Sweet Potato Chili

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our affiliate policy.

This delicious, nourishing Sweet Potato Chili is loaded with black beans, vegetables, and all the classic spices. It’s naturally vegan, easy to make, and perfect for meal prep or popping in the freezer.

A bowl of sweet potato chili with black beans.


 

Even though I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, I appreciate a tasty plant-powered recipe when it crosses my table. We never eat as many vegetables as we should, so any recipes that prioritize that endeavor are good in my book.

Recipe ingredients

The ingredients for sweet potato chili in bowls and labeled.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chipotle chili powder: Chipotle chili powder is spicy! If you’re unsure, start with 1 teaspoon (or less) until the chili is fully cooked. Then, taste and add more at the end. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit it entirely. For a smoky flavor, add smoked paprika.
  • Bell peppers: Looking for even more vegetables? Add some chopped zucchini, whole kernel corn, or diced butternut squash.
  • Black beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of black beans.
  • Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are a good option too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the homemade chili seasoning, in a small bowl, whisk together chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, chipotle chili powder (if using), coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
A bowl of homemade chili seasoning on a cutting board.
  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, and chili seasoning. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Vegetables and spices cooking in a skillet for chili.
  1. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sweet potatoes, black beans, tomato puree, diced tomatoes and their juice, water, and the bay leaf.
Vegetables and spices cooking in a skillet for chili.
  1. Bring to a low boil, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and starting to break down, about 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes longer. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce.
A pot of sweet potato chili.
  1. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with diced avocado, minced cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions or your favorite toppings.
A bowl of sweet potato chili.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of chili, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Cool within 2 hours, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance. Reheat the full recipe on the stove over low heat to 165 degrees. Reheat small batches in the microwave.
  • Freezer: Cool cooked chili to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen chili will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Powered by plants: This Sweet Potato Chili is naturally vegan, so if you want to keep it that way, choose plant-based toppings like sliced scallions, diced avocado, guacamole, minced onions, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, lime wedges, and tortilla chips.
  • Favorite sides for chili: Enjoy a spicy-hot bowl of Sweet Potato Chili with classic CornbreadSoft Dinner Rolls, or No-Knead Bread. If you prefer to make cornbread from a box or buy a loaf of bread from the store, that’s fine too! Round out your menu with a simple garden salad.
  • Ominvores: If you don’t mind animal products, you can substitute chicken broth for the water and add full-dairy toppings like cheddar cheese and sour cream.
  • More sweet potato recipes: If you love sweet potatoes, try Sweet Potato Hash, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Casserole.
  • Chili Cheese Burrito: Put leftover chili to work in this easy Chili Cheese Burrito. Just fold up leftover chili with cooked rice and shredded cheese, then toast in a dry skillet.
  • Classic Beef Chili: This easy Beef Chili recipe tastes just like the one mom used to make! It’s also easy to customize with your own special additions if you want to.
  • Venison Chili: If you’re lucky enough to have some ground venison in your freezer, this Venison Chili recipe is the one you’ll want to make all winter long.
  • Chili con Carne: Made with boneless beef chuck roast instead of ground beef, this delicious Chili con Carne recipe has layers of flavor from bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, lots of garlic, and all the classic chili spices. And it’s made right in your slow cooker!
  • Turkey Chili: This delicious Turkey Chili recipe is made with ground turkey, so it’s a little bit lighter than the standard beef version. It’s full of vegetables and classic spices and it’s ready for all your favorite healthful toppings like diced avocado, green onions, and fresh cilantro.
  • Hot Dog Chili: Make a batch of Hot Dog Chili to spoon over Chili Dogs for the ultimate tailgate recipe! It’s perfect for any game day celebration.
  • Cincinnati Chili: Made famous by Skyline Chili in Ohio, this Cincinnati Chili recipe is full of secret ingredients and served on spaghetti with lots of toppings like shredded cheese, raw onions, and kidney beans. Which “way” do you want yours?
  • White Chicken Chili: When the temperature drops, slow cooker White Chicken Chili is the ultimate comfort food. Tender chunks of chicken simmering in a creamy broth studded with white beans, green chiles, and corn make for a most satisfying meal.
  • White Turkey Chili: This is my favorite soup to make after Thanksgiving when leftovers are abundant. It’s hearty, creamy, and a refreshing way to enjoy leftover turkey all over again. To keep things easy, make White Turkey Chili right in your slow cooker.
  • Chili Mac: Made in just one pot in 25 minutes or less, this easy Chili Mac recipe is like a great bowl of chili in casserole form. It’s perfect for the busiest, hungriest weeknights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chili powder made of?

The Americanized chili powder blend you use in this recipe is made of a variety of spices including ground cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. If you shop at an international food market and buy “chili powder,” sometimes this is just straight-up ground dried red chiles (cayenne pepper).You should be able to tell by the color of the powder.

How do you make gluten-free chili?

Most chilis are naturally gluten free, so just check your recipe for any potential offending ingredients. The most likely culprits would be your toppings and dippers, so avoid bread and crackers if needed.

More plant-powered recipes

Join Us

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow along on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for our latest recipes! Tag all your glorious creations #culinaryhill so we can eat vicariously through you.
Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans in a white bowl.

Sweet Potato Chili

This delicious, nourishing Sweet Potato Chili is loaded with black beans, vegetables, and all the classic spices. It's naturally vegan, easy to make, and perfect for meal prep or popping in the freezer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 ½ cups each)
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 226
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients 

For the chili seasoning:

For the chili:

To serve:

Instructions 

  • To make the homemade chili seasoning, in a small bowl, whisk together chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, chipotle chili powder (if using), coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, and chili seasoning. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sweet potatoes, black beans, tomato puree, diced tomatoes and their juice, water, and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and starting to break down, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove lid and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes longer. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with diced avocado, minced cilantro, and thinly-sliced scallions or your favorite toppings.

Notes

  1. Chipotle chili powder: Chipotle chili powder is spicy! If you’re unsure, start with 1 teaspoon (or less) until the chili is fully cooked. Then, taste and add more at the end. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.
  2. Bell peppers: Looking for even more vegetables? Add some chopped zucchini, whole kernel corn, or diced butternut squash.
  3. Black beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of black beans.
  4. Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are a good option too.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of chili, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5 cupsCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 6gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 236mgPotassium: 1230mgFiber: 10gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 20725IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 144mgIron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

Quick & Easy Meals in Under 30 Minutes!
15 simple recipes for busy weeknights.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments