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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)

Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life

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

Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life

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!

Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life
Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life

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.

Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life

LOVE A GOOD BATCH OF CHILI? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO CHILI: 

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Paleo Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from One Lovely Life

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Paleo & Whole30)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

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)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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
  • 34 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.

Instructions

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. 

  1. Place ground beef in your slow cooker. Add onion, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, and oregano.
  2. Pour broth over all and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
  4. Stir to break up the meat and garnish with cilantro.

Notes

*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

80 Comments

  1. This. This looks divine! And the weather has been all sorts of stormy up here in Utah. This may find its way to my table this weekend!

  2. This is so delicious and easy! I made it last night and the whole family loved it!

      1. This may sound dumb but how do you freeze the leftovers and then how do you defrost it? New to the whole 30 program!

        1. Stefanie – Not a dumb question at all! My favorite method is to scoop it (cooled down a bit, of course) into large zip-top bags. I press out all the extra air and lay them flat in the freezer (on a plate or a pan if needed). When they harden, they’ll be thin and tall, so they’ll thaw faster. Then, to thaw, you can put them in the refrigerator to thaw, or you can run the bag under warm water for a bit, then break it up and put it in a saucepan to re-heat. Does that make sense? Happy to help if it doesn’t!

        1. Emily – I’m so glad to hear that! I don’t have nutrition software for my blog yet (I’m working on it!) but in the meantime, you can upload the recipe to any free online calculator. My favorite is MyFitnessPal (the app or the website). You can often import recipes straight from the web!

    1. Emily – It is, just for garnish. You can certainly add some to your chili if you like. I sometimes do, but mostly don’t (which is why I didn’t put it in the ingredients list).

    1. No, not at all! I keep meaning to update my directions (which I’ve now done). Depending on how fatty your meat is, some people prefer to be able to drain the fat before adding it to the chili. I almost never brown it ahead of time anymore!

  3. Did anyone else find this chili to be on the soupier side? I might cut the liquid ingredients a bit on my next round. I will DEFINITELY be making this again. The flavor was amazing. For those who prefer their spice on the milder side, you may want to cut the cayenne down a bit as well. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Alexis – I’m sorry it was a little more liquid than you prefer. It sounds like you’ve got some great solutions to make it to your taste next time!

  4. Great and easy recipe. I use ground chicken and 4 cups of chicken broth. Also add some mushrooms.

  5. Love. Thank you so much for the recipe. So easy! And it’s got a really deep, beefy flavor that comes through that I adore. Who needs beans in chili? Not me, apparently.

    I would agree that this was a tiny bit too soupy for me– I took it out of the slow cooker and put it on the stove for an hour let let some of the liquid bubble off. Next time I might cut down on the tomato sauce and just do whole tomatoes instead.

    I used 3 tsp full powered Indian chili powder for this, which was a lot– I love spice so it wasn’t “too much” it just maybe wasn’t layered enough? Next time I might tone it down or halve it and then add a thai chili as well to give the spice flavor some depth.

    1. WAIT WAIT I just added 2 Tablespoons of Almond Butter and it it PERFECT. I take back all my suggested alterations. I am never changing this recipe, I’m going to do it the exact same way for the rest of my life. With Almond Butter.

  6. Okay, YUM! I’ve got a house full of special needs and am thankful for this dish as it meets those and is extreeeemely yummy to boot! Is this something I could prep at night when my kiddos are asleep (store in the refrigerator) and place in the crockpot the following day? I’m a beginner so sorry if that’s a silly question 😉

  7. Do you think I could make this with chicken instead of ground beef? Would the time in the slow cooker stay the same? Trying to save a trip to the grocery store 🙂

    1. Genevive – Absolutely! It works with beef, turkey, chicken, etc. As long as you’re using ground chicken, the cook time will be the same!

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