Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

IngredientsPotatoes, Poultry
Day PartLunch
Menu PartSoup
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Vivian Howard
Chef & The Farmer Progressive Eatery
Kinston, N.C.

Chef Vivian Howard makes the most of a local crop in this recipe, where North Carolina-grown sweet potatoes stand in for beans and add a pleasing sweetness to an earthy, deceptively rich chili. Serve with sliced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips or cilantro.


1 lb. ground turkey (avoid ground turkey breast)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ancho-chili powder
1/2 tsp. dark chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
20 turns of the pepper mill, or 1 tsp.
6 oz. tomato paste
1 large chipotle pepper in adobo, finely minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato, 1/2-in. diced


  1. In a 4-6 quart Dutch oven, brown the turkey meat in the olive oil over medium high heat. Remove the turkey with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Lower the heat slightly and add the onions, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sweat until the onions are translucent and add the spices. Toast, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and the minced chipotle. Add the turkey back to the pot as well as the chicken stock. Bring it up to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes.
  4. Cover and cook at a brisk simmer for about an hour. Check the sweet potatoes periodically; you want them to crush easily under pressure from a wooden spoon, but not completely dissolve into the chili. Serve warm.

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

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