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Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans in a white bowl.

Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans

This delicious, hearty Sweet Potato Chili is loaded with black beans, vegetables, and all the classic spices. It also freezes well and makes a great meal prep option.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings (2 cups each)
Calories 238kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped (see note 1)
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (see note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans drained and rinsed (see note 3)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato purée
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles undrained (see note 4)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • avocado and scallions and minced cilantro, for serving


  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, carrot, celery, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, 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 avocado, cilantro, and scallions if desired.


  1. Bell peppers: Or add or substitute corn or zucchini.
  2. Chipotle chili powder: Substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  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: About 3-1/2 quarts (14 cups).
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Instant Pot: Use the sauté function to sauté the oil, vegetables, and spices. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on manual or high pressure for 20 minutes. Fast release the pressure when done. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Slow cooker: In a slow cooker, combine everything. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. More toppings: Try shredded cheese, sour cream, minced onion, hot sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, corn chips, or oyster crackers.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 26973IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 5mg