bacon · Beef · Dinner · Instant Pot · Lunch · Paleo · Party dish · Pressure Cooker · Turkey

Chili Dogs (Paleo, Whole30 & Kid-Friendly)

This recipe is inspired by our good friends, Marcus & Lana Steele.  Marcus is a middle-school teacher that has the best attitude considering he deals with pubescent, drama-filled teenagers all day long.  He loves my kids, and my kids love him.  One day they came home from the Steele’s house and started impersonating Uncle Marcus.  Malia shouted, “Get in the car you chili dogs!” (followed by a giggle).  For some reason, I thought it was hilarious that he refers to my kids as “Chili Dogs”.  A term of endearment I’ve never heard before, but one that has stuck.  So this meal is for you Marcus, my favorite Uncle Chili Dog.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 for chili dogs, additional 4 for the chili

Recipe adapted from: Paleo Newbie


  • 6 small sweet potatoes
  • 6 hot dogs
  • 2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • (1) 28-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes
  • (1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • (1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon basil
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


  • 4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 or 2 avocados, diced OR Guacamole
  • 3 green onions, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Wash and dry your sweet potatoes, then with a fork, pierce the sweet potatoes all over.
  3. Rub with olive oil and wrap each sweet potato in foil.
  4. Place sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and cook for 30-45 minutes
  1. Sauté onions and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add in ground beef (or turkey) to the saucepan and cook just until browned. Drain excess fat.
  3. Transfer the cooked onions, garlic and meat to your Instant Pot.
  4. Add all the above vegetables and spices (except garnish ingredients) to the crockpot. Give the pot a good stir.
  5. Seal the lid on your Instant Pot and set to Meat/Stew, 20 minutes.
  6. While your Instant Pot is releasing pressure, make your hot dogs (boil, grill, etc.)
  7. When your sweet potatoes are done, remove foil and cut the sweet potatoes open length-wise. Give them a good squeeze to loosen up the “meat.” Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Place 1 hot dog in each sweet potato and ladle chili over the top.
  9. Garnish with crumbled bacon, avocado slices/guacamole and/or green onions.


  • To save time on the vegetable prep, use your food processor. Use the “pulse” option for quick chopping.
  • To add some heat, chop up some pickled jalapenos as a garnish.
  • To give your chili some extra flavor, cook it earlier in the day. Set to warm about an hour before serving.
  • Leftover chili? It freezes really well for future use.

(not whole30/Paleo)

  • Swap out your sweet potato with a hot dog bun.
  • Sprinkle some grated cheese on top.

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