Slow Cooker Whole30 Chili

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This Slow Cooker Whole30 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. The spices in this chili combine wonderfully with the sweetness of the sweet potato. Add all the toppings you can think of for fresh flavor with this savory slow-cooked chili. It’s bean-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo.

Straight down view of two bowls Whole30 sweet potato chili topped with avocado slices, cilantro, and jalapeno slice.

I really hated chili growing up. I mean we’re talking so much dislike that I would gladly go without dinner if I could have. Whenever chili was on the menu, I would eat about 1/4 cup of chili with a big bowlful of toppings, (yay for toppings)!

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that it 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, 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 how the spicy meat pairs with the sweet potato. And we’re also fans of how easy it is to make this slow cooker Whole30 chili as well.

Side view of two bowls of Whole30 sweet potato turkey chili with all the toppings and avocado on the side.

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 of 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!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients for Whole30 chili: ground turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, garlic, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste in small bowls on a wood cutting board.
  • Ground turkey – other types of ground meat also work like lean ground beef and ground pork.
  • Onions & garlic – white onions and yellow onions both work in this recipe. And for the garlic, use a garlic press to speed up the prep time. I don’t recommend jarred garlic.
  • Spices – I use a mix of ancho chili powder and chili powder for greater depth of flavor, but just chili powder is also listed in the recipe as an option. From there a bit of cumin and oregano rounds out the chili flavor we all know and love.
  • Sweet potatoes – are what I use in place of beans for this chili and their sweet flavor is great with chili spices. There is also an option below to add black beans as well if desired.
  • Tomatoes – I use a mix of canned tomatoes and tomato paste for the best tomato flavor. I have tried tomato sauce and it’s just not as good so I don’t recommend it.

How to make this recipe step by step

Diced up white onion on a black cutting board.

Step 1: Start by dicing up the onion.

One key to this recipe is to cut the onions into a small dice, otherwise they’ll be a tad crunchy.

Diced up sweet potato chunks on a black cutting board.

Step 2: Trim the sweet potatoes and peel them if desired.

Then cut them into large (but still bite-sized) chunks.

Mixing together the ground beef with the onions and chili spices in a slow cooker bowl.

Step 3: 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.

Adding the diced sweet potatoes to the slow cooker bowl.

Step 4: Place the sweet potatoes over the top of the turkey mixture

Pouring the tomato sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker bowl.

Step 5: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.

Mixing together the chili ingredients in the slow cooker bowl with a wood spoon.

Step 6: Mix to combine 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

Side view of the finished Whole30 chili in two bowls with all the toppings and a halved avocado on the side.

Ways to serve this Slow Cooker Whole30 Chili

  • Enjoy this chili with Whole30 toppings: avocado, red onion, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, or make your own Whole30 sour cream.
  • If you’re not doing a Whole30, try this chili with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese or pepperjack cheese.


What is the secret to making good chili?

My secret for the best-tasting chili is to use a good amount of spices for full flavor but still balanced and not overwhelming with chili powder.

Can I use beans in this chili?

Yes, you can add beans to this chili, it isn’t Whole30 but I hope you customize this to your taste. Beans are a budget-friendly option, and my favorite is to add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the slow cooker. The black beans are perfect with the sweet potato.

Storing leftovers

  • To store – store any leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Make ahead – this chili gets better as it sits, so feel free to make it ahead and reheat as desired.
  • Reheating – add leftovers to a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat stirring often until heated.
  • To freeze – this chili freezes fairly well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. The sweet potatoes will become much softer after freezing.
Close up straight down view of Whole30 turkey sweet potato chili in a bowl topped with avocado slices, cilantro, and red onion.

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!

Dietary Options & Substitutions

  • Dairy-free – this recipe is dairy-free, but you can add dairy-free sour cream and cheese if desired.
  • Paleo – choose from the Whole30 topping options in the recipe. Make your own paleo sour cream, or drizzle this chili with my creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing (it’s also Whole30).
Two bowls of Whole30 chili with sliced avocado, jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro on top.

Best Toppings for this Slow Cooker Chili

  • Diced red onion or sliced green onion.
  • Avocado which is probably my favorite!
  • Chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Sour cream/dairy-free/Whole30 alternative.
  • My creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing is my favorite dairy-free & Whole30 topping.
  • Sliced jalapenos for a touch of spice.
  • Grated cheddar cheese if you can have dairy.
Straight down view of Whole30 Chili with all the toppings in a bowl with a havled avocado and cilantro on the side.

I really hope you enjoy this easy slow cooker Whole30 Chili! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Side view of the finished Whole30 chili in two bowls with all the toppings and a halved avocado on the side.

Slow Cooker Whole30 Chili

4.84 from 6 votes
Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 6
Course: Dinner


  • 1 pound ground turkey - ground beef, chicken, or pork
  • 1 medium onion - about 12 ounces, diced very small
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder - (or 1 additional Tablespoon chili powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp sea salt - or to your taste see notes
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes - or diced tomatoes, try fire roasted tomatoes for a variation
  • 6 ounces canned tomato paste


  • lime wedges, cilantro, sliced green onion, avocado - optional: Whole30 sour cream/sour cream, grated cheddar cheese.


  • 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, (peel if desired). 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.
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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.
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Paleo Slow Cooker Chili, Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili Recipe, Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe

nutrition facts

Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1376mg | Potassium: 1489mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 28217IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 5mg
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This recipe was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2020 & 2023 with new photos and more tips and information.

54 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Whole30 Chili”

    • 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!

    • 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!

  1. 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!

    • 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! 🙂

    • 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!

  2. 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!


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