Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Paleo + Whole30)
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili – This paleo sweet potato chili recipe is one of our favorites. It tastes even better the next day! (Gluten-Free, Whole30)
Turns out, I’m one of those people who doesn’t save chili for the fall.
I’m an all-year-round sort of chili person.
Probably, that has something to do with the fact that we’re all home right now, and I’m craving easy comfort food recipes that can last a few days. Chili = THE BEST at this.
This paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili has been one of our favorites for the last 5 years. We’ve been making it since 2015 and have no plans to stop any time soon.
For one thing, chili is crazy easy to make (especially when you make it in the slow cooker!). For another, it makes enough to feed a crowd, re-heat leftovers for lunch for a few days, or freeze half for later. AND it gets better with time, so the flavor will be even better the next day when you reheat leftovers.
Here’s all you need to make my easy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY PALEO SWEET POTATO CHILI:
GROUND BEEF, CHICKEN, OR TURKEY. You can use whatever ground meat you like or have on hand for my sweet potato chili recipe. (If I choose beef, I usually buy lean so I don’t need to cook it ahead of time and drain the fat.)
ONION. Onion gives a nice flavor base to this meaty chili. I usually use sweet onions, but most types will work for this recipe!
SWEET POTATOES. There aren’t any beans in this paleo chili, so we fill it out with vitamin-rich sweet potatoes. I LOVE the flavor and texture they lend to this chili!
DICED TOMATOES & TOMATO SAUCE. I use a mix of canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for my sweet potato chili. I love that you get nice, thick chili with TONS of flavor! (Note: I like fire-roasted diced tomatoes when I can find them!)
BROTH. Depending on the meat you choose for your chili, you can add beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Use what you have on hand or what sounds good. I’ve made it with all 3 with great results!
GARLIC + SPICES. Lastly, to pump this up with flavor, I use a blend of garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. I love how the flavor develops over time (it’ll taste even better the next day!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO CHILI:
NEED A SLOW COOKER? I have two and love them both. This one is programmable (i.e. less likely to overcook things!) and comes with a lid clip that keeps the lid in place (awesome when you’re carting it to a potluck, friend’s house, or cook-off!). This one is adorable, less expensive, and has fewer bells & whistles, but has been really reliable.
CAN I MAKE THIS AS A DUMP-AND-GO RECIPE? I nearly always do! It works great. You just add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, give it a stir, then cover & cook. No fussy prep, no extra steps. Just easy, yummy slow cooker sweet potato chili!
CAN I MAKE THIS WITH GROUND TURKEY? CHICKEN? PORK? You can use basically any ground meat you like for my paleo sweet potato chili. Over the last 5 years, folks have made it with beef, chicken, turkey, bison, and even venison. I’ve personally only used turkey, chicken, and beef.
DO I NEED TO COOK THE MEAT FIRST? It’s honestly up to you and your personal preference. I usually don’t cook the meat ahead of time because I make it with lean ground beef or use ground chicken, which is already naturally low-fat. (Lower in fat means less fat to drain.) If you’re using less lean ground meats, you may prefer to cook the meat ahead of time, then drain the fat. It’s up to you!
HOW CAN I GIVE THIS MORE KICK? If you like your chili with more kick, you can use 2 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, and 1/4-1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder instead of the mixture below. Or, you can add 1/2-1 minced jalapeño along with the other ingredients.
DOES SWEET POTATO CHILI FREEZE WELL? I’ve frozen my slow cooker sweet potato chili LOTS of times with good results. The sweet potatoes do soften a bit upon thawing + reheating, but that doesn’t bother me.
LOVE A GOOD BATCH OF CHILI? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
- The Perfect Classic Chili (Paleo & Whole30)
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Taco Soup (Paleo & Whole3o!)
- Simple Slow Cooker Chili
- The BEST Pumpkin Chili
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Paleo & Whole30)
HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO CHILI:
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Paleo & Whole30)
- Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 10–12 cups 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili – This paleo sweet potato chili recipe is one of our favorites. It doesn’t get much easier than the slow cooker! (Whole30, Gluten-Free)
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 (14 oz.) can petite minced tomatoes
- 2 (14 oz.) cans tomato sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3–4 Tablespoons chili powder*
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin*
- 1/4 tsp oregano*
- 3 cups beef broth (can sub chicken or veggie broth)
- optional: cilantro, for garnish.
If you want to drain the fat: In a saute pan, brown beef over medium heat until cooked through. Drain excess fat. Transfer cooked beef to slow cooker and follow remaining instructions.
- Place ground beef in your slow cooker. Add onion, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, and oregano.
- Pour broth over all and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
- Stir to break up the meat and garnish with cilantro.
*IF YOU WANT MORE KICK…You can use 2 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, and 1/4-1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder instead of the mixture below. Or, you can add 1/2-1 minced jalapeño along with the other ingredients.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: paleo sweet potato chili, paleo sweet potato chili, sweet potato chili, slow cooker sweet potato chili, crock pot sweet potato chili
Recipe originally posted in May 2015. Completely updated April 2020
This was easy to make, for someone who basically doesn’t know how to cook. And it was DELICIOUS! With the potatoes, you don’t miss the beans! It’s SO GOOD and EASY! Loved it!
YESSS!!! I’m so happy you loved it! I love easy recipes like this. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
What can you use instead of the tomatoe sauce? Would beef stock work?
Kathy – The tomato sauce helps thicken and flavor the chili. If you don’t include a tomato component of some sort, the flavor and texture will be significantly different. If you can’t eat tomatoes, you can swap in beef stock. Just know that the flavor will be different (less flavorful) + the texture will be thinner. It’ll be more like a soup than chili.
Are the tomatoes and sauce whole 30 friendly? As in, no sugar?
I use compliant brands with no added sugar. Muir Glen is my favorite! 🙂
That was delicious. My compliments to the chef!
So glad you liked it Regelyn!
Have you tried this in an Instant Pot? I’m wondering how long it would take and if the sweet potatoes would turn out mushy.
I haven’t yet… I’ve been worried about the sweet potatoes, too! If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!
Is there something I can substitute for the petite tomatoes? Just don’t like the texture of tomatoes!
Katie – If it’s just the diced tomatoes you don’t care for, you can leave them out or use more tomato sauce instead! 🙂
Any suggestion on how to make this vegetarian? Pictures look delicious. I am eager to try…but hoping to make it without the meat.
Absolutely! You can totally make it with 2-3 cans drained black beans instead of the meat. It’s delicious!
Is there anyway you can add a green they’re like kale or would that mess up the recipe
Great question! You can absolutely add greens like spinach or kale, but I wouldn’t add them until about 5 minutes before serving, or they’ll get really overcooked. 🙂
Great thank you so much ☺️
Are you supposed to put the raw meat into the slower cooker for step 1? Or, cook it first even if you dont care about draining the fat?
I put it in raw. If you prefer, you’re welcome to brown it on the stove and drain off the fat first, but I just put it right into the slow cooker!