Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 33 mins
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Yield: 5 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
154 Calories
5g Fat
23g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 154
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 591mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 17mg 84%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 566mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether looking for a vegetarian meal or you simply want a healthy, plant-based dish the whole family will enjoy, this black bean and sweet potato chili is a clear winner. The sweet potatoes and carrots perfectly counteract the spiciness while combining with the beans to create a hearty texture.

All of the ingredients in this recipe are both vegetarian and vegan, and, if you use water or a gluten-free vegetable broth, it is gluten-free as well. This dish is an excellent source of protein for anyone, whether vegetarians, vegans, or kids. Serve with your favorite chili toppings and a side of cornbread.

“This chili is as delicious as it is beautiful. Packed with colorful vegetables, hearty black beans and warming seasonings, it makes a very satisfying vegan main course.” —Joan Velush

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 medium carrots, sliced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped, optional

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup water, or vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sweet potato black bean chili

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

    Saute the onions in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and bell pepper, if using, to the pot and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.

    chopped sweet potatoes and onions in the pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the black beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Simmer the chili, partially covered and stirring occasionally over medium-low heat, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the flavors have mingled and the sweet potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers are tender.

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Serve in a bowl with desired chili toppings.

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili in a bowl, served with chips, cheese, sour cream, avocados and pickled jalapeños

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Tasty Chili Toppings

Consider a toppings bar for your black bean and sweet potato chili, including salsa, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, diced avocado, and crushed gluten-free corn tortilla chips. Sour cream, shredded cheese, or vegan substitutes are also good offerings (check labels if gluten-free foods are desired).

Using Dried Black Beans

This recipe uses canned black beans for convenience. You can start with dried black beans but you will need to soak and cook them before adding them to the recipe. Soak a little less than 2 cups for at least 3 hours (or overnight). You can add the soaked beans to the recipe and increase the cooking time to 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can bring the beans to a boil and let them simmer for 2 hours before adding them to the recipe.

How to Store

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for two to four days and reheat in the microwave. You can also freeze individual portions for later meals. Allow the chili to cool, place it in individual freezer containers, label with the contents and date, and freeze. The chili will maintain its flavor for up to six months. You can defrost it in the refrigerator (6 hours or overnight) before reheating.

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