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Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

This Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili recipe with kidney & black beans is hearty and full of flavor, and makes a great vegan lunch, dinner, or meal prep idea! Includes stovetop and slow cooker options.

side angle view of a bowl with a serving of healthy vegan sweet potato quinoa chili with spoon.

Meals that can easily fit into your meal rotation are what I really love to share. As we can get a bit bored with the usual meals, it’s nice to have more easy options that come together in a cinch.

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s quick and easy. There are no complicated ingredients, everything is probably in your kitchen right now, or can be found right away at your favorite grocery store. And it’s all made in one pot for easy cooking and cleanup!
  • It’s healthy and nutritious. This thick and hearty sweet potato & quinoa chili has plenty of protein, essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being flavorful and satisfying. Plus, it’s gluten-free, well-balanced, low fat, and includes an option to be oil-free!

I love finding these simple dishes that truly work and can be made over and over again. I know you’re going to love this chili and find yourself making it often during the chili weather season!

Easy and delicious, bring on the chili!

top down view of ingredients needed to make healthy sweet potato quinoa chili recipe.

What Goes Into Quinoa Chili?

Here is everything you’ll need, plus ideas for ingredient substitutions (measurements are in the recipe card below):

  • The Beans. We’ll be using protein-rich black beans and kidney beans. Feel free to use your favorite in any combo you like. Pinto beans would be great here too!
  • Sweet Potato. One large sweet potato is all you need. I peeled mine, but you can leave the skin on for even more fiber (just be sure to scrub the sweet potato beforehand.
  • Quinoa. Use your favorite colored quinoa, mine happens to be tri-color.
  • Tomato. I’ve used a canned of diced tomatoes, with juices, for ease, but you can use 2 – 3 fresh roma tomatoes if you prefer.
  • Tomato Paste. Tomato paste adds a wonderful umami flavor and helps thicken the chili nicely.
  • Onion. Any color will do, use your favorite.
  • Garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand add an extra 1 – 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • Spices. You’ll find a tasty mix of chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Plus, I usually add a dash or two of garlic and onion powder for good measure.
  • Garnish. This sweet potato & quinoa chili is great with diced avocado, cilantro, and homemade vegan cornbread. If you like heat, a few slices of jalapeno are perfect!
top down view of a freshly made pot of vegan sweet potato quinoa chili with wooden spoon.

How To Make Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

This Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili is so easy to make on the stovetop and will be ready in under 1 hour!

  • Stovetop: 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, quinoa, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sweet potato, and broth/water, stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly ajar and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili is ready when sweet potatoes are tender. Add additional water as needed.

Here is also a method for using a crock-pot, because sometimes you just want to set it and forget it!

  • Slow-Cooker: Add all the onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, 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.

It’s a one-pot meal that’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or make-ahead meal planning!

Eating vegan meals every day that are healthy and tasty is really easy once you get the hang of it!

side angle view of a bowl with a serving of healthy vegan sweet potato quinoa chili with spoon.

How Long Will Leftovers Keep?

Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. It makes great meal prep for the week with vegan cornbread on the side.

Can You Freeze Quinoa Chili?

Yes, it freezes wonderfully for up to 2 – 3 months! To freeze sweet potato quinoa chili, simply store individual portions using freezer-safe containers. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers. Let thaw before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

top down view of a bowl with serving of vegan sweet potato quinoa chili with cornbread and spoon.

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.

Print

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

Full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this easy Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili is thick, hearty, and always a good thing!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Chili
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water (for water saute)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 56 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a few dashes of garlic powder
  • a few dashes of onion powder
  • himalayan salt, to taste
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices) or 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.), diced (with or without skin)
  • 56 cups water or vegetable broth (or combo)

Optional garnish for serving

  • diced avocado
  • cilantro
  • diced onion and/or jalapeno

Instructions

Stovetop: In 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, quinoa, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sweet potato, and broth/water, stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly ajar 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.

Slow-Cooker: Add all the onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, 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.

Serve with optional garnishes. You may also like to top it with this easy Cilantro Lime Cashew ‘Sour Cream’. On the side, try this Vegan Cornbread or Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins are delicious!

Serves 4 generously.

Store leftovers 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 1/2 teaspoon or so chipotle powder for some added heat.

Use your favorite beans, in any combination.

Updated: This recipe was originally published March 2013 and has been updated October 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. No change to recipe – I wouldn’t dare!

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121 Comments

  1. This was so good and so easy to make! I added sriracha for more of a kick. It was a little too thick so I just added more water when I reheated it for leftovers. Perfect!

  2. This is my favorite chili! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Hi, just going to make this but would prefer to use instant pot.
    Any chance you have made this in an instant pot?
    Thanks

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, just add everything to the insert of the Instant Pot, using 5 cups of water, and cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes. Let natural release for 5 minutes. It will thicken upon standing, add more water as needed. Enjoy!

  4. Hello, I just discovered your blog and this recipe looks perfect! I have a question, though. I have a much neglected bag of frozen sweet potatoes in my freezer and was wondering if you could suggest when I would add them in the crock pot; at the beginning or when almost done? Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Lara! If they are prepared and just need to be heated, I’d let them thaw in the fridge and add them in the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. You may even be able to do 15 minutes before. If they are frozen from raw, add them at the beginning. Hope that helps, and enjoy! :)

  5. Amy Homer says:

    Tried this recipe for teacher appreciation lunch since our teacher is vegan and wanted her to have an option. So glad I made a test batch first because it is DELICIOUS and now I have some for me! I eat low GI, so this was great for me too. Thanks so much!

  6. So easy and tasty, definitely a must try. The avocado complements the chili amazingly.

  7. Super tasty! Made it in the slow cooker and served with tortilla chips and avocado. This is definitely a make again recipe.

  8. Easy and tasty- use instant pot on soup setting for 7 minutes

  9. Do you drain any liquid from the canned beans or tomatoes? This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, the beans should be drained and rinsed. The tomatoes on the other hand, use all the tomato juices. Enjoy, it’s a great chili!

  10. Do you still include the oil in the slow cooker version?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Nope, no need to add any oil. The oil is just fo sauteing on the stovetop. Enjoy the chili! Cheers :)

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