Spicy Sweet Potato Chili

It’s been unseasonably warm here in Chicago, and with all the rain it’s been feeling more like spring than Christmas time. The temperature actually got up into the 60’s yesterday! That said, I needed a meal that would remind me that, yes, it is actually winter; so I pulled this Chili out of the recipe box. If you’re having a lazy day at home, you can make it on the stove, or you can throw it together in the crock pot so it’s ready to go when you walk in the door at the end of the day. Either way, I love this recipe not only because it’s quick, and super simple, but it’s also healthy without tasting like it.
Sweet Potato ChilliI like my chili on the spicy side, but the hubby can’t quite handle the heat, so this is fairly middle of the road in terms of the kick from the chili powder. You can add more or less, depending on your preference. To add some depth and richness to the flavors, and to cut the spice a little, I also add some unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s perfect hot off the stove, and even better for leftover lunch the next day.


2 lbs. ground turkey or beef
1 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large can (29.5 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups petite diced tomatoes, with juice
3 cups beef stock
3 cups celery
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup chili powder
1 teaspoons black pepper
1/4  teaspoon dried oregano


  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions translucent.
  2. Season the meat well with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Break up any large chunks with a spatula and cook until thoroughly browned. Drain off the fat.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Mix well, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Slow Cooker Option: Instead of simmering the chili on the stove, you can brown the ground beef, add the other ingredients, then put it all in your crockpot and let it simmer on low all day (6-8 hours) or on high for 4-5 hours.


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