When winter weather gets you down, this Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili really hits the spot for comfort food at its finest. Simply break out the crock pot and let it do its thing!
This is the recipe that started my love affair with non-traditional veggies in my chili. I know, I know, there are many chili enthusiasts who staunchly believe beans, vegetables, and other tasty additions have no place in a traditional chili.
I am not one of them.
I stumbled upon this article about the history of chili around this time last year. It focuses on the birth of chili in Texas over 100 years ago and what makes it truly authentic. The basic formula is unchanged: meat + spice + peppers = chili. But a lot can happen in 100+ years. Regional influences and personal preferences, plus availability and cost of foods, all play a role in the evolution of a dish. We might transform a recipe over time but the basic elements of a classic are still there.
Now, everywhere you turn there’s another reincarnation or spinoff from the classic chili. Beans, pasta, lentils, quinoa, sorghum, and all manner of other ingredients turn up. And instead of sticking to strictly beef, we see bison, pork, chicken, ground turkey, and vegetarian/vegan options. All of them are glorious in their own special way. I truly believe someone’s signature chili recipe is a bit of a reflection of their personality and it’s really fun to see how creative some versions get. Seriously, just attend a local chili cook-off or pot luck and you’ll see what I mean.
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I love the combo of steaming hot, mouth on fire chili with creamy coolness of sour cream. I’ve been known to really skew the chili to sour cream ratio to the point that my bowl is just sort of a pile of pink slop with bits of chili appearing here and there.
A bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
So for this recipe I made a little swap to siggi’s plain skyr. It’s super thick, meaning a little goes a long way. It’s also packed with protein and very little sugar so it keeps the nutrition balanced (for the most part). If you’re feeding a crowd, try picking up a large container next time and spoon out dollops to your heart’s content. And I’m not saying this because I get paid (I’m not, though trust me, that would be awesome) but because I love it so much! I’m convinced you will too so check out the recipe below.
Do you have a favorite version of chili? Do you stick to the traditional, authentic combo sans beans, or do you want it loaded up with every veggie under the sun? Feel free to share your favorites in a comment below!
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, 1/2″ cubes
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 pound ground beef, 85/15
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
- Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and brown until fully cooked. Drain, then add to your crock pot.
- While the meat is browning, dice the onion and bell pepper. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then chop into 1/2″ cubes. Add all ingredients and spices to the crock pot, cover with water, then stir gently to combine. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.
- Turn the slow cooker to WARM until ready to serve. Top each bowl with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream if desired, along with green onions, cilantro, fresh jalapeños, or cheese.
- Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken if desired, or create a vegetarian version by omitting the meat or using your preferred meat substitute.