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Turkey chili with black beans and sweet potatoes

turkey chili with black beans and sweet potatoes

I love chili and we make it a lot in the autumn and winter. Sometimes you need to try something different, however, maybe lighten things up, eat less red meat, cram in a few more superfoods? That’s where this turkey chili came from, and it’s really delicious.

Turkey chili with black beans and sweet potatoes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 med onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (or more) whole fresh jalapenos, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-2.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey (extra lean)
  • 2 28oz tins of diced tomatoes w/ juices
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a rough dice (half inch pieces or bigger, don’t be fussy)
  • 2-3 cups of black beans (pre-cooked or tinned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tin corn niblets
  • Grated cheese, chopped cilantro and diced avocado to serve.


  1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large (6qt) dutch oven or heavy pot. Saute onion over med-low heat for 5 mins to soften. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for another 5 mins.
  2. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder and pepper. Stir and saute for 2-3 mins. The pot will seem really dry at this point, but it’s ok. We’ll fix that in a minute.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir, then toss in uncooked ground turkey. Stir occasionally until turkey is cooked through. This can take 10-15 mins on med-low.
  4. Add one and a half tins of diced tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Let this simmer for 15-20 mins. Hang on to the rest of the tomatoes, you may need them
  5. Add the diced sweet potatoes and stir to combine. When this comes back to a simmer, cover and let cook over low heat until the sweet potatoes are almost cooked through (25-30 mins).
  6. Add beans and corn, stir to combine, then let simmer for another 10-15 mins over low.
  7. Add the rest of the tomatoes if it seems too dry.

At this point the turkey chili is technically done, but it will sit indefinitely and will just get better with time.  Eventually the sweet potatoes will disintegrate, but that’s no big deal.

Serve with crusty bread and butter, top with cheese, fresh cilantro, and some diced avocado.

This isn’t super spicy (unless you’ve used a hot chili powder), so feel free to add hot sauces or whatever if you like.