Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Chili, a comforting dish for the cold days ahead. It's bursting with amazing flavours, and it's super easy to make. A must-have dinner recipe for busy families.
There is Fall, and there is Fall in the Isle of Man. Proper cold, so my crock pot is back at work full-time. I was already used to the cold weather from the UK, but this place is something else. You can feel the cold deep into your bones, especially when the wind blows like crazy on a rainy day. Yeah, not fun, although the island is amazingly beautiful.
So, the solution to keep you warm is having comforting homemeade food that warms us right up. Chili is the best kind of food you can have, it's super easy to make, it's soothing, filling, healthy, you name it! Plus, if you don't have time to hang around, dump everything in the slow cooker, and come back home to some seriously tasty food.
I make chili often, my Best Homemade Chili With Beans being a family-favourite dish regardless the weather. Take me to the hottest place on earth, chances are I'll still have a nice bowl of homemade chili. So, how can we make it even more delicious than it already is?
That's right, throw in some Fall-favourite veggies like sweet potatoes and peppers of any kind, and you are set to have one hearty meal. It's pretty mild as it is, but if you are cooking for kids, you can omit or add less chilli powder. Other than that, enjoy!
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- heat up the oil in a pan, add the ground beef and use a spatula to break it, and continue to stir until no longer pink
- transfer the brown meat to the slow cooker together with the chopped onion, garlic, peppers, sweet potatoes, plum or chopped tomatoes, beef stock (broth), bay leaves, cinnamon, ground chilli peppers, cumin salt and pepper
- leave to cook on high for 3 and a half hours or on low for 6-7 hours
- add the tomato puree and garnish to fresh parsley
The secret to making a fantastic chili in the slow cooker is browning the meat first. It could work to just throw it in raw, but I have a feeling it will be way too lumpy or greasy, so browning it beforehand ensures you get the right texture. It doesn't take long to do so, perhaps you only add about 5 more minutes to the prep time.
Do I need to add broth to the crock pot chili?
Depending on how much liquid the tomatoes have, you might have to add less broth or not at all, otherwise the chili will be too watery. If that does happen, just use a ladle to remove some liquid, unless you like a more soup-like consistency.
Very little liquid is absorbed in the crock pot, unlike on the stove top, so you always have to add a lot less liquid than you would normally add when cooking the chili on the cooker.
How do you make chili flavourful?
I always find that the more seasonal vegetables you use, the tastier a dish becomes. The very use of the sweet potatoes and peppers already adds so much more flavour. And then you have the spices: earthy, warm spices that give a nice kick to this chili.
And the best spices to use are: chilli powder, cinnamon and cumin. If you like a lot more heat, add some red or green chilli peppers too, otherwise the chilli powder should do it you like a mild version, or you cook for kids too.
Grated cheese can also be added, either to just top the dish, or have some stirred in too, the cheesier, the better. Any kind of grated cheese would do, although the stretchier kind looks amazing.
And, last but not least, salt and pepper. We take them for granted, but they really make food so much better. Any food. Add some to taste, I tend to use less when I cook with beef, as I find it naturally saltier than other meat, but it's up to you.
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Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Chili
- Slow Cooker
- 500 g ground beef (1 lb)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- ½ red pepper
- ½ green pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can plum tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- ¼ cup beef broth (stock)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- fresh parsley to garnish
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- grated cheese (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground chilli peppers
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Heat up the oil in a pan set over a stove top.
- Add the ground beef and use a spatula or wooden spoon to break it, stirring continuously until no longer pink.
- Transfer the brown meat to the slow cooker.
- Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic, then chop the peppers.
- Add them to the slow cooker together with the plum tomatoes, spices, bay leaves, salt, pepper and beef broth.
- Leave to cook on high for about 3.5-4 hours, or on low for 6-7 hours.
- Add the tomato puree, chopped parsley, and give it a good stir.
- Top with grated cheese.
- Depending on how much liquid the tomatoes have, you might have to add less broth or not at all, otherwise the chili will be too watery. If that does happen, just use a ladle to remove some liquid, unless you like a more soup-like consistency.
- Very little liquid is absorbed in the crock pot, unlike on the stove top, so you always have to add a lot less liquid than you would normally add when cooking the chili on the cooker.