Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

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Naturally sweet and not too spicy, this sweet potato black bean chili is a staple dish you can make any night of the week. Adjust the heat to your liking, or keep it tame and serve hot sauce on the side.

One thing I’m always trying to do in my house is serve more meatless meals.

That’s not always as easy as it seems with two kids who have very specific tastes and a hesitation to try new things.

Soups and chili are some of our favorite meals, and they’re easy to transition to a meatless option. 

sweet potato black bean chili with avocado

I recently was on a sweet potato recipe binge for work, and while you’d think it would make me avoid sweet potatoes, I actually craved them more.

This simple sweet potato black bean chili is very similar to my standard chili recipe, but cubed sweet potato rounds out the dish instead of beef.

Be sure to use fresh sweet potato for this recipe and not the canned variety, which is covered in sweet syrup. Peeling is optional, but make sure you cut the potatoes into evenly sized cubes for cooking.

What kind of chili powder should I use?

There is some confusion about chili powder and chili seasoning, which are not the same thing!

Chili (or chile) powder is ground dried chiles. There are lots of different varieties you can buy, and they all have a slightly different flavor. 

Chili seasoning is a blend of spices that you can use in dishes without adding other flavors, and confusingly, sometimes this is labeled as chili powder!

When buying spices, always check the label to check ingredients. That way you’ll know if it is purely chile powder, or if there are additional ingredients.

If you have a local spice shop or grocery that grinds spices in-house, I highly recommend checking it out! 

I like to buy ancho chile powder. It’s a little smoky and a little sweet, and perfect for making chili or beans, in my opinion. 

Ancho chiles are the dried version of poblanos, so we’re doubling down on poblano flavor in this recipe.

bowl of sweet potato black bean chili

Can I make this in the Instant Pot?

Chili is really easy to do in the Instant Pot, because there is already a button for it. However, this is meant for meat-based chilis, not veggie chili!

To make sweet potato black bean chili in the Instant Pot, cook your vegetables through poblano pepper using the Sauté function. 

Once you add the remaining ingredients, seal the lid and set to Manual or High Pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release and use Sauté again to simmer and reduce liquid to your liking.

Can I freeze sweet potato black bean chili?

One of the reasons I love making chili is because it’s easy to make enough for leftovers. If we don’t plan to eat it for lunches during the week, I freeze it.

Portion your leftovers into individual freezer-safe containers and let cool completely before freezing. Be sure to leave some space in the container to allow for expansion in the freezer.

Thaw containers in the refrigerator overnight and heat in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.

sweet potato black bean chili in white soup bowls

Serve this chili with your favorite toppings, like chopped fresh cilantro, pickled onions, avocado, or crushed tortilla chips. I always have hot sauce on the table for anyone who needs it! 

sweet potato black bean chili in white soup bowls

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sweet potato black bean chili is perfect for meatless Mondays. Adjust the heat on this chili to your liking, or keep it tame and serve hot sauce on the side.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 6 servings
Calories 204 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 3 tomatoes, chopped)
  • 4 cups diced sweet potatoes, about 20 ounces
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup dried beans, cooked)
  • 2 to 3 cups water or vegetable broth

Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add poblano pepper and cook until soft, then add tomatoes.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper and stir vigorously.
  • Add sweet potatoes and stir well, then add beans and desired amount of liquid. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Remove cover, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. If you want thicker chili, let simmer with the lid off until liquid has reduced. For thinner chili, add more water or broth and heat through.

Nutrition

Calories: 204 kcalCarbohydrates: 40 gProtein: 6 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 813 mgFiber: 9 gSugar: 11 g
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