Sweet Potato Turkey Chili with Black Beans

Happy 2019!! And we’re kicking off the new year right with this sweet potato turkey chili with black beans!

It’s smoky, it’s spicy, it’s got a touch of warmth, a hint of sweetness! Or as my husband likes to call it, the best chili I’ve ever made.

A white bowl filled with Sweet Potato Turkey Chili on a white plate with a napkin on the side.

It’s a bold statement, I know. BUT. I must say that I might just agree with him.

Because between the flavor and the almost creamy, thick texture, this chili is just darn good.

Especially when served with ALL the toppings. My personal favorites? Cashew sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro and dreamy sliced avocado. <— Which, um, is not pictured because I haven’t been able to get my hands on non-rotten avocados for about two weeks. It’s a sad day over here.

ANYWAY.

This sweet potato chili just gets better and better as it sits, making it excellent for leftovers (or freezing!) and perfect for parties. Game day here we come.

Now. I didn’t put this in the weeknight category (as it takes a smidge over an hour to make). BUT I will say that it is totally doable during the week. Once you get it simmering away on the stovetop, all you need to do is just stir every so often.

It’s a healthy, easy dinner coming right up!

Chopped red pepper, sweet potatoes and red onion, and then a dutch oven filled with chili.

How To Make Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

Alright, let’s talk about how this turkey chili goes down.

We start by sautéing some red onion and bell pepper in a large stockpot. Once tender, we add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Next, we add in diced sweet potatoes, canned tomatoes, black beans, a bit of broth and plenty of spices (including smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce!). It all gets stirred together and then simmers away until the veggies are perfectly soft and the chili has thickened up.

NOW. Let’s talk about a step that may seem a bit odd but really makes the chili pop. Once it’s finished cooking, we’ll blend a small portion (about 2 cups) until mostly smooth and then stir back into the rest of the chili.

This helps give the chili the perfect final texture and makes it somehow taste as if it’s been simmering for much much longer. {You can see the difference in texture when you compare the above photo (which is the chili right after it’s finished cooking) to the photo below (which shows it after it’s been blended).}  

This is a trick I learned from Cookie and Kate’s homemade vegetarian chili – which is also a recipe I highly recommend!

A side angle photo of Sweet Potato Turkey Chili in a white bowl topped with cashew sour cream and cilantro.

Tips & Tricks For This Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

  1. Let’s chat about the sweet potatoes. First and foremost – make sure that you cut the sweet potatoes into the listed ½ inch chunks. This ensures that they’ll cook in the allotted time. Now, I like to leave the skin on (since there’s so many great nutrients in there), but you could absolutely peel the sweet potatoes if desired. Totally up to you.
  2. If you don’t like spice, you can use less chipotle peppers to taste. As written, the chili isn’t super spicy (at least in my opinion!), but you could definitely cut it down to one chipotle pepper and go from there.
  3. Now, you want to maintain a gentle simmer once you get your chili going. I need to turn the heat down over time and eventually turn it all the way down to low (usually for the last 15 minutes). So keep an eye on it! And don’t forget to stir occasionally – this is important as it starts to thicken up and will help prevent the bottom from burning.
  4. I mention this above but let’s talk briefly about pureeing a portion of your chili in a blender. While I think this gives the finished product the perfect texture, you absolutely don’t need to do it (but I would encourage you to give it a try!). I blend about two ladlefuls of chili and always need to add a splash of broth to get it going. It won’t be perfectly smooth but that’s okay – we just want it mostly pureed before adding back to the pot.
  5. And finally, keep in mind that the chili will thicken up even more as leftovers. I like to keep some extra broth on hand to thin it out a bit before reheating.

Now grab a spoon and let’s dig in!

Two bowls of Sweet Potato Turkey Chili with a plate of tortilla chips in the background.

Additional Healthy Chili Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili with Black Beans

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili with Black Beans

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Crowd pleasing sweet potato turkey chili with black beans! Easy, healthy & simple, this delicious stovetop chili is packed with smoky, spicy flavor! And a touch of sweetness from the potatoes & cinnamon! Excellent for dinner or parties!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3 cups cubed sweet potato (½ inch chunks)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large stockpot or dutch oven set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, until no longer pink and cooked through. 
  2. Stir in the sweet potato, tomatoes, black beans, broth, chipotle peppers, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer gently, adjusting the heat as needed and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the chili has thickened and the sweet potatoes are tender (if you find your chili getting too thick, add in some extra broth a little at a time). Remove from the heat.
  3. Transfer 1 ½ to 2 cups of the chili to a blender and process until pureed. {Be careful while doing this - there will be hot steam! If needed, add in a splash of broth to get it going in the blender.} Stir the blended mixture back into the rest of the chili, then taste and season with additional salt as needed. Serve as desired!

Notes

If you are gluten free - please be sure to check the ingredients on your chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Some brands do contain wheat!

Serving ideas! Here are a few of my favorites: chopped fresh cilantro, cashew sour cream / regular sour cream / greek yogurt, sliced avocado, grated cheese and / or tortilla chips!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 91mg Sodium: 1053mg Carbohydrates: 48g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 13g Protein: 34g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.