Sweet potato and black bean chili is an easy, cozy, hearty vegetarian chili with deep flavor that’s perfect for a healthy, meatless meal!
Well here we are at the last week of 2021 and that’s blowing my mind a bit.
I’m thankful for a very merry Christmas, for some lovely time with family (and more to come later this week), my two wonderful kiddos and two sweet dogs and lots of delicious eats over the last week.
This week, I’m looking forward to getting us cleaned up and organized and ready to tackle a new year. And that definitely includes sorting through some of my magazine cut-outs and cookbook flagged pages to find some yummy new recipes to try in January and beyond.
Speaking of food, I’ve got one last recipe of the year to share with you today.
Today’s dish features one of my favorite combinations: sweet potatoes and black beans.
They go together SO well!
Previously, I’ve shared sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, which I could eat for days and days and never get sick of.
And for a really quick and easy vegetarian dinner, I make this sweet potato, black bean and spinach saute.
I use sweet potatoes and black beans together in tacos, too.
And today it’s this sweet potato and black bean chili.
It’s easy to make, super cozy, completely hearty and filling and perfect for a healthy vegetarian meal.
Even my kids’ dad said that although it doesn’t look quite like regular chili, it sure does taste like it!
(It’s all those great seasonings that flavor this chili.)
Also, our secret ingredient here is my secret weapon for veggie chili recipes, including this vegetarian quinoa chili.
We’re adding some cocoa powder with the rest of the seasonings. It adds a big depth of flavor that helps boost the heartiness of vegetarian chili.
So much yum!
OK, let’s get to cooking.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up on how to make sweet potato and black bean chili. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making sweet potato black bean chili:
- Sweet potatoes: Be sure to cut your sweet potatoes into small, bite-size pieces so you can get a scoop of everything in each spoonful of the chili. (They also need to be small enough to cook through properly.)
- Beans: We prefer black beans but you could substitute kidney beans or pinto beans.
- Consistency: I like my chili on the thicker side and find the amount of broth listed below is the right balance. If you like yours super thick, I’d recommend starting with just 1 1/2 cups of broth and adjusting before you go to serve. Alternatively, you can thin it out with extra broth after it’s cooked if you want it a tad more soupy.
- Corn: Love some corn in your chili? Feel free to add a cup of frozen corn or an 11 oz. can of corn that’s been drained.
- Spicy: Need a little heat? Add an extra jalapeño, or leave in some of the seeds and membranes, or add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the other seasonings. You can also serve it with hot sauce to give some heat to just your bowl.
OK, let’s get ready to eat.
Chili wouldn’t be chili, in my humble opinion, without some serious toppings happening.
Everyone has their favorites of course, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
Topping ideas for vegetarian chili:
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped green onions
- Hot sauce or sriracha
- Pickled jalapeños
- Tortilla chips or oyster crackers or frito chips
Or check out this tasty Mexican cornbread for a side.
OK, let’s talk about what to do with any leftovers.
How to store leftover chili:
* For the fridge: Let the chili cool down, then transfer it to a container with a lid and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
* For the freezer: Let the cooked chili cool down and then pack it up in a ziptop freezer bag or a freezer safe container. It will keep for 4-6 months. (Some people are funny about the texture of potatoes after freezing. If that’s you, skip freezing and enjoy your chili the same week you make it.)
* Don’t forget to label it! Write on your bag the name of the chili and the date you made it. I also like to keep a list of food I have in the freezer in my desk, so I can see what we need to use up without having to dig through the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy it again, for lunch or dinner, here’s how to get it ready.
How to reheat leftover chili:
* To reheat frozen chili, it’s best to thaw it in the fridge overnight. (It may take longer than overnight if you have a large container of frozen chili.) Then add it to a pot on the stove over medium low and bring it to a simmer, stirring on occasion, to get it uniformly heated through.
* If you’re in a pinch time-wise to thaw it from the freezer, you can place the frozen bag/container of chili in a bowl of lukewarm water to thaw on the counter, changing the water every 15 minutes. Then heat the chili in a pot until warm and serve it up.
* If the chili has gotten too thick, add a few splashes of chicken broth to get it to the right consistency.
You are all set, whether it’s for a healthy New Year, a meatless Monday or just a new way with some delicious chili.
Enjoy and happy New Year!
P.S. You might also like this slow cooker black bean soup for a healthy vegetarian meal in the new year.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or black pepper for less heat)
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- Shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeños, hot sauce, crackers or chips, etc.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat.
- Add the sweet potatoes, onion, green pepper and jalapeño and saute until slightly tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
- Add the diced tomatoes, black beans and broth. Crank the heat up to high and bring the chili to a simmer.
- Lower heat to medium or medium low, maintaining a gentle simmer, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chili is thickened.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve hot with desired toppings.
Sweet potatoes: Be sure to cut your sweet potatoes into small, bite-size pieces so you can get a scoop of everything in each spoonful of the chili. (They also need to be small enough to cook through properly.)
Beans: We prefer black beans but you could substitute kidney beans or pinto beans.
Consistency: I like my chili on the thicker side and find the amount of broth listed below is the right balance. If you like yours super thick, I’d recommend starting with just 1 1/2 cups of broth and adjusting before you go to serve..
Alternatively, you can thin it out with extra broth after it’s cooked if you want it a tad more soupy.
Corn: Love some corn in your chili? Feel free to add a cup of frozen corn or an 11 oz. can of corn, drained.
Spicy: Need a little heat? Add an extra jalapeño, or leave in some of the seeds and membranes, or add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the other seasonings. You can also serve it with hot sauce to give some heat to just your bowl.
Leftovers: Leftover chili will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months. Thaw overnight then reheat and serve, adding extra broth if needed to thin it out.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 252mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g