Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Full of flavor and so simple to make, this sweet potato black bean chili is a healthy and satisfying meatless meal. Serve with avocado, cilantro, and cornbread — or corn chips! Stovetop, slow cooker, and Instant Pot instructions included below.
Whether you’re craving some healthy comfort food or looking to impress someone with a wonderful vegan dish, look no further! This chili is the answer.
When the weather turns cool, chili is a love language. There’s simply nothing more cozy. With this version, you can have your chili and seconds, too: it’s full of protein, thanks to the quinoa and beans; packed with vegetables; and still bursting with that iconic chili texture and flavor.
How to make sweet potato black bean chili
More good news for the cook — this chili is simple to make and comes together all in one pot. It’s also slow cooker and Instant Pot friendly. If making on the stovetop, here are the basic steps:
- First, sauté 2 diced medium sweet potatoes together with a medium red onion in a bit of olive oil.
- Add seasonings — garlic, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt. This simple but magical combination imparts that classic smoky chili flavor!
- Add broth, beans, diced tomatoes, and dry quinoa. The quinoa will cook right in the chili, absorbing all the flavor and thickening up the texture.
- Let it simmer and serve!
What size pot to use?
The pot pictured here is this 5 quart oval Dutch oven that I absolutely love. As you can see, however, I wouldn’t make this in anything smaller, and a 6 quart pot — like this stock pot or more affordable Dutch oven — would probably be best!
Can I make this in the slow cooker?
Yes, this recipe is a dream for the slow cooker! Simply place all the ingredients in your slow cooker or Crockpot, stir well, and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot?
Yes! With the Instant Pot on the sauté function, briefly cook the onion and sweet potato in a bit of olive oil. Add seasonings, followed by the broth, beans, diced tomatoes, and quinoa. Scrape the bottom of the pot well to release any browned bits, as this will help prevent a burn notice.
Stir, seal, and cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. Quick release the pressure, remove lid and stir. Leave the Instant Pot on its keep warm function while the chili thickens to your desired consistency.
Tips, tricks, and variations
- Dice sweet potatoes to an even size. It matters here, because you want them to cook at more or less the same rate. Of course, you can always buy pre-peeled and chopped sweet potatoes to save time!
- Add heat with fire-roasted tomatoes. Using diced fire-roasted tomatoes is a zero-effort swap that deepens the flavor and heat!
- Use different beans. You can easily use kidney beans or pinto beans in place of the black beans. Or, if you’re doubling the recipe (which I highly recommend!), use one can of each.
- Swap or add veggies. You can easily use cubed butternut squash in place of the sweet potato — it’s delicious! — or throw in a chopped bell pepper for more veggie goodness. For more heat, toss in a diced jalapeño alongside the garlic and other seasonings. Craving some green? Stir in 1-2 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach when the chili is almost done.
This chili has tons of flavor! We love it best with simple toppings of diced avocado, cilantro, and cornbread or corn chips. (My husband introduced me to eating chili with corn chips, and I have been completely converted!) You can also add cheese and/or sour cream, of course.
Have just a bit leftover? Stretch it out by serving on top of baked potatoes, in a bread bowl, or on top of fry bread!
If you try this sweet potato black bean chili, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- avocado, cilantro, cornbread, corn chips as desired, to serve
- Warm oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion; cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add broth, beans, tomatoes, and quinoa. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a moderate simmer.
- Cook for 40-50 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked and the entire mixture has a thick, chili-like consistency.
- Remove pot from the heat, taste, and add additional salt if desired. Serve hot with chopped avocado, a sprinkling of cilantro, cornbread or corn chips, as desired.
- Slow Cooker Instructions: Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker or Crockpot, stir well, and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high.
- Instant Pot Instructions: With the Instant Pot on the sauté function, briefly cook the onion and sweet potato in a bit of olive oil. Add seasonings, followed by the broth, beans, diced tomatoes, and quinoa. Scrape the bottom of the pot well to release any browned bits, as this will help prevent a burn notice. Stir, seal, and cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. Quick release the pressure, remove lid and stir. Leave the Instant Pot on its keep warm function while the chili thickens to your desired consistency.
- Storage: Leftovers keep well tightly-covered in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat small bowls in the microwave, or a larger amount directly on the stovetop.
- Original Recipe: Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking.
This post was originally published September 13, 2017, and has been updated with new photos and more helpful tips, including instructions for the slow cooker and Instant Pot.