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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili is thick and hearty, full of flavor, and easy to make! It’s a healthy vegan chili recipe that’s versatile and terrific all year long!

top down view of freshly made pot of vegan sweet potato black bean chili.

If you love a good thick and hearty veggie chili, then look no further because this easy black bean chili with sweet potatoes is the best!

This recipe has been adapted from our fan-favorite Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili and we know you’re gonna love it!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s made with the basics. Made with mostly pantry staples, the ingredients are easily accessible and budget-friendly. And when combined they make a most delicious meal!
  • It’s quick and easy! We love one pot recipes for easy cooking and cleanup, and it’s ready in 45 minutes.
  • It’s healthy and nutritious. Full of protein, fiber, and minerals, it will help you hit the nutritional recommended daily requirements with ease. Check out the recipe card below!
top down view of ingredients used to make sweet potato black bean chili recipe.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili Ingredients: sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, green chilies, onion, garlic, tomato paste, herbs (oregano, garlic & onion powder), spices (chili powder and cumin), salt, and vegetable broth.

Ingredient Notes

In this recipe, aromatics, herbs, spices, and veggies are simmered into a flavorful meal you’ll want to make again and again!

  • Black Beans. Black beans are protein rich, budget friendly and easy to source. Use canned for ease or fresh cooked for the more adventurous cooks.
  • Sweet Potato. The sweet potato can be peeled or cooked with the skin on. Leaving the skin on does add extra fiber, just be sure to scrub them well before chopping.
  • Aromatics. You’ll start the chili with onion and garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, use 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
  • The Spices + Herbs. This chili has plenty of flavor. I find it’s a perfect combination of chili powder, ground cumin, and oregano. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
  • Tomatoes. We’ll be using tomato paste and diced tomatoes. The tomato paste will thicken the chili up perfectly. And the diced tomatoes add texture and extra juiciness. We recommend using fire-roasted tomatoes for the added smoky flavor.
side by side photos showing process of making sweet potato black bean chili recipe.

How To Make Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Making chili with black beans and sweet potato couldn’t be any easier!

  • Start with sauteing the onion and garlic, adding the herbs and spices at the end, and cooking until fragrant (pictured above left).
  • Add the black beans, sweet potato, diced green chilies and tomatoes, tomato paste, and pour the vegetable broth over top (above right).
top down view of sweet potato black bean chili stirred in a pot.
  • Give the chili a good stir, bring the mixture to a boil, cover askew, and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. Chili is done when sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Lastly, taste for seasoning and your work is done!

Now you’re ready to serve with your favorite toppings!

Top Tips

Need to switch up the vegetables? You can sub butternut squash for sweet potato. And kidney beans can be used in place of black beans.

Take your chili to the next level by adding any one or combo of these add-ins for additional flavor:

  • My favorite secret ingredient is cocoa. Adding a little bit of cocoa adds depth of flavor. You can add 1 – 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder or a small piece of dark chocolate, pref. 70% and above. It’s delicious!
  • Add a little cinnamon. This sweet potato chili is similar to my Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili which calls for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for a wonderful warming flavor.
  • Add extra heat and spiciness. Turn up the heat by adding 1 adobe chili pepper from the can or 1 – 2 teaspoons of chipotle powder. And, if you prefer adding something fresh, dice up 1 or 2 jalapenos and toss them in along with a few of the seeds.

Can I Make This Recipe in a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can make this chili recipe with these other easy cooking options:

  • How To Cook using an Instant Pot: Saute the onion and garlic, then add the spices. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Attach the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Let manually release for 10 minutes.
  • How To Cook using a Slow Cooker: Add all the ingredients to the bottom of the slow cooker insert, stir until combined. Cook on HIGH and cook for 4 – 6 hours, or LOW cook for 6 – 8 hours. Season to taste and more liquids as needed.
side angle view of freshly made pot of vegan sweet potato black bean chili.

How To Store + Reheat

If you manage to have leftovers, you’ll be happy to know chili holds up great and taste even better the next day. You may even want to double the recipe for meal prep.

Here is a guide to storing, freezing, and reheating:

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 days in sealed containers.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, keep it in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving ½ inch headspace for expansion. Alternatively, freeze larger portions in large freezer ziplock bags. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over low heat, adding a little extra water or broth as needed until warmed through. Alternatively, heat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring between each, until warm.

Serving Suggestions

A bowl of chili with a side of cornbread is a classic pairing! We recommend our Vegan Cornbread or Jalapeno Corn Muffins which have just the right amount of sweetness and pair perfectly with the chili spices.

For toppings, we love this homemade cashew-based Vegan Sour Cream. Other options include diced jalapeno, vegan shredded cheese, cilantro, tortilla chips, and of course, diced avocado knocks it out of the park.

top down view of plated sweet potato black bean chili with toppings.

More Vegan Chili Recipes!

If you try this easy chili recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

This Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili recipe is hearty and flavorful and easy to make using mostly pantry staples. It’s a quick and healthy savory plant-based chili everyone will love! Recipe inspired by my Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Simmer, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American, Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ¼ cup water (for water saute)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 23 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon EACH garlic + onion powder, optional (for good measure)
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt, or to taste
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.), diced (with or without skin)
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juices) or 1 ½ cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chilies
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth

To serve (optional)

  • diced avocado
  • cilantro
  • tortilla strips
  • diced onion and/or jalapeno
  • a dollop of vegan sour cream

Instructions

Saute: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cook until soft and edges browned, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic & onion powder, cook 1 minute more (or until fragrant).

Simmer: Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sweet potato, green chilies, and vegetable broth, stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly askew and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili is ready when sweet potatoes are tender. Add additional water if chili is too thick for your liking.

Serve with optional garnishes. You may also like to top it with this easy Cilantro Lime Cashew ‘Sour Cream’.

Serves 4 generously

Store: Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days. To keep longer, store in the freezer, in freezer-safe containers, for up to 2 – 3 months.

Notes

As with all recipes, adjust seasoning to taste. Add a ½ teaspoon or so chipotle powder for some added heat.

More Cooking Methods:

Instant Pot: Saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, add the spices & herbs after 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Attach the lid, turn to lock, and move the valve to the sealed position. Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes.

Slow-Cooker: Add all the onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, green chilies, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion & garlic powder, and broth/water to the bottom of the crockpot insert, stir until combined. Turn on high and cook for 4 – 6 hours, or turn on low and cook for 6 – 8 hours. Season to taste and more liquids as needed.

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10 Comments

  1. George Lammers says:

    Wonderful flavor and easy preparation. My wife doesn’t like hot spices so I used “Mild” green chilies. I’ll try “Hot” green chilies next time. Fire roasted tomatoes… Loved ‘em.

    This was the best plant based chili I’ve made! ❤️

  2. hotmessvegan says:

    Delicious, the spices work perfectly!

  3. Made this with black, kidney, and pinto beans and added chipotle peppers in adobo and it was delicious! I did not add any salt like intended in the recipe. It was tasty enough and nice and thick. Love the added sweet potatoes to make even more hearty. Will be keeping this recipe saved for making chili in the future!

  4. Made this today. It easy and tasted great. I added just a bit of chipotle powder. Will be making this again soon.

  5. Delicious! My daughter and family loved it- they follow a plant based diet without added oil so I sautéed onions with a small amount veggie broth. I am so happy to find a new awesome recipe! Thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, another happy family meal! Thanks for sharing, Linda!

  6. I’ve made this chili twice in one week. It’s so flavorful and I can’t seem to get enough. Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      We feel the same way! Thanks for sharing, Taylor!

  7. Yum! I’ve made this two days in a row, can’t get enough. lol

  8. Absolutely delicious! Made exactly as written and it was a total hit with the family!

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