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This lean, healthy turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. It’s also gluten-free & dairy-free! This crockpot chili is delicious and fresh but is also a great make-ahead meal.
About This Recipe
‘Tis the season for a good, healthy slow cooker recipe!
In the midst of heavy holiday meals and baked goods, this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans is…hmmm…refreshing.
Can chili be refreshing? Well, not like refreshing in as a cold drink on a hot day. But, it definitely qualifies as a welcomed break from the overindulgent foods of late. It was a winner and will be a regular in our winter menu planning for sure. The jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.
What Makes This Turkey Chili Healthy?
This lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients.
Here are some of the powerhouse ingredients in this delicious, yet, oh-so-healthy chili:
- Sweet potatoes (a superfood!)
- Jalapeño pepper
- Lean ground turkey (lighter than ground beef)
- Tomato paste
- Petite diced tomatoes
- Broth (make your own with this recipe!)
- Black beans
Is it Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free?
You bet! This is a great recipe for anyone trying to minimize gluten and dairy in their diet. Just skip the sour cream topping at the end and you have yourself a super healthy bowl of chili!
How Long do I Cook Turkey Chili in the Slow Cooker?
To make sure those sweet potatoes get cooked, this chili will need to cook on low for at least 6-8 hours. The shorter the time it cooks, the more firm the sweet potatoes will be. The longer, the softer.
You can also cook it on high for 5-6 but I prefer to cook it on low.
After testing hundreds of recipes for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we have narrowed down the perfect cooking times for almost all types of slow cooker meals. Be sure to download our cheat sheet below.
Can I Freeze Turkey Chili?
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for an easy, healthy freezer meal. It holds up incredibly well in the freezer! It’s one of my favorite soups to make at the beginning of the week and freeze for lunches.
There are two ways to make this a freezer meal:
- Fully cook and cool the soup and freeze it in small containers. Use one of our safe thawing methods when you want to eat it!
- Prepare it so it will be ready to dump in the slow cooker later. Here’s how:
Follow step 1, but set the sweet potato aside to cool instead of transferring it to the slow cooker. Follow step 2 and let the meat mixture cool. Transfer the sweet potatoes and meat mixture to a gallon-size freezer bag or container and add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 ⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Seal, toss gently to combine, and freeze.
To prepare from frozen, thawing and transfer the chili to the slow cooker. Follow steps 4 and 5.
Pro Tip: I love using Super Cubes (like in the photo above) for freezing soups.
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, divided
- 3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, liquid and all
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 can (15 ounce) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- Topping for serving: hot sauce, diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, diced onions, salsa, thinly sliced green onion, etc.
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Make It Now:
- In a large pan over medium to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté diced sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes, until just softened. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Add sweet potato mixture to slow cooker insert.
- Turn up heat to medium-high. In same pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the onions, jalapeño pepper, garlic and ground turkey, stirring and breaking up the meat. Cook until meat is cooked through (no longer pink) and onions softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Drain off any grease. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- Add meat mixture and remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the slow cooker insert, stirring until well combined.
- Slow cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts. Add hot sauce to increase heat at the end, if desired. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings (diced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced onions, etc.).
Freezer For Later: Complete recipe through Step 2. Add the cooked and cooled meat and vegetables to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Then, add the remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the same bag. Seal, toss gently to mix, and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: Thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Cook according to instructions beginning with Step 4.
Instant Pot Instructions: Follow steps 1-2 in the recipe, sautéing the sweet potatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ground turkey directly in the Instant Pot (using the Sauté function). Press Cancel. Then, stir in the remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans). Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes with a quick release of the pressure when done.