The closest I’ve ever come to “meal prepping” was when I first started using the CrockPot to prep dinners in advance. So if same day meal prepping counts, then sure, I meal prep, lol! The reason I haven’t in the past is because I get bored of eating the same thing. I can also guarantee I won’t know what I’m going to be in the mood for a week in advance. This Sweet Potato Turkey Chili might convert me though.
My husband is convinced he could eat this meal every week and not get tired of it. I think I’m pretty much convinced too. I usually have turkey meat and sweet potatoes on hand, which is what inspired this recipe in the first place. The thing I love about CrockPot recipes is that I can quickly get rid of what I have in the fridge and don’t have to think about how to cook it. This recipe can definitely adapt to other ingredients you might have available so feel free to get creative when making this.
A Healthy Chili Alternative
You could say this isn’t your average chili recipe. I like to experiment with “non-traditional” ingredients mainly so I can use what I have on hand. I also like to switch things up to make recipes healthier whenever possible. This recipe uses lean turkey meat, sweet potatoes, and homemade chili seasoning. Usually, I would add a bit of sugar to my chili recipes but that’s the amazing thing about using sweet potatoes—that sweet flavor profile is already in there and pairs so well with the saltiness and spice of the other ingredients.
I never cooked with turkey meat until I met my husband. The only reason he used it up until that point was to stay thin. And he was committed. He was legit using the 99% lean stuff (aka cardboard). I had the same initial reaction as the aunt in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “YOU DON’T EAT NO MEAT?!?” Needless to say, I put the veto on that. But I did adopt the use of turkey meat in our weekly roundup of dinner recipes, typically in the form of turkey burgers. For this recipe, I used 85% lean meat, which is straight up *chef’s kiss*.
Ingredients You Need to Make Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
This is recipe does not contain an exhaustive list of ingredients. It is absolutely fabulous if you make it exactly as it’s listed below but I can think of at least 10 other potential ingredients that would mesh well with this.
What you need:
- Ground turkey meat (or other ground meat of your choice)
- Uncooked cubed Sweet potatoes
- Canned Tomato sauce
- Canned Diced tomatoes with green chilies
- Minced garlic
- Green onions
- Chicken bouillon cubes (any flavor bouillon works)
- Cholula Hot Sauce (Original Texas Pete would work too)
- Chili Seasoning (I use a simple homemade mix)
Note that this recipe was created for a 3qt size crockpot. If you’re cooking for a bigger crowd, go ahead and double all the ingredients!
If you dont have a shallot or green onions, one half of a small onion would be a fine substitute. You could substitute half of the cubed sweet potato with white beans or chickpeas, which would be delicious and add another color element.
For me, the hot sauce really brought this whole meal together. But you can eliminate or reduce the spicyness if that’s not your thing. Instead, try smoked paprika or one of my favorites: sumac (very common middle eastern spice). Smoked paprika will add another layer of depth to this and give you that cozy fall chili smokiness. Sumac is one of my favorite spices because of that unmistakable lemony-citrus zing it gives everything you put it on. Its hard to describe but definitely one of a kind.
How to Make Homemade Chili Seasoning
Not so fun fact: Chili seasoning packets have a bunch of unnecessary preservatives and additives in them. They’re also just an unneeded expense if you have a good collection of spices on hand. You probably already have everything you need in your pantry to mix up your own.
I just save old jelly jars to mix up my homemade seasonings and store them on our spice rack. Follow the steps below to create your own Chili Seasoning mixture.
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- .5 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Add all spices to a jar or shaker and shake it up to combine!
I am such a big fan of a make-ahead crockpot recipe especially when its as easy as this sweet potato turkey chili. I can’t wait for you to try this and I would love to hear in the comments how you made it uniquely your own. Let me know what recipes you want to see next!
Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- 1 3 Qt Crockpot
- 1 ¼ lb cooked ground turkey meat I use 85% lean
- 3 cubed small sweet potatoes or 2 medium sized
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 10 oz water
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 small shallot diced
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 ½ tbsp chili seasoning I use a homemade blend of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper
- 1 tbsp Cholula Hot Sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- reserved chopped green onions
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- Start with your produce. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Chop the celery, shallot, and green onions. Add everything to the crockpot. Reserve green onion ends for topping.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and bouillon cubes to the crockpot.
- Meanwhile, sauté the ground turkey. Set a skillet on medium high heat and prep with 1 tbsp of olive or avocado oil. Add in 1 tbsp of minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add the ground turkey. Break up the meat and stir occasionally until fully cooked.
- Once meat is fully cooked, add to the crockpot and mix everything to combine.
- Add 10 oz of water, chili seasoning, salt, pepper, and Cholula.
- Set Crockpot to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Ladle chili into bowls and top with desired toppings!