Holidays and Entertaining/ Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Soups, Stews, and Chilis/ Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is filling and warming. Baking or microwaving the sweet potatoes ahead of time cuts down on both the preparation as well as the cooking time. Enjoy leftovers for a thermos lunch or subsequent dinners. Fresh corn bread is a wonderful companion. Serve with a simple salad or any of VegKitchen’s coleslaws and/or a side of sautéed greens. If you need a last-minute idea for a vegan main dish for Thanksgiving dinner, this is a great choice. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Quick black bean and sweet potato chili recipe

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is filling and warming. Baking or microwaving the sweet potatoes ahead of time cuts down on both the preparation as well as the cooking time.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chili / bean stew
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper diced
  • 5 cups cooked or three 15- to 16-ounce cans drained and rinsed black beans
  • 28- ounce can diced tomatoes try fire-roasted
  • 1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles seeded and minced, or one 8-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder or more, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or more, to taste, plus more for garnish
  • Salt to taste


  • Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until just firm. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch dice. Set aside until needed. Or, you can scrub or peel them, dice, and steam in a small amount of water until just done.
  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and salt. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato dice and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender and all the flavors are nicely melded.
  • Stir in the cilantro, then season gently with salt. If time allows, let stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed. Top each serving with extra cilantro, if desired.


Nutrition Information:
Per Serving: 335 calories; 5.9g fat; 58g carbs; 18g fiber; 15g protein; 404mg sodium

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili


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  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    The sweet potatoes give this a nice hint of Cuban flavor. I did use sweet potatoes per the recipe, but it looks like there are yams in the photo – will try that too. Very tasty and quick to throw together. Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    There is so much confusion over what is a sweet potato and what is a yam. The garnet yams are deep orange, yet I was under the impression that what’s called a sweet potato is orange, and what’s a yam is the more yellow-y flesh. I could be wrong, though!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I always use yams regardless what the recipe calls for. I think they have a better flavor.

    Will try this for my veggie friend coming over for Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Holy crap this soup is good! I made it with 1 serrano and 2 jalapenos with all the seeds and it is just perfectly spicy. And the fire roasted tomatoes were a good idea.
    Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for leaving comments, Sidedish and Trista! Glad you enjoyed this, Trista, and thanks for your recommendations for the chilies to use.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I have probably made over a dozen different chilis and this by far was the absolute best. I could not get enough of it. I cooked my sweet potato in the chili though and added an extra cup of liquid to make up for that. I also let it simmer for over an hour to help the flavors combine. So delicious!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks, April. It’s also one of my fave quick chili recipes; I love the colors.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Made this tonight for our vegetarian potluck. It was a big hit! Everyone loved it and couldn’t get enough. I had to comment because it really was great. Our goal is to get more people to see that Vegetarian & Vegan foods are actually as delicious as they are good for you. I chose this, because it was also an easy meal, another plus for busy families. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      January 4, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Thanks so much —glad you and your friends enjoyed it, and thank you for spreading the good word on veg food in this way. I’ve always found that winning people over goes much better with yummy food than with lectures!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I will be the first to admit, I was a bit skeptical that black beans and sweet potato would be tasty. My aunt was is NOT an easy person to please with new recipes, can’t stop talking about how delicious it is!! I had to leave a comment after she packed some leftovers for lunch!! This recipe is definitely a keeper and will be made again!! Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    Debbie A
    April 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I was just wondering if it’s possible to get the nutritinal information on the dish. It’s absolutely wonderful!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Debbie, this just happens to be adapted from one of my books, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, so I do have the nutritional info. In this web version, I added an extra sweet potato, but the rest of the recipe is really similar. You might add a few more calories and fiber to these stats per serving: Per serving (based on 6 servings): 202 calories, 5g fat, 8g protein, 8.5g fiber, 0 cholesterol, 222 mg sodium. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Tried this today and the whole family loved it. Fire roasted tomatoes were a great addition in this recipe. Also tried the Jicama salad and the roasted Brussel sprouts. Everything tasted awesome and my 9 year old daughter gives it five stars…

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I have been making this for years and it is so good especially for vegetarians and vegans. Does anyone recommend a certain cheese for non vegans though?

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Cam Man, glad this recipe has served you in good stead for years! Not sure I understand the question, though, as this doesn’t call for cheese.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! My meat loving son said it was the best chilli ever. Here in Portugal our local bakers bake sweet potatoes in the wood ovens, so when I saw your post I knew what to make for dinner. Simple to make and going to be a favorite! Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Susan, how nice to hear from Portugal! And I’m so glad you and your son enjoyed this chili.

  • Reply
    Linda Rodriguez
    December 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I make this every year for a Christmas party where I know that there are vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and gluten sensitive people. I make a double batch because the carnivores eat it up as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Hi! I’m making this for Thanksgiving and I was wondering if I can make it on Wednesday and refrigerate it overnight, or would that affect the texture/taste?

  • Reply
    November 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    5 stars
    This was my first vegan dish for the holiday, and I am in love with it. The vegan chili came out better than I expected it. Full of flavor.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Rochelle, glad you enjoyed this!

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