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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

October 5, 2009

I love fall and all the variety of vegetables and fruits it brings. One of my favorite fall vegetable is the sweet potato. I can make crispy baked sweet potato fries, chili, hashes, the possibilities are endless. I have always seen on other blogs the idea of roasting a sweet potato and topping it with black beans. Sounds simple enough and a perfect meal for those busy nights. I decided to jazz up the sweet potato and black bean idea by making it into a chili soup. I love coming home after school to a big bowl of soup. Nothing screams comfort to me more than pulling on a pair of sweatpants and lounging in front of the T.V eating chili and cornbread. Sounds decadent right? This chili is chockful of nutrients from the sweet potatoes and protein from the black beans. The seasonings couldn’t be any simpler: chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and a dash of BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce gives the chili a nice smoky flavor, and combined with the chili powder, this dish packs the heat. I love putting a dash of Tabasco sauce on top for more flavor. This rich, dark and flavorful combination of Southwestern flavors is the perfect way to welcome fall. It also doesn’t hurt that sweet potatoes and black beans both make the cut as superfood powerhouses. Serve with some warmed biscuits or cornbread.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

4 servings, 2 cups each


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bbq sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and potato and cook, stirring often, until the onion is slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in BBQ sauce. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro.


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