This one-pot sweet potato chili is a tasty, spicy, creamy, and wholesome chili idea for a delicious family dinner.
It's also excellent for meal prep and pairs well with nachos, tortillas, and your favorite toppings - we love to serve it with sour cream, guacamole, lime, and fresh cilantro.
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We were blown away by the creaminess and flavors of this simple one-pot sweet potato chili. It quickly became one of our favorite make-ahead dinners as it keeps in the fridge for days.
To make it, we use simple everyday ingredients. We start with a flavor base with oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and cumin.
Fry those ingredients together for a few minutes makes the whole difference, adding a ton of flavors and depth.
We then add diced sweet potatoes, chili powder, green peppers, tomatoes, beans, and vegetable broth and let it simmer for about 45 minutes until the potatoes are so tender they almost melt in the chili.
Then if you have it in your pantry, add a teaspoon or two of chipotle powder for an extra kick. This adds a wonderful smokey and spicy tang that takes this sweet potato chili to the next level.
Serve with sliced avocado, jalapenos, cilantro, vegan sour cream, lime, and some hot sauce. It's delicious with tortillas and nachos or on boiled whole-grain rice.
Use olive oil or extra virgin olive oil to make the flavor base, and gently fry celery, onion, and carrot.
Substitute avocado oil, coconut oil, or any other vegetable oil for olive oil.
Onion, celery, carrot
Onion, celery, and carrot gently fried in the olive oil produce sweet and acidic flavors that will make your sweet potato chili full of taste.
Garlic adds a beautiful aroma, and we recommend using fresh garlic cloves for this recipe. You can grate it, use a garlic masher, or finely chop it with a knife.
Cumin and sweet potatoes are delicious together, so we like to add one to two teaspoons of ground cumin to this chili. Add more or less based on your taste.
We use orange sweet potatoes, without peal. However, sweet potato peal is safe to eat, and if you want to, you can add the sweet potatoes with the peel on.
If so, scrub the sweet potato well before adding it to the chili.
Green bell pepper adds a mildly acidic flavor that we love in chili.
Substitute red or yellow bell peppers for green ones.
We like to use canned corn because it's easiest to find in our supermarket; however, you can also use frozen corn.
We use canned diced tomatoes.
Substitute fire-roasted tomatoes or crushed tomatoes for diced ones.
We use red kidney beans for our sweet potato chili. We go for canned ones to make this recipe in less than one hour.
However, if you prefer, you can use dry beans that you previously soaked for 12 hours in water, then boiled until tender - 1 to 2 hours.
Substitute black beans or pinto beans for red kidney beans. You can also use two or more bean varieties in the same chili.
Vegetable broth is our liquid of choice for this recipe. We prefer it to chicken stock to keep the recipe meat-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans in our family.
Salt and pepper
Go for sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
It wouldn't be chili without some heat. We use chili powder for that. Add more or less based on your preferences.
This is our secret ingredient, and it's optional.
For us, this is a pantry staple and an excellent ingredient that makes this dish so much better.
It adds warmth and spice with smokey notes that fit the recipe well. We love it, and please let us know what you think if you try it.
You can substitute chipotle powder with adobo sauce or add some cayenne pepper and smoked paprika combined.
Sliced avocado, cilantro, lime, vegan sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños, hot sauce, tortillas, nachos, shredded cheese or vegan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, or dairy-free feta.
Note: this chili recipe is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy free. We don't add ground beef, ground turkey, or pork.
If you wish to do so, fry the meats in a separate pan with a drizzle of olive oil until they start to brown (about 10 - 15 minutes), then add them to the chili with the rest of the ingredients.
Warm up the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and fry gently on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables start to sweat. Stir often.
This step builds a ton of flavor, so try not to rush it.
Add grated garlic, diced green bell pepper, and cumin, and fry for two more minutes, stirring often.
In the meantime, peel and chop the sweet potato into bite-size dice of about ¾ inch (2cm).
Add diced sweet potatoes, canned tomatoes, beans (drained and rinsed), vegetable broth, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and, optionally, chipotle powder.
Stir and simmer on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are very tender. Add frozen or canned corn at the 35-minute mark.
Stir occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the pot.
Note: we love it when the kidney beans get super soft and creamy. If you like them with more bite, add them towards the end with the corn.
Taste and adjust for salt and spices, then let it cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving it with lime juice squeezed on top and freshly chopped cilantro.
Serve with your family's favorite toppings; here are some excellent with sweet potato chili:
- Guacamole or slices of avocado.
- Sour cream or a dollop of non-dairy yogurt.
- Homemade croutons or easy air fryer croutons.
- Queso or tomato salsa in small separate bowls.
- Tortillas or nachos.
- Fresh lime juice, cilantro, and sriracha or hot sauce.
Serve with fresh greens such as:
- Simple side salad (leafy green, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion).
- Red cabbage slaw (red cabbage, green apples, carrot, walnuts, maple syrup).
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad (Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, walnuts, lemon).
- Green bean salad with tomatoes (green beans, shallots, mustard, maple syrup).
- Tomato salad (heirloom tomatoes, red onion, olive oil).
Give enough time for the onion, celery, and carrots to sweat gently for about 10 minutes, then add garlic and cumin and fry them for two more minutes.
This step will make a ton of difference in the final taste of your sweet potato chili.
Let it simmer more than you think
A great sweet potato chili needs at least 45 minutes of simmering because that's the time it takes for the sweet potatoes to cook thoroughly and almost melt in the pot, making your chili recipe wonderfully creamy.
Also, the tomatoes and the spices meld together during this time, and the excess moisture from the veggies evaporates, giving you a rich, creamy, and flavorful chili.
You can substitute chickpeas or green and brown lentils for beans. They are still nutritious and work perfectly in a chili recipe.
First things first, ensure you added enough salt. Home cooks often don't add enough salt to their dishes, so go ahead and add a pinch if your chili is lacking in flavor.
Then, adjust the spices. For example, we love adding a teaspoon or two of chipotle powder to add a smokey and spicy taste. If you don't have that, try smoked paprika and more chili powder, or experiment with cumin, dried oregano, and cinnamon.
Finally, get creative with the toppings. Try lime juice, cilantro, hot sauce, nachos, sour cream, yogurt, shredded cheese, or vegan alternatives.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: sweet potato chili is excellent to make in advance and for meal prep because it keeps well in the fridge for days, and its flavor gets richer as the chili sits in the fridge.
Refrigerator: let the chili cool down at room temperature, then transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Freezer: let it cool down completely, then transfer it into a freezer-friendly container and freeze it for up to 6 months.
Thaw: you can defrost in the fridge over several hours, or you can use the thawing function of your microwave.
Reheat: warm the leftovers in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or in a pot on the stovetop for about 5 minutes. Only reheat the portions you are going to eat.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
Get easy and healthy dinner ideas from these sweet potato reader favorites:
- Stuffed sweet potato (sweet potato, chickpea salad, black bean salad, or couscous salad).
- Sweet potato curry (sweet potato, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, curry)
- Easy chickpea stew (onion, celery, carrot, chickpeas, cumin, sweet potato, canned tomato).
- Sweet potato gnocchi (microwave sweet potato, flour, salt, water).
- Sweet potato hash (kidney beans, green bell pepper, scallions, sweet potato).
More One-Pot Recipes
Fuss-free and meal-prep-friendly ideas are guaranteed with these wholesome and tasty one-pot recipes:
- Lentil curry (red lentils, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth).
- Chana masala (chickpeas, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander).
- Vegetable soup (cauliflower, green beans, white beans, potato, spinach).
- Lentil pasta (brown lentils, ditalini pasta, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves).
- Pasta e Ceci (chickpeas, pasta, carrot, onion, celery, diced tomatoes, rosemary).
For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.
Sweet Potato Chili
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1½ teaspoons cumin or more to taste
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1½ pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into ¾ inch (2cm) dice
- 3 cans (15-ounce each) diced tomatoes
- 3 cans (15-ounce each) kidney beans
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder optional
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup corn
- limes & cilantro for serving*
- Warm up the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Fry on medium-low heat for 10 minutes till the veggies start to sweat. Stir often.
- Add grated garlic, diced green bell pepper, and cumin, and fry for two more minutes, stirring often.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into bite-size dice of about ¾ inch (2cm).
- Add diced sweet potatoes, canned tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, veg broth, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and chipotle powder to the pot.
- Stir and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.Add the corn at the 35-minute mark.Stir occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the pot..
- Taste and adjust for salt and spices, then let it cool down 10 minutes before serving with lime juice and cilantro.
- We love it with lime, cilantro, vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, jalapeños, and hot sauce.
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