This sweet potato turkey chili has Mexican flare from mole sauce! Make this quick paleo chili recipe for a nourishing gluten free meal.
I think we all could use a little comfort today. And a lot of love and compassion for each other. Starting with a big bowl of chili and a big group hug. Just sayin. It’s been a rough few months with that little thing called… global pandemic. Let’s move forward, together, and be FULL of sweetness.
Yes, Corny Cotter at your service. But in all reality, don’t you think a group hug is needed? I digress…
Mole Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
Now to talk about other sweet things. Um, like Mole Sweet Potato Turkey Chili. Have you ever had mole? Like the sauce?
So what is mole sauce and why does it belong in turkey sweet potato chili?
Mole sauce is a common (and popular) Mexican sauce.
I know every Mole sauce is different, depending on the dish or region, but the basics of Mole sauce include some pretty flavorful ingredients, such as:
- dark chocolate
- chili powder
- cocoa powder
- hot chili peppers, and
- fat (like oil or lard)
All these ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. I use dark chocolate, almond butter (instead of traditional Mexican lard), and chili powder to keep it simple, full of antioxidants, and super tasty!
Now, to make things sweeter (because we need some extra sweetness today), and to thicken up this sweet potato chili, I blended cooked sweet potatoes INTO the mole sauce. HOLY MOLE! Haha, see what I did there?
Ya’ll, this thick sweet savory mole sauce is what makes the sweet potato turkey chili EPIC.
I know what you’re thinking. Uh. “Lindsay, that’s nice but that sounds so complex.” You were thinking that, right? I’m a mind a reader.
Well, I have good news. It’s a SUPER QUICK dish to make.
The whole recipe takes a mere 45 minutes, start to finish. You’ll get a big pot of sweet potato turkey chili in lickity split! People still use that term, right?
How to make mole sauce
Making the sweet potato mole sauce is beyond easy; just a couple of steps involved!
- Steam some sweet potatoes.
- Melt the chocolate and spices.
- Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a high speed blender) to puree it, then mix it into the pot of chili.
The healthy chili recipe? Well, it’s just tomatoes, onion, peppers, browned turkey, a wee bit of broth, and seasoning. You see, it’s the THICK sweet potato mole sauce that rounds it out and does all the work. CRAZY GOOD!
My only suggestion. Don’t make the mole sauce the day before. Why? Because you kinda want to eat it up with spoon.
Is that wrong? Maybe. But I won’t judge. Same thing happened to me when making the sweet potato pie. Gah, the batter is just so freakin’ good.
Anyway, back to chili.
TIP: Bookmark this paleo chili recipe, or PIN IT.
Why? Because it’s one of the best ways to make use of holiday leftovers.
You will most likely have leftover turkey, roasted potatoes, and veggies in the fridge and pantry this season, right?
The MOLE sauce, the turkey, and the VEGGIE packed goodness make this a SIMPLE, WHOLESOME, RESOURCEFUL turkey chili recipe.
Plus it’s a freezer friendly meal. Killing 2 (or 3) birds with one stone here.Print
This sweet potato turkey chili has Mexican flare, thanks to mole sauce! Make this quick paleo chili recipe for a nourishing gluten free meal!
For the turkey chili:
- 16 oz ground lean turkey
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the mole sauce:
- 1 lb sweet potatoes or 2 cups canned sweet potato puree
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp creamy nut butter (I use almond butter)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves (optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp minced)
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion or shallot
- 2 oz baking chocolate or dark chocolate *see notes
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or stock)
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of sea salt
To add to the pot after adding the mole sauce:
- 2 cups chopped bell pepper
- 14 oz. fire roasted tomatoes (or salsa)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- Sliced jalapenos
- chopped cilantro or parsley
- pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- shredded cheese (omit for paleo chili)
- sour cream (paleo friendly, if needed)
Note before you begin: It’s best to cut/clean/peel prepare the veggies so they are ready to use.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and chopped onion and cook until turkey is browned, about 6 minutes. Drain fat if necessary. Once browned, keep the mixture in the pot on low/simmer .
- Meanwhile, as turkey is browning, make mole sauce.
For the mole sauce
- Steam sweet potatoes in microwave for 3 minutes or until soft. Place cooked sweet potatoes in a bowl and mash all together. If using sweet potato puree, sauce will be thinner, but still delicious.
- Next, blend the garlic cloves/onion/olive oil together until smooth. Add that mixture to a separate small pot then add in chocolate, creamy almond butter, salt, and other spices listed for mole sauce.
- Melt all together over medium-high heat until creamy.
- Next add cooked sweet potato mash and broth to the mole mixture in the small pot. Stir to combine, then simmer 20 minutes.
- After simmering, use an Immersion Blender (or transfer to a high speed blender if necessary) to make the sauce smooth.
Combine all ingredients
- Add mole sauce to the pot with browned turkey mixture and stir to combine.
- Place the chopped bell pepper, fire roasted tomatoes, sea salt, cayenne, minced garlic, pepper, and chili powder into the large pot with the turkey mole mixture. Stir to combine, then simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust spices if needed.
- Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with cilantro, pepitas, jalapeños, and optional cheese and sour cream, as desired.
- You can use semi sweet chocolate, but the chili will definitely be sweeter. To reduce the sugar, use unsweetened chocolate, I use this baking chocolate
- For extra thick chili, use less broth, or extra broth for thinner chili.
- Adjust the spice level to your liking. Try adding ancho peppers to the mole sauce if you’d like!
- Nutrition shown below is without toppings
- Category: main, dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American, Mexican
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 361
- Sodium: 477.3mg
- Fat: 18.7g
- Saturated Fat: 5.4g
- Carbohydrates: 19.8g
- Fiber: 6.2g
- Protein: 29.3g
- Cholesterol: 89.5mg
Keywords: sweet potato chili, turkey chili, turkey mole, paleo chili recipe
Keep in mind that this paleo chili recipe is the perfect solution for any leftover turkey. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!
OTHER HEALTHY CHILI RECIPES HERE!
This recipe is part of our Healthy Homemade Chili Recipes collection. Check it out!