Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili


Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.

Active Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings, about 2 cups each

How to Make the Best Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

This vegetarian sweet potato chili is a breeze to make. Make it once, and you'll come back to it again and again. Check out our tips for the perfect sweet potato chili and ways you can make it your own.

To Peel or Not to Peel?

To peel or not to peel your sweet potatoes comes down to personal preference. We peel the sweet potatoes in this recipe which helps the potatoes break down some and thicken the chili. However, leaving the peels on the sweet potato ups the fiber content of the dish and also helps the cubes hold together in the chili if you prefer more texture. It's up to you! If you do leave the peels on, make sure the sweet potatoes are scrubbed before chopping.

Spice It Up

We love the smoky heat ground chipotle lends to this chili. Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers found in jars in a thick adobo sauce or dried and ground into powder. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or online. If you can't find dried chipotle, you can substitute it with the jarred variety, adding 1 chopped chipotle in adobo in place of the ground. Chipotle peppers can be on the spicy side, so if you prefer a more mild chili, you can substitute regular chili powder for the chipotle or skip it altogether.

Garnishes to Try

This chili is great served with tortilla chips, cornbread and coleslaw or topped with a few garnishes. Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese would be excellent melted on top along with sliced radish, scallion or finely chopped sweet onion. Avocado adds creaminess along with sour cream if you want something to tame the heat, or you can try adding a fresh chopped tomato or roasted corn to have even more veggies in this healthy chili.

Can I Make Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili Ahead?

Yes! Cover and refrigerate the chili for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 ½ cups water

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 4 teaspoons lime juice

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

  2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

    Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
    Photographer/Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist/Kay Clarke, Food Stylist/Emily Nabors Hall

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

323 Calories
8g Fat
55g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size about 2 cups
Calories 323
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 16g 56%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 13g 25%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Vitamin A 12409IU 248%
Vitamin C 24mg 27%
Folate 118mcg 29%
Sodium 573mg 25%
Calcium 164mg 13%
Iron 5mg 29%
Magnesium 42mg 10%
Potassium 1073mg 23%

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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