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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Paleo + Whole30)

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Let’s make 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)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 17 reviews

  • 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

Recipe originally posted in May 2015. Completely updated April 2020

81 Comments

  1. To make this a freezer meal can i cook my meat and then when it’s cooled, add it and the rest of the ingredients to a freezer bag and dump in the crock pot when I want to have it? I saw someone say they cooked it and then froze it, but wanting to cook it later…

  2. Can I use frozen sweet potato cubes instead of fresh sweet potato? (To save me some time in my stupid busy schedule) 🙂

    1. Christine – I think you can! The only difference is that the sweet potatoes will be slightly softer in the chili (since they lose some of their texture when they thaw). It shouldn’t be a big deal!

  3. A couple months ago, I decided to learn to cook. It’s a new thing for me and it hasn’t come naturally, but being able to make healthy, delicious meals for my husband, even though his work schedule is opposite of mine, has been nice. My mom was a great cook, my grandmother was a great cook…and I’m getting there! Your slow cooker sweet potato chili is one of the first recipes I tried, and it’s now a staple!! Thank you!! 🙂 Your recipe has helped my cooking confidence!






    1. Sabrina – You made my DAY! Thank you for sharing this with me! Cooking is totally a process, and I’m so excited for you and all your successes along the way!

  4. I’m making this as I type. It has to be at least the 6th time I’ve done so since I did Whole30 for the first time last January. Now I’m in the middle of my 4th round and this recipe has become a favorite go-to. Thank you.






  5. I was directed here from Twitter and very happy I was . As I have recently had a liver transplant I am always on the look out for new healthy recipes and I love sweet potato. The slow cooker is coming out this weekend and I’ll give it a go for sure. I have now bookmarked the page. Thank you.

  6. Made this yesterday and it is so delicious! It is such a versatile recipe. I threw in extra veggies I had in the fridge and subbed turkey and chicken broth for the beef. It is filling, hearty and healthy. Will definitely be making this again.






  7. Great recipe. I loved eating this while I was on the whole 30 diet. I actually enjoy this more than any other chili I’ve ever had. I’m still continuing to make this in big batches and freezing even though I finished the whole 30. So easy to make.






    1. Frances – I think so? I haven’t tried it, but in other slow cooker recipes I’ve halved, you want to make sure that you don’t over-cook it. I’d check on it early since smaller recipes can scorch. I hope that helps!

  8. Hi,

    Would this work if I put chicken breasts in instead of ground meat? How would that affect the cooking process? Maybe just another hour or so do you think? I made it with beef already and it was FANTASTIC. Such a good recipe!

    1. Paul – I haven’t tested it in the Instant Pot yet, but I know some other readers have made it that way. I haven’t tested it, but my best recommendation would be sautéing the beef and onions, draining any remaining fat, and then cooking it under pressure for about 18-20 minutes or so, then letting it naturally release or doing quick release after about 10 minutes. I hope that helps!

    2. First of all, Emily, I LOVE this recipe. It is always one of my go-to recipes. I actually made this in my instant pot last night. I browned my meat first and then put the remaining ingredients in and put my instant pot on the chili setting and it tastes the exact same as when I cooked it in the crock pot. I think the instant pot was a better choice because I didn’t have to wait as long for it to cook. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Emily!

  9. I just made this today, so tasty! I love finding healthy-ish recipes that my boyfriend enjoys too 😊 then he’s more likely to make them! Our other fave is your slow cooker butter chicken. Thanks for the recipes!






  10. As I am bored to yawning by comments such as, ” This sound yummy, I’ll probably make this…,” I made this this morning and tonight it was fabulous!!! Thanks!!






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