Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

From the Recipe Shoebox. 

The ingredients:
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 bell peppers, diced  (I used a red and a green pepper)
1-2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (take care NOT to touch the seeds or to include them in the chili, because they will make it very spicy)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 pkg. (12-ounces) chicken Italian sausage, halved and sliced
8-ounces mushrooms, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 can (14.5-ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15-ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2-1/2 cups beef broth
1 can (15-ounces) pumpkin (make sure it is not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 tsp.  cinnamon
1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
Desired toppings:  sour cream, sliced avocado, fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, crumbled crackers


Over medium high heat, in a large skillet add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are soft.    Add to crockpot.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine.   When turkey is almost cooked, add in the sliced sausage and saute until the sausage is lightly browned and the turkey is cooked through.   Sprinkle on cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and  paprika and stir to combine.   Add turkey/sausage mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker. (Your crockpot will be very full) Stir til combined.    Cook in covered crockpot until sweet potatoes are tender, 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.     (I cooked mine over the stovetop for about an hour, then put it into the crockpot to keep it warm. )

Before serving, remove the lid and turn the crockpot off and allow chili to sit for 10-15 minutes.    Season with additional salt to taste before serving.  Serve with desired toppings. Makes about 16 cups.

FREEZER DIRECTIONS:   To freeze, simply pour the chili into a freezer container (I used a square disposable pan). Cover with plastic wrap and  foil and place in the freezer.  When you're ready to thaw it out, just pop it out of the disposable pan and place into a microwaveable bowl.  Heat until hot (or if you prefer to heat it over the stovetop....just heat in the microwave until thawed, then you can place it in a pan on the stovetop).

STOVETOP DIRECTIONS:  If you don't have time for the crockpot, simply follow the directions through adding the seasonings to the meat, then add the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot (instead of the crockpot).  Simmer over medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are tender (about 45-60 minutes)