Thanksgiving leftovers? Make our easy leftover turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes

Though the Thanksgiving turkey dinner is an excitingly delicious celebration, we get even more excited over all the creative ways we can use the holiday leftovers. This recipe for leftover turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes, inspired by Budget Bytes, will have you waiting impatiently for the table to be cleared.

Leftover turkey may be great for simple turkey sandwiches, but why not transform it into a satisfying meat-and-potatoes kind of meal? With just a few ingredients from your pantry, you can make a tasty black bean and turkey chili that begs to be served in a hot and steamy sweet potato. Top with shredded cheddar and a fresh garnish of cilantro or green onion and you’ve got one unbeatable comfort food dish.

ALSO TRY: Delicious leftover turkey pot pie soup that will keep you toasty

Make-ahead amazing. Not in the mood for a hearty meal so soon after the big Thanksgiving dinner? No problem! Simply make the leftover turkey chili and freeze it until you’re ready to dig in. Thaw the chili in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it on the stovetop while your sweet potatoes are nearing the end of their roasting time. Follow the rest of the recipe and get your leftover turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes to the table.


Roast the sweet potatoes

Rub the sweet potatoes with olive oil and place the them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork and roast at 400 F for 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes and continue to roast for 1 hour or until soft.

Roast the sweet potatoes


Saute onion and garlic

Time to make the chili. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the leftover turkey.

Saute onion and garlic


Add additional turkey chili ingredients

Stir black beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water into the turkey mixture.

Add additional turkey chili ingredients


Cook the leftover turkey chili

Bring the chili to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the chili for 15 minutes to mouthwateringly meld the flavors.

Cook the leftover turkey chili


Smother the sweet potatoes with turkey chili and cheese

Slice each sweet potato lengthwise to open but don’t cut through all the way. Use a fork to lightly mash the insides. Scoop 3/4-cup of the turkey chili into each potato and top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese.

Smother the sweet potatoes with turkey chili and cheese


Melt the cheese

Place the chili-topped sweet potatoes in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Melt the cheese


Garnish and serve

Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro or green onion on top of each sweet potato and serve hot.

Garnish and serve


Such a creative use of leftovers

Creative use of leftovers


Savory and delicious!

Savory and delicious!


Dig in!

Dig in!


Leftover turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sweet potatoes (8 to 12 ounces each)

Turkey chili:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups leftover turkey, shredded or chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using up to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, rub the outside skins of each sweet potato. Prick the skins of the sweet potatoes a few times with a fork.
  3. Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn and continue roasting for 1 hour or until very soft.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the turkey chili. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat for 1 minute.  
  5. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions turn soft and transparent.  
  6. Stir in the leftover turkey and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the black beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water. Stir to combine.
  8. Bring the chili to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  9. Once the sweet potatoes are finished baking, carefully slice each one lengthwise to open but not cut through all the way. Use a fork to lightly mash the insides.
  10. Scoop about 3/4 cup of the chili over each sweet potato, then top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese.
  11. Return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  12. Garnish with cilantro and/or sliced green onions just before serving.  
  13. Serve hot.

Courses Main dish