Classic Beef Chili


This classic chili recipe features beef, beans and shredded sweet potatoes for a nutritional boost. The sweet potato blends into the chili so well that even picky eaters will gobble it up.

Classic Beef Chili
Photo: Photography / Jennifer Causey, Styling / Chelsea Zimmer / Kay Clarke
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
8 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded

  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably petite diced

  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 2 scallions, sliced


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in water and sweet potato. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer, until the sweet potato is softened and beginning to break down, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes; return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the sweet potato starts to melt into the chili, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve topped with cheese and scallions.


Check the label to be sure you are buying lean ground meat. Anything labeled 90%-lean or higher is considered a healthy choice.

To make ahead

Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

358 Calories
15g Fat
35g Carbs
23g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 358
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 23g 46%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Vitamin A 7100IU 142%
Vitamin C 24mg 27%
Folate 82mcg 21%
Sodium 733mg 32%
Calcium 210mg 16%
Iron 5mg 28%
Magnesium 81mg 19%
Potassium 1002mg 21%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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