.
Start with less salt during the cooking time, then test and season to your taste when the chili is done.
The nutrition facts are calculated without the toppings.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili Recipe, Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, Paleo Slow Cooker Chili, Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe
54 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Turkey Chili”
Sweet potatoes- unpeeled??
I make this both ways, peeled and unpeeled, so whichever you choose will be fine. I just make sure to thoroughly scrub them if I’m keeping the peels on! I hope you enjoy this one, and be sure and let me know if you have anymore questions!
What would instapot cooking time be?
I haven’t tested it myself, but my best guess would be to sauté the ground turkey, then pressure cook for 20 minutes. I sure hope you enjoy it!
I made this with the addition of pan fried corn liberally dusted with smoked paprika to add more texture and another layer of flavor. This is a winner with everyone who tasted it – even those who don’t care for chili, smoked flavors or turkey!
I’m so glad to hear everyone enjoyed it! And I can’t wait to try your variation with the corn and smoked paprika, that sounds amazing!
I have a 6 quart crockpot. Should I adjust the recipe?
You shouldn’t need to adjust the ingredients, I think the cooking time might be a little shorter by maybe an hour or two (just a guess). But if you did want lots and lots of chili, you could make 1 1/2 times the recipe and keep the cooking time the same. Let me know how it goes, or if you have anymore questions! 🙂
Don’t see kidney beans in the ingredient list???
I didn’t put any beans in this version of chili, but you can sure put some in if you like kidney beans, (black beans would be a great choice as well). I hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!
If you can’t stand the texture of kidney beans, try mashing the beans that also adds extra thickening to the chili. Also, I’ve found that a tablespoon of molasses takes out any bitterness and gives chili a really good flavor. I’ve not tried this recipe yet but I’m currently making the sweet potato, ground turkey, slow cooker recipe. It smells so good!
Mashing the beans sounds like a great idea, thanks for the awesome tip! I hope you enjoy this recipe, this is one of my favorites, especially to make for a crowd!
Thanks for the recipe. I was wondering, is it possible to add in a chopped up avocado at the beginning of the process and have it kind of absorb into the recipe? I’ve been wondering about doing this in any slow cooker recipe, as I am not the biggest fan of cold avocado slices, but would like the health benefits of eating avocados. What are your thoughts? Thanks!
I wouldn’t add in the avocado at the beginning for a couple of reasons, the first being that avocado shouldn’t be cooked very long in the rare cases it’s heated, and secondly I don’t think you get the same benefits of avocado once it’s cooked. One thing you might try is having your avocado at room temperature so that it isn’t cold on top of your chili, or if plain avocado isn’t your thing you might like my guacamole recipe that’s on the blog as well. If you did want to add it right to the chili, I would stir it in right before you eat it, and only cook it long enough to barely warm the avocado. If you think you might have leftovers, add the avocado just to the amount you’re going to use because avocado tends to turn brown after it’s heated. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know how it goes, or if you have anymore questions! 🙂
I am assuming the ground turkey is cooked before putting in or is it uncooked?
It’s uncooked, all the ingredients go in as is, and the slow cooker does the rest. I hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂
Hi -do you take the skin off the sweet potatoes before dicing?
Also, is the chili too thick? My other recipe for turkey chili calls for a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato soup. That consistency was nice (just not sure Campbell tomato soup is compliant)
I don’t peel the sweet potatoes before dicing, but you could if you don’t like the skin. This chili is pretty thick, but if you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add a bit of chicken stock towards the end of the cooking time until your desired consistency is reached. I would salt to taste towards the end of the cooking time if you’re using chicken stock because the different brands really vary on sodium content, so how much salt you’ll need for the recipe will vary accordingly. I hope you enjoy the recipe, be sure to let me know how it goes and if you have anymore questions!
My coworker makes this recipe and has it for lunch all the time. Tonight is my first time trying it!
Do you need to mix everything up in the crockpot? Or should I just leave it layered? Also – can I cook it on the high setting to get a faster result?
I would mix everything in the crockpot, it helps to breakup the ground turkey, that way so there isn’t any bigger chunks of meat. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t cook it on high, it’s usually about half the cooking time as low heat. I haven’t actually cooked this recipe on high yet, but since it’s a very thick chili, I would check often and stir it towards the end of the cooking time to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the crockpot. Let me know how it goes and if you have anymore questions!
I too despise kidney beans and love sweet potatoes! Trying this one tomorrow but I had some ground lamb and pork I needed to cook up so substituting that for the ground turkey. Hopefully my 5 year old will eat all of her dinner for a change.
I’d love to know how the lamb/pork combo goes, it sounds like it’ll be delicious!