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It's hard to find something that will warm you to the bone better than a big, hearty bowl of chili! It's been so cold and snowy here in central PA, so this chili was just what the doctor ordered when I made it for lunches last week! This particular version is made on the stovetop, and unlike traditional chili, it's packed full of VEGGIES!
Growing up, my dad was always the chili-maker in our house! His version was always pretty spicy (I remember dropping ice cubes in it and drinking skim milk to try to cool it down), and the more beans, THE BETTER. If you're feeling more in the mood for that beans and corn chili I mentioned earlier, check out my Crock Pot Turkey Chili!
But back to this version... thanks to the sweet potatoes instead of beans, this chili is also Whole30 friendly! It makes a realllly big batch, so be ready to eat it all week, or freeze a bunch of it for easy lunches and dinners down the road. Meal prep and freezer cooking friendly... SCORE!
It's a true meal-in-a-bowl and even though it doesn't have beans or corn (two of my old standbys in a good chili), you still get that sweet/spicy flavor combo and a carby texture thanks to the SWEET POTATOES! In my opinion, nothing goes better with the chili/cumin flavor profile than fresh cilantro -- but feel free to leave it out if it's not your thing.
WARNING: This makes A LOT so use your biggest pot and be prepared for leftovers!
Sweet Potato Zucchini Chili
[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]
1 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 lbs ground beef
2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 cup chicken or beef broth or stock
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 green bell peppers, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (if it's your thing... it's totally mine!)
Optional: 3 handfuls chopped kale
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the biggest stock pot you have. Add chopped onions and ground beef, breaking up the beef as it browns.
Once the ground beef has cooked through, add the sweet potatoes to the pot and cook for 3 minutes or so to give them a head start on the other veggies.
Add in the canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, and paste), the broth or stock, and the spices; stirring to combine.
Add in the bell peppers and zucchini, then bring the pot up to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the zucchini and peppers are soft.
OPTIONAL: Stir in fresh cilantro and garnish with more in the bowl! Cilantro = LYFE.
OPTIONAL (not pictured): For an extra veggie boost, once the chili is done, stir in 3 or so handfuls of chopped kale! We did do this and it was fantastic -- I just didn't officially include it since I feel like EVERY recipe lately has had KALE!