Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili

So, it’s winter. It isn’t calendar official yet, but there’s snow on the ground so that makes it winter in my book. While I can’t say that I am the biggest fan of that cold season, I do love warming up with some hearty chili.

bowl of black bean & sweet potato chili

I recently tried this hearty chili when we had company, and it was a huge hit. I’m not a fan of thin soups and this chili is anything but. Each bite is chock-full of spicy ground turkey, black beans, sweet potatoes, and lots of other flavorful veggies.

Don’t get me wrong–regular chili is good too, but this amped-up chili has tons of healthy additions that make it even better. The original recipe was vegetarian, but to satisfy a certain man in my life, I added ground turkey. I also added some extra vegetables, like zucchini, to use up the contents of my fridge. The zucchini wasn’t too noticeable so you could probably leave that out without missing it. I wasn’t sure initially how well potatoes, even my beloved sweet potatoes, would work in chili but I am happy to report that they are great, blending in naturally so even sweet potato haters [Benjamin] don’t object too loudly. 🙂 The leftovers are fantastic served out of the fridge for a few days and also freeze nicely for lunches during the work week. Hope you enjoy!

Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili [adapted from goodLife(eats)]
printable version


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped [I just washed it really well and didn’t bother peeling it.]
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 28 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, diced [I just washed it really well and didn’t bother peeling it.]
  • 3 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 15 ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups cooked black beans [Mine were dried + cooked, but you could sub 30 ounces canned.]
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Jack cheese, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving
  • Sour Cream, for serving


In a skillet, brown ground turkey until fully cooked. Drain grease and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, pepper, and zucchini and saute for a couple more minutes, until fragrant. Add cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and oregano and stir well, cooking for another minute or so.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Next, stir in ground turkey, tomatoes, carrot, sweet potatoes, beans, and salsa. Reserve 1/4 cup broth, but add the rest to the stock pot.

In a small measuring cup, whisk together reserved broth and cornstarch. Mix until smooth, then pour into pot. Stir until combined, then cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then uncover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 60 minutes. Cover and simmer with lid for an additional 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with cheese, cilantro, and sour cream as desired.

Time: 2 hours [30 minutes active].

Yield: a lot of chili. At least 10-12 generous servings.


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