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Sweet Potato Chili

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This sweet potato chili is so good!

sweet chili

It’s so good I’m breaking my blog’s “desserts only” rule to post the recipe.

The sweet potato chili, along with the Secret Peanut Butter Cookies, is one of the first recipes I ever made without following instructions in a cookbook; I made up the recipe as a new vegan living in China. And now, more than ten years later, I still love the deliciously-comforting sweet potato chili recipe.

With wholesome ingredients like sweet potatoes, zucchini, and black beans, what’s not to love?

sweet potato chili

Sweet Potato Chili

(Makes 1 giant pot)

  • 2 cups sliced onion (1 large)
  • 20 oz peeled and cubed sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup diced zucchini
  • 1-2 cans black beans, or another bean
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup water or broth

Sweet Potato Chili Recipe: Combine all ingredients in a big pot, and bring to a boil. Then lower and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft. The chili tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to combine.

*If you’d prefer, I have a similar recipe that uses a slow cooker: Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chili.

vegan chili

Serving suggestions for this chili include eating either over Creamy Polenta or alongside my favorite Healthy Corn Muffins.

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I actually like butternut squash in my chili – the sweetness complements the spices quite nicely.

    1. Sarah the offical CCK drooler says:

      I love your name! 🙂

  2. Chili is such a comforting meal! I wasn’t able to comment yesterday because I was traveling, but I would love to see more recipes like this AND see some personal posts. I’m just a nosy person.

  3. Amelia says:

    I like to make sweet potato fries or hashbrowns… I’m not a huge sweet-with-sweet-potato person. I kind of like the savory with the sweet.

    How many sweet potatoes (medium sized) would you say is 20oz about?

    1. It’s hard to say, because sweet potatoes are never a specific size… but most grocery stores have food scales hanging in the produce section, so I always just weigh them there. Maybe 1-3?

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE sweet potatoes. And I love chili. 🙂

    Thanks for the savory recipe idea. We all love the sweets but I think a bit of variety splashed in here and there is awesome Katie!

  5. Sarah the offical CCK drooler says:

    Actually, i have never had sweet potatoes in a savory dish! Guess i’m sort of chicken when it comes traveling uncharted territory in terms of food. In fact we just had a sweet potato dessert yesterday night! This chilli IS calling out to me though….

    1. b says:

      Indian cooking combines sweet with savory/spicy frequently. Try it! You will love the combo.

    2. FaeMao76 says:

      I am so going to try your recipe! It looks delicious! I make curried roasted veggies which usually consist of sweet potatoes and/or butternut squash, brussels, red potatoes, onion, garlic cloves, carrot and parsnip. I just blend curry powder that I get from Sprouts with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cinnamon. Toss the veggies with some olive oil & the seasonings & roast in the oven. They are so tasty & the leftovers are delicious in chicken barley/rice/couscous/quinoa soup! 😀

  6. I made a sweet potato chili too recently, but I added tempeh for more bulk and protein. Love the idea of the orange zest! Will have to incorporate that next time.

  7. Amanda says:

    Sweet potato chili sounds so good right now! I love to roast sweet potatoes. I cut them into thick slices, and then coat them with a little olive oil and sea salt. Perfect!

  8. My favorite way to eat sweet potatotes are as fries…yum! I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it.

  9. Trieste says:

    This chili looks amazing!! Over the Christmas holiday my sister and I invented a cornbread recipe using canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice – something our diabetic dad could enjoy. I wonder how it would taste along this lovely chili. As for sweet potatoes, I like to crinkle cut them like fries and bake them. I haven’t discovered the best dip with them, although I really like them with maple flavor. Maybe I’ll add maple to your dipping suggestion.

    1. Mariea says:

      My husband and I love pumpkin!! But I don’t know how to make cornbread, do you have that recipe written down? Would love to try it, please…… I am diabetic also.


      1. Ciera says:

        Simply type in “totally addictive cornbread” into the search bar and you will get the “chocolate covered katie” cornbread recipe. There are 2 versions (see nutrition facts). Hope this helps!

  10. this looks delicious!! i honestly love sweet potatoes any and every way you could think of… mashed, baked, roasted, fried, in soups/CHILI, etc… love, love, love sweet potatoes. i’m obviously going to try this chili out!

  11. Anna Lynn says:

    Oh, dear! This chili looks fantastic. Perfect for all this cold weather we’ve had (and by cold I mean the lowest it’s been is like 30? But don’t hate, I was born and raised in south west Florida!) I Definitely want to make this!

    I love sweet potatoes! Homemade sp fries, sprinkled with a little brown sugar, sp hash, or just plain! I’m not a fan of regular potatoes and much prefer these little orange guys.

    1. Oh no, I am right there with you! Texas is usually in the 30s in the mornings, and that’s plenty cold enough for me! Last year it once got down to -4… YUCK times a million! 😉

  12. This looks delicious – the perfect time of year for chili! I love sweet potatoes in any form: fries, mashed, baked, anything you can think of!

  13. This looks delicious! I wonder if it could be made in a slow-cooker?

    1. I bet it could! I really need to get my slow cooker out and play around with it. I have no idea why that contraption intimidates me so much!

      1. Sarah the offical CCK drooler says:

        Actually mi madre was pretty intimidated by the Crockpot my dad got her. Well. brave woman she is, she dunked in the ingredients turned it on, and TADA- chilli! Even my 10 year old sister uses the slow cooker. Super easy 🙂

  14. I love savoury recipes from you if they’re like this! Sweet potatoes are a must in my house and I do a similar chili to this one but I might just try your version for a change! Looks phenomenal 🙂

  15. Christina Holzberger says:

    Oh. My. God. This is awesome! I LOVEEEEE sweet potatoes, and I love chili so this is perfect. I bake often, but I don’t normally cook unless its a single serving dish just for me. This recipe is definitely going to change that!

  16. rose says:

    i like them plain just baked. or in breads or oatmeal without adding sugar

  17. Mmm yup I love throwing sweet potatoes in chilli, one of my favorite fall meals. I’ve also done it with pumpkin which is just as tasty.

  18. Love seeing the savory recipe! And I love sweet potatoes. I like to stuff them with quinoa, dried cranberries, cinnamon, pecans, and maple syrup.

  19. Katie G says:

    OOOH I am totally making this 🙂
    How many sweet potatoes (and what size) would you say is 20 oz?

    1. It’s hard to say, because sweet potatoes are never a specific size… but most grocery stores have food scales hanging in the produce section, so I always just weigh them there.

  20. auntiecarole says:

    This recipe sounds yummy and easy! I’m not a vegan, but I try to do a meatless day at least once a week. I would love more savory recipes like this. Of course, you can never have too many chocolate dessert recipes!

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