Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with beans (Two Ways!)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with beans is perfect for those who are looking for a quick and healthy meal that will taste delicious without too much work. The best part about this dish is that the prep time is minimal, yet the flavor is anything but. It can be simmered stove top or set up in a slow-cooker.

This chili has been a favorite from the first time I tried it. Adding sweet potatoes to this chili recipe, a classic pairing with black beans, adds a unique flavor and texture that is not only healthier but also delicious.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, along with beta carotene, iron, potassium, and magnesium. I love the fact that you don’t feel like you’re eating all those yummy vitamins because of their sweet taste. This recipe is a winner for healthy meal planning your whole family will enjoy eating.

Chili with ground turkey

This Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with ground turkey is a great swap for ground beef, both in the saturated fat department and also on the price tag if you went for leaner beef. Turkey also provides protein, iron, and vitamins B-6 and B-12 - all nutrients that are essential to supporting your well being!

Using lean ground meats for this chili with beans recipe adds many healthy ingredients. Ground turkey is the foundation, and sweet potatoes and beans round it out to make a delicious, healthy meal.

Healthy ingredients for turkey sweet potato chili, made with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, and homemade chili seasoning

Shredded Turkey Chili

Or, because the best part of Thanksgiving, or any holiday, is the leftovers, this is a great way to transform a roasted turkey after you’ve carved. Cooked turkey keeps well in the fridge for several days, and up to two months in the freezer.

Instead of eating the same old leftover turkey sandwich for days, try this turkey sweet potato chili. This recipe gives you a shredded turkey variation that will help you reimagine the last bits of the bird once you’re Thanksgiving-ed and holiday-ed out. A mixture of dark and white meat provides a lot of depth and richness to the chili. The full-bodied flavor is welcome during the cooler months, and is a terrific addition to game day parties or tailgates!

Homemade chili seasoning

The mix of seasonings in this recipe is what really sets this chili apart: a little spice and a lot of flavor. It is sure to please many, even children. And as the cook, knowing you are making a homemade meal for the people you love is golden.

Homemade meal made with a seasoning blend for turkey sweet potato chili (the secret ingredient is cinnamon!)

This recipe is also really adaptable to the tastes of you and your family. If you’re vegetarian, take out the ground turkey and double the beans, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth. If you like more sweet potato, corn, or beans, it really doesn’t take much to adapt to your taste.

Does turkey chili taste different than beef chili?

Due to the differences in the types of meat, turkey chili does have a slightly different flavor and texture than beef chili.

Because of its naturally higher fat content, beef tastes a bit richer and has a depth of flavor that turkey will not reach on its own. Turkey is a leaner meat than beef, and it tends to have a lighter flavor, which serves to showcase more of the spices and other ingredients used.

What to serve with chili

There are many delicious options for what to serve with chili. Some popular options include:

  1. Cornbread: Cornbread is a classic choice to serve with chili. It's a delicious and crumbly bread that pairs well with hearty flavors.
  2. Rice: Rice is a simple and versatile side dish that goes well with chili. You can serve white or brown rice, depending on your preference.
  3. Salad: A fresh and crunchy salad can be a great way to balance out the richness of the chili. Try serving a simple mixed greens salad.
  4. Tortilla chips: Tortilla chips are a tasty and convenient option to serve with chili. They can be used to scoop up the chili or as a crunchy topping. Have you tried the baked options?
  5. Sour cream and cheese: A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese can add a creamy and tangy element to the chili.
  6. Hot sauce: For those who like a little heat with their chili, hot sauce can be a tasty addition.
  7. Sliced avocado: Sliced avocado adds a fresh and beautiful element to chili (along with bonus fiber).
  8. Cilantro: Cilantro is a fragrant herb with a bright, citrusy flavor that can add a unique taste to chili. It can help to balance out the savory flavors of the turkey and other ingredients.

There are many other options for what to serve with chili, so feel free to get creative and experiment with different sides and toppings.

Mealtime conversation starters

Smiling dual carrot cartoon, used as an icon for reflective conversation starters

Taking the time to learn about yourself, and others gives ‘nuggets’ of insights into what is important to you and what you value, as well as the others involved in the conversation. It gives everyone opportunities for growth and learning.

A quote on reflection:

“We do not learn from experience . . . we learn from reflecting on experience.” ~John Dewey

A reflective question to spark a personal learning experience:
Q: Which three objects would you save first if your house caught fire?

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Recipe for Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with beans
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5 from 7 votes

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with beans (Two Ways!)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili is perfect for those who are looking for a quick meal that will taste delicious without too much work. Use ground turkey or leftover shredded turkey, along with black beans and sweet potatoes for a classic flavor pairing.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 371
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey 93/7 (or cooked shredded turkey)
  • 4 cups sweet potato peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 28 oz petite diced tomatoes canned
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable bullion)
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn frozen
  • 15 oz black beans canned, drained


  • In preparation: coarsely chop onions, and mince garlic. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes, and measure 4 cups.
  • In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Mix to combine, and set aside to use later.
  • In a large saucepan, or soup pot, drizzle olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Push onions to the side and add ground turkey. Add half the seasoning mixture from step 2 with the ground turkey. Continue cooking over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until turkey is almost cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and rest of seasoning ingredients into the chili mixture. Mix chili thoroughly and reduce heat to low.
  • Cover pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • Mix in drained corn and black beans. Cover and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Check to see if sweet potatoes are fork-tender before serving. If you would like a slightly thicker chili, mash some of the sweet potatoes to help thicken it up.



Optional (not included in nutritional data):
Serve Turkey Sweet Potato Chili over rice or with corn chips, cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream . Enjoy!

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Turkey Sweet Potato Chili with beans (Two Ways!)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Palm: 1
Fist: .5
Handful: 2
Thumb: .5

Hand Portions

Some handy advice:  You can use your hands to practice calorie control without weighing and measuring.

Using hand position size is an alternative way to decide how much to eat visually. It gives you a way to quickly estimate what's on your plate, using protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fat. It's an alternative to counting macros which generally has you weighing and reading nutrition labels to count protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

To learn more, read How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Sweet and inspiring, Britt Nelson is a wellness coach and mom of 4, devoted to helping women redefine what wellness and fitness looks like to them, in a balanced and compassionate way.

When she is not coaching or chasing after her children, you can find her spending time with close friends and family, trying new recipes with one of her brothers, or listening to music, a good book, or a podcast.

Find other articles written by Coach Britt on her coach profile. She will help you ‘tune in’ to your body, and find a balance amidst the chaos.