Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

By · On Dec 29, 2012

Black bean & sweet potato chiliWhen the evenings turn nippy, few things hit the spot like a bowl of chili. With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is filling and warming. Make this big pot of chili, and enjoy leftovers for a thermos lunch or subsequent dinners. Serve with stone-ground tortilla chips and any of VegKitchen’s coleslaws; a simple side of sautéed greens or steamed broccoli rounds out this hearty meal. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Serves: 8 or more

  • 3 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • Two 28- to 32-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
  • One 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles, minced, or one 8-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro, or more, to taste
  • 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced, optonal
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until just firm. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 3/4-inch dice. Set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered for 15 minutes.

Add the sweet potato dice and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the parsley or cilantro and optional scallions, then season gently with salt. If time allows, let stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed. Top each serving with extra parsley or cilantro, if desired.

Print This Post Print This Post


  1. [...] –source Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in dinner and tagged black bean, black bean yam chili, chili, dinner, lunch, nava atlas, yam. [...]

  2. Jacqueline says:

    The sweet potatoes give this a nice hint of Cuban flavor. I did use sweet potatoes per the recipe, but it looks like there are yams in the photo – will try that too. Very tasty and quick to throw together. Thank you!

  3. Nava says:

    There is so much confusion over what is a sweet potato and what is a yam. The garnet yams are deep orange, yet I was under the impression that what’s called a sweet potato is orange, and what’s a yam is the more yellow-y flesh. I could be wrong, though!

  4. Sidedish says:

    I always use yams regardless what the recipe calls for. I think they have a better flavor.

    Will try this for my veggie friend coming over for Thanksgiving!

  5. Trista says:

    Holy crap this soup is good! I made it with 1 serrano and 2 jalapenos with all the seeds and it is just perfectly spicy. And the fire roasted tomatoes were a good idea.
    Thanks for posting this recipe.

  6. Nava says:

    Thanks for leaving comments, Sidedish and Trista! Glad you enjoyed this, Trista, and thanks for your recommendations for the chilies to use.

  7. April says:

    I have probably made over a dozen different chilis and this by far was the absolute best. I could not get enough of it. I cooked my sweet potato in the chili though and added an extra cup of liquid to make up for that. I also let it simmer for over an hour to help the flavors combine. So delicious!

  8. Nava says:

    Thanks, April. It’s also one of my fave quick chili recipes; I love the colors.

  9. [...] Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili [...]

  10. DeeCee says:

    Made this tonight for our vegetarian potluck. It was a big hit! Everyone loved it and couldn’t get enough. I had to comment because it really was great. Our goal is to get more people to see that Vegetarian & Vegan foods are actually as delicious as they are good for you. I chose this, because it was also an easy meal, another plus for busy families. Thank you so much!

  11. Nava says:

    Thanks so much —glad you and your friends enjoyed it, and thank you for spreading the good word on veg food in this way. I’ve always found that winning people over goes much better with yummy food than with lectures!

  12. Shay says:

    I will be the first to admit, I was a bit skeptical that black beans and sweet potato would be tasty. My aunt was is NOT an easy person to please with new recipes, can’t stop talking about how delicious it is!! I had to leave a comment after she packed some leftovers for lunch!! This recipe is definitely a keeper and will be made again!! Thanks!!!

  13. Debbie A says:

    I was just wondering if it’s possible to get the nutritinal information on the dish. It’s absolutely wonderful!

  14. Nava says:

    Debbie, this just happens to be adapted from one of my books, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, so I do have the nutritional info. In this web version, I added an extra sweet potato, but the rest of the recipe is really similar. You might add a few more calories and fiber to these stats per serving: Per serving (based on 6 servings): 202 calories, 5g fat, 8g protein, 8.5g fiber, 0 cholesterol, 222 mg sodium. Glad you enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply