Comfort food chili that's incredibly delicious and also healthy? Yes! This vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili is packed with so much flavor, you might not believe it's healthy.... But it is!
(This recipe for Sweet Potato Chili was originally published in February 2011, but has been updated with new photos and content in 2019).
Let's get right down to business. While eating this sweet potato chili for dinner the first time I made it, I happily exclaimed to Chris, "This is a super healthy meal!" He gave me a look and replied, "No, it's not. It can't be. It doesn't taste healthy. There's no way this is healthy!"
Boom. When you make a meatless chili that's incredibly satisfying, filling, and delicious, you definitely have a make over and over again dish on your hands.
And that's exactly what I've been doing. Making this sweet potato chili over and over again throughout the years. It may not taste healthy, but it is! And in my opinion, that's the very best kind of healthy.
It's only early November, but there's already snow in the forecast for Boston (Sob!) and I know much of the country has already seen wintry weather. In my mind, the only good thing about more snow is that it's perfect chili eating weather.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Despite a seemingly long list of ingredients (most of them are spices!), this chili is so easy to make. It won't interrupt your lazy winter weekend mood too much.
Really all you have to do is sauté a few veggies and then throw everything else into the pot and let it simmer.
And not only is this recipe easy, but it makes plenty, so you may even be able to stick some in the freezer for a later, snowy date when you just don't feel like cooking.
Of course, the main reason you'll love this chili is because it's absolutely delicious!
Like I mentioned, the ingredient list looks quite long, but don't worry because it's mostly spices (and hopefully you have most of them in your kitchen already!).
Here's everything you need:
- Olive oil
- Red bell pepper
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
- Sweet potatoes
- Diced tomatoes in juice
- Tomato paste
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Avocado, for garnish
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for garnish
How to Make Sweet Potato Chili
Seriously though, this meal is one of the easiest to make. Chop some veggies, open some cans of beans and diced tomatoes, throw everything in a pot, and let it simmer. That means more time for you to snuggle under blankets. Or shovel your driveway. I'll let you decide.
Really, the toughest part of this sweet potato chili recipe is chopping the vegetables. And even that's not too tough as it's just sweet potatoes, red pepper, jalapeño, onion, and garlic.
Once everything is chopped, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook, while stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the red peppers and jalapeños and cook for about 10 more minutes. Don't forget to keep stirring! I use 2 tablespoons of diced jalapeño pepper in mine and don't find it too spicy, but if you're sensitive to spice, you can keep it to 1 tablespoon. You still want to get some of the jalapeño flavor!
After 10 minutes, stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook for another two minutes.
Ready for the next step? Add in ALL the other ingredients besides the garnish, obvi. This includes (deep breath!) sweet potatoes, water, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and kidney beans.
And bring the mixture to a boil. Hello, you just basically finished the whole sweet potato chili recipe. I told you it was easy!
Now all you have to do is lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are nice and tender. I simmered mine for about 25 minutes.
Serve and garnish using anything you like. Cilantro (or parsley if you can't do cilantro) and diced avocado work well, but so does sour cream or Greek yogurt if you want to add a little creaminess.
And now you're ready to enjoy a chili that is so good it just can't be healthy. But it is. I mean, do you see anything bad about this chili?
I don't want to say it tastes "meaty" because that might (understandably) freak some people out, but it's totally hearty and really does taste like so much more than just veggies.
The flavors are out of this world, which is exactly why I've made this sweet potato chili over and over again.
You could even make this chili for the Super Bowl and have a whole lot of people oohing and ahhing over it before you tell them it's packed with antioxidants, fiber, and other good stuff.
I mean, it kinda balances out all the buffalo wings and nachos, right? I'm going with yes.
I've also made this chili alongside a traditional beef chili when I've had friends over so that there's something for everyone. It's perfect for anyone eating vegetarian or anyone who simply prefers a lighter, veggie-packed chili.
It's so easy to make that it's not a problem to throw this together while cooking up another chili (as long as you have two big pots!).
How to Store
For any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze Chili
But it's also super easy to freeze this chili! So I recommend making this whole batch even if you're only cooking for one or two.
If you're cooking for a larger family and still want some to freeze, you can easily double the recipe.
To freeze, make sure chili is cooled and then portion out into large Ziplock bags or airtight Tupperware containers. I love freezing it in bags because they can be flattened and don't take up a lot of space in the freezer.
If freezing in bags, once you fill them, lay them flat on a baking sheet and put in freezer until they're solid.
This sweet potato chili should stay good in your freezer for up to 6 months. I recommend defrosting it in the fridge overnight, but you can also use the microwave or a room temperature water bath.
Trust me, you'll be so happy come January when we're getting hit with the 10th blizzard and you just want a warm satisfying meal that you don't have to work too hard for.
More Chili Recipes
If you enjoyed this chili (or are looking for a chili with meat!), check out some of my other chili recipes:
- Buffalo Chicken Chili
- Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili
- Red Wine Pumpkin Chili
- Chipotle Turkey Chili
- White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Thai Green Curry Chicken Chili (from Crazy Inspired Life)
Is there anything that makes you happy about winter? To be honest, most of my picks are food and blanket related.
Sweet Potato Chili
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (from about 3 cloves)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1-2 Tbsp diced jalapeño (from 1 large pepper)
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and chopped into ½" cubes
- 2 cups water
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15. oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- chopped cilantro (for garnish), optional
- ½ avocado, diced (for garnish), optional
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt (for garnish), optional
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook, while stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the red pepper and the jalapeño (use 2 Tbsp if you like a little heat and 1 Tbsp if you prefer mild) and cook for about 10 more minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook for another two minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes, water, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and kidney beans to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook it until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Serve and garnish with avocado and cilantro if desired.
- Recipe adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures.
- Chili can be frozen in airtight containers.
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