Slow Cooker Smoky Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili {with Cornbread Croutons}


 The forecast is for chili weather and I’ve been looking for new recipes. I found one for Smoky Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili that I could make in my slow cooker in my January issue of Southern Living magazine which appealed to me for two reasons:

1. I made a new year’s resolution to blow the dust off my slow cooker and use it at least once a month.

2. My name is Mary and I’m a potato-holic :)


This is a keeper recipe and a nice change from traditional chili. The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add some smoky flavor and a little kick and the sweet potatoes help balance the heat! You can adjust the spice in this chili with the amount of chipotle to suit your taste. This recipe calls for a combination of dried pinto beans and lima beans, which add a little Southern flavor. I was able to find the larger size dried limas for this recipe, but if you’re not a fan of pintos or limas, use white beans, kidney or even black beans, which would be good as well as pretty with the color of the sweet potatoes.


I made just a few minor changes to the recipe, adjusting the amount of beer called for (it was either add the whole bottle or drink what was left :) using a reduced sodium chicken stock instead of unsalted, and adding more tomato paste. I’m a fan of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock, which has great flavor and is lower in sodium than most reduced sodium brands of chicken stock or broth.


 Slow Cooker Smoky Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili with Cornbread Croutons, adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Makes about 4 1/2 qt.

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can or bottle (12 fl.oz) Mexican beer
1 cup dried pinto beans
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium-size green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 (8-oz.) package dried lima beans
l large onion, coarsely chopped
5 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch peeled sweet potato cubes

Garnishes: green onions, cilantro, Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, sliced peppers, sour cream or cornbread croutons



 Season turkey with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté turkey in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer mixture to a 6-qt. slow cooker.

 Add tomato paste to skillet, and cook stirring often, 30 seconds. Add beer, and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil 3 – 5 minutes; stir into turkey mixture. Add beans and next 8 ingredients; stir in stock.


Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours. Stir in sweet potatoes; cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.


We’ve been on a cornbread crouton kick lately, adding them to salads and soup. They’re an unexpected and tasty addition from a 50 cent box of Jiffy corn muffin mix.


Follow the directions on the Jiffy box for mixing and bake in a 9 x 9 pan until done, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and cut cornbread into 1-inch squares. Bake croutons at 350 degrees for 7 or 8 minutes or until toasted.


Top your chili with green onions, cilantro, Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, sliced peppers, sour cream or cornbread croutons. You can find a printable recipe, here.

I’d love to know your favorite chili recipe and how often you use your slow cooker!

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  15 comments for “Slow Cooker Smoky Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili {with Cornbread Croutons}

  1. January 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    This deffinently sounds good for this cold weather. I will try it. My grand children may not like the hot peppers but they can take them out! Corn bread croutons would be perfect with it or just plain cornbread!

  2. January 21, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I, too, love my potatoes Mary! Sounds like a great recipe and I have saved this one! Hugs to Chloe and Gracie!

  3. January 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    This sounds different and delicious! I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

  4. franki
    January 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Chili sounds perfect on a day like today…must try the cornbread croutons…to “mix it up a little.” Our fav cornbread mix is “Penguin” from COSTCO…it is delish!! franki

  5. January 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

    That chili recipe sounds so appealing, Mary! I don’t use my slow cooker much, but instead use my Le Crueset Dutch oven and put it in a low oven all day. The mixture of beans and all the flavors sounds fabulous! I must buy a box of Jiffy mix and try your croutons. My son that’s here with me, would love the garnish of jalapeños, like you did! This is a must-try recipe! Thanks, Mary, as always.

  6. January 21, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Sounds good, Mary. Looks wonderful. I really need to try the cornbread croutons.

  7. January 21, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I use my All Clad Slow Cooker all the time and always looking for great recipes and today I found one here!!!…I love that you added sweet potatoes rather than the regular potatoes as those have been banned here in this house :(.
    I have also used butternut squash for a potato substitute in beef stews in the crock pot….I love this recipe and going to make it soon!!!…Looks wonderful Mary!!!

  8. January 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Mary, this looks like a great dish for a cold day which we seems to be what Mother Nature has for us today. The blue skies and sunshine are absent this morning. Love the idea of the cornbread croutons. I’m making them this afternoon to have on hand. No longer have a slow cooker, but perhaps I need to invest in one again. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. BamaCarol
    January 21, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I actually have four slow cookers and use them all the time. One is tiny and I use it for my overnight oatmeal. One is a ‘regular’ slow cooker and it is used the most. One is a combination slow cooker and pressure cooker and I am just now learning how to use it. And the fourth one is a very large slow cooker that I use for large cuts of meat or multiple pounds of dried beans. I used them for everything from Boston Butts to soups to dried beans and more. They are such a time saver for me and I love coming home to smelling my supper ready to eat in the evenings.

  10. January 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    This one sounds GREAT! I bet Joe would love it. We have chili (Joe’s recipe) simmering on the stove right now. It is snowing here:( Here is the link for Joer’s if you’d like to see it: I love that you used sweet potatoes and the cornbread croutons!!!! I use my slow cooker, especially in the winter but should use it more often. I have lots of recipes pinned that I can use!!!

  11. Rattlebridge Farm
    January 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Can soup be beautiful? Yes! You’ve inspired me to dust off my slow cooker, Mary. Hope our sunny days are headed your way. xxoo

  12. January 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Hearty and pretty! I love all the great colors Mary, I’m sure you enjoyed this chili:@)

  13. January 22, 2015 at 7:38 am

    ♥♥ YUM!! ♥♥ This looks so comforting for a winter’s day, Mary!
    Thanks for the info on Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock…I didn’t know about that & we’re trying hard to reduce sodium around here.

  14. January 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

    mmmm…great and unusual chili combo! I need to get something going in the crockpot as the cold rains are coming in this afternoon~cornbread croutons make everything better! Thanks Mary!

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