Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

This smoky Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is going to rock your world!

I’m convinced that these is something wrong with my husband. He doesn’t like chili? What? Who is he? How are we married? I’m so confused right now.

Chili is basically an ESSENTIAL recipe during the winter. I developed this recipe a few months back and basically hosed the entire pot of it myself over a few days. So Thomas’ disregard for all things chili is either a blessing or a problem. But I’m going with glass half full here and thinking it’s a good thing since there’s more chili for me!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili - the best vegetarian chili recipe ever!

Boom. Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili. In ever so humble opinion, this is the best chili recipes I’ve ever tasted. Plus it’s based around a sweet potato which means you’re getting a boat load of super foods at the same time. And who doesn’t love that little perk?!

Loaded with chili powder, chipotle peppers, cumin, beans, tomatoes and quinoa it’s basically a giant party in a pot and it’s addictive. Make it, enjoy it, and then take it into work for lunch the next day and make everyone jealous.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup dried quinoa
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • serving suggestions: avocado, cilantro, crema, cheese


  1. Heat a large heavy bottom pot with the oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion if softened.
  3. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Add the stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir everything to combine.
  5. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  6. Cook for 15-25 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft and the entire mixture is slightly thick like a chili.
  7. Add the lime juice and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt as needed.
  8. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, crema or cheese before serving.

Recipe originally developed for Pacific Coast Producers

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  1. Could this recipe be cooked as a crock pot meal? What would the times be changed to? Looks delish!! :)

    1. I am attempting it in the crock pot now :-) so far it smells amazing. I’ve discovered most chili recipes can be done in a crock pot while sticking to the recipe.

  2. Looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. About how many servings does it make? And do you know if it holds up well for leftovers – or should it be eaten the same day?

  3. Your husband doesn’t like CHILI? That’s like someone not liking pizza 😛

    Ahh well, like you said, more for you! I like to add a little dark chocolate to my chili right at the end. It works especially well with chipotle!

  4. This is perfect for these cold LA days 😉 Seriously though I really want to make this! Would this recipe work in my Crock pot?

  5. I just LOVE the quinoa in this chili, as well as the sweet potato. We are chili lovers, so this is a great new twist for me to try.

  6. What kind of stock did you use? I’m assuming vegetable? Did you not specify b/c we can choose which one to use? Thanks!

  7. Made this tonight as is other then I cut down on the broth(I added maybe 1cup the tomatoes were pretty juicy)Delicious and a keeper!

  8. Made this last night!
    Followed the recipe to a T and it was the easiest chilli iv ever made. So delicious, I will definitely make again. I was worried It was going to be too liquidly at first and had more of a soup-like texture. But I let it simmer for a little longer and it tightened up. A good alternative for people who aren’t bean obsessed. The quinoa is definitely the highlight.
    Thanks Gaby

  9. I made this over the weekend and used frozen, already cut sweet potatoes- saved time! And I added a pound of grass-fed ground beef and cooked it with the onions. Delicious! It was a huge hit while watching the Broncos.

  10. I made this tonight and it was amazing! The sweet potato made it very filling and satisfying. We put a little guacamole and corn chips on top. Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Gaby, I made this last night to bring for lunch the rest of the week, I could NOT stop “sampling” it. I eventually had to put it into containers to stop myself from eating it. This is DELICIOUS! Sweet and smoky, so good!!

  12. Delicious! I made this for my family tonight and it was a hit! Love the flavors…smoky, sweet, and a hint of heat. Will be putting this in the rotation. Thank you :)

  13. Made this today for a nice warm meal since the Polar Vortex has returned the Midwest. Absolutely LOVED it! I added a little cinnamon to mine too when I added the other spices and it turned out great. Cinnamon and sweet potatoes are always a good combo!

  14. I also loved this recipe! I took 2 cups out at the end and blended it in the vitamix and then put it back. It thickened the chili and felt like we were eating a meat chili….going to make it for the Super Bowl! Thanks Gaby!

  15. Made this on Saturday night, and will definitely make again. I love the fact that it’s a one pot meal. We had it with tortillas and avocado and have enough for supper tomorrow night too. I’ve just made nachos with it for lunch, yummy! BTW, are tortilla chips addictive? 😎

  16. Great recipe! Doubled it and made it for dinner for friends, she’s a vegetarian and he’s a chili lover. They both loved and had seconds. A keeper in our house for sure. :)

  17. So I was super excited to make this as I am newly vegetarian! Here are my observations – The taste is great. It is a little on the spicy side, which is good for me because I love spice, but unfortunately my boyfriend has sensitive little taste buds so he doesn’t do well with spice. If you like heat, this is great, but I may cut down a little on the chipotle next time.

    It was also just a little bit more runny than I thought it would be. Maybe I’m used to the meat in chili soaking up a portion of the liquid? Anyway, it is still good but next time I might try to thicken it up and add some “chunk” to it with some corn and maybe another type of bean. All in all, a good recipe and I’m enjoying it in its entirety as we speak :)

    1. When I made it I used a cup less water than the recipe stated, mostly because I couldn’t fit another cupful into the pan without major spillage! It turned out to be exactly the right degree of runniness for our taste, I’m not fond of lots of liquid in chilli.

  18. This was truly AMAZING. Very flavorful. I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a little topping.

  19. This is the best chili recipe! I made it for Super Bowl Sunday and poured it into mason jars and baked cornbread on top. I also added a little Mayan chocolate to the batch and it kicked it up a notch. It was a huge hit! I wanted chili again today, but I didn’t have a red onion or black beans, so I used white kidney beans and a yellow onion. I had fire roasted tomatoes on hand and used those. It came out amazing! No chocolate or cornbread this time. I served it with sliced avocados on top. Thank you again for sharing this recipe. :-)

  20. Making this for the second time tonight. This recipe is fantastic! I made everyone I know try it and everyone loves it. I double the recipe. Warms up well too so it’s convenient for me to take to lunch at work. Loooove this!!!!!

  21. Would this work well to freeze? I haven’t used quinoa before so not sure if it would hold up after thawing out. Thanks!

  22. This is one of my new faves! I make this recipe at least once a week! Delicious, easy and healthy! Thanks for sharing.

  23. I’ve made this a dozen times now and I love it more and more! It’s delicious! I’ve decided to make it for a party I’m hosting. One of the guests is on a gluten free diet. Is this gluten free? If not, what needs to be eliminated to accommodate a gluten free diet?

  24. My husband who HATES sweet potatoes LOVED this chili. I am craving it right now. Everytime I passed the fridge, I would need to take a spoonful…cold. Being a spice wuss, I will cut the ground chipolte to 1/4 tsp. A dollop of sour cream on top…OMG….deeeeeelish!

  25. This is such an amazing recipe, I have changed it up a little adding some diced pepper or some celery and mushrooms, but anytime I make it it is wonderful for my daughter the vegetarian and my honey the carnivore everybody lloves it, I’ve made it 3 times in 2 weeks doubled it tonight, to freeze some individual portions for my work lunches, Yummo, thanks so much for what has become a classic recipe in my house! P.s. It freezes well!

  26. My husband made it a few days ago when I was on a girls day out. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the sweet potatoes, so he used regular ones and found a golden beetroot which he also put in. It worked really well.

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  28. Gaby, your chili rocks!! I loved everything about it! The heat was just right. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes were devine! I did let it cook down a bit longer than suggested by that’s personal preference. Thank you for my first vegetarian chili recipe. As far as I’m concerned the search is over!

    1. you add the uncooked quinoa to the chili and then bring it to a boil and that thickens the chili and cooks the quinoa :)

  29. Just finished a dish of this excellent chilli. Added turkey mince to make it go further and some corn and chopped capsicum. Used kidney beans as black beans are not readily available here. Loved the texture with the quinoa. Will be enjoying this for lunch next week :)

  30. I made this last week and my roommate and I could NOT STOP EATING IT! I made it with with a little honey and cinnamon added in to add a bit more sweetness to the heat, and piled it on top of corn bread. I’m making it again tonight… it’ll definitely will become a staple for us here in my house.

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