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This best sweet potato chili recipe is all star and a family favorite! It’s a delicious healthy dinner recipe where you won’t miss the meat.

Sweet potato chili recipe
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Have you ever come home to find a family of strangers living in your home? We did recently…though fortunately in our case, they were paid actors! A friend of ours was shooting this commercial for Hurst Beans and asked if we would consider renting out our kitchen. We did, and it was an absolute blast to see the production. We must say, it’s odd to see another family eating this sweet potato chili in our dining room! But it did inspire this cozy chili recipe: and we think it will become a family favorite in no time. (Even a family of paid actors!)

Related: Best Gluten Free Dinner Recipes

Sweet potato chili recipe

Why to make this sweet potato chili?

Before you dismiss this as yet another chili recipe, let us convince you on why this vegetarian sweet potato chili should be on your “must make” list:

  • It’s vegetarian, but you won’t miss the meat. If you’re looking for a chili that’s not loaded with meat, this is it.
  • It’s healthy, loaded with vegetables like sweet potatoes, a superfood high in nutrients.
  • It’s seriously tasty, with complexity from chili secrets like cocoa powder and balsamic vinegar.
Sweet Potato Recipes

Tips for making sweet potato chili

Now that it’s chili season, we whipped up a big batch of this sweet potato chili and ate off of it for days. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making it:

  • It makes a huge pot. This one is perfect for feeding a crowd (we’re of the opinion that chili should only be made in massive quantities). It makes enough for 8 servings.
  • It’s plant-based (vegan). If you keep the garnishes vegan like with Vegan Sour Cream, this is also a plant-based chili! But you can absolutely top with cheese and sour cream.
  • Use canned or dried beans. For the beans in this sweet potato chili recipe, you can use any type you’d like: make it a sweet potato black bean chili, or use pinto and chili beans. You also can cook up a pot of your own beans: we cooked our own dried beans using our Dutch oven method. You can also try our Instant Pot black beans method.

Chili toppings!

As any chili lover knows, garnishes are key. Alex and I liked the taste right out of the pot, but we loved it with hot sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions. Make sure not to skimp on the toppings! Here are our top 10 chili toppings:

  1. Sour cream or vegan sour cream
  2. Shredded cheese
  3. Sliced green onions or minced red onion
  4. Roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  5. Minced red onion
  6. Vegan nacho cheese
  7. Canned pickled jalapenos or Homemade Pickled Jalapeños
  8. Pickled onions
  9. Cilantro
  10. Lime wedges

Sides to serve with sweet potato chili

And of course, serve it with cornbread! We’d recommend our fan favorite Best Homemade Cornbread, Classic Cornbread Muffins or Easy Vegan Cornbread. It’s so tender and moist, and seriously easy to whip up. We heartily recommend it! Or, we have lots of other ideas on what to serve: check out our best sides to go with chili!

This sweet potato chili recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free.

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Sweet potato chili recipe | 13 Best Healthy & Easy Soup Recipes | Best soup recipes | Easy soup recipes

Best Sweet Potato Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x


This vegetarian sweet potato chili recipe is all star and a family favorite! It’s a delicious healthy dinner recipe where you won’t miss the meat.


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 28-ounce canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 15-ounce cans pinto, black, or pinto beans, or 4 ½ cups cooked chili beans, cooked using this method
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup masa harina (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Garnishes: Hot sauce, sour cream (or vegan sour cream or cashew cream), sliced green onions, shredded cheese


  1. Dice the onion. Dice the green pepper. Dice the sweet potatoes into a small dice (cubes about 1/2-inch thick). Make sure to cut the sweet potatoes as directed so they cook quickly and to obtain the correct chili consistency. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot (at least 5 quarts), heat the olive oil. Sauté onion, peppers and sweet potatoes on medium-high heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Then turn down the heat to medium low.
  3. Add the garlic, tomatoes and their liquid, beans, corn, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir, then cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After the 25 minutes, mix the masa harina with ½ cup water and stir it together in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the chili to thicken, and cook 10 minutes more. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Season with additional kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Thinly slice the green onions. Divide the chili into individual bowls and garnish with hot sauce, sour cream, green onions, and sour cream. Store leftovers refrigerated or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for other vegan and vegetarian soups?

This website is full of vegetarian soups and vegan soups! Outside of this Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili, here are a few other vegetarian soups we’d recommend:

Last updated September 2019

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Barbara Galbreath says:

    We are having a Chili bash for friends and am looking forward to including this recipe.

    On a personal note, are you any part of the Overhiser/Galbreaths families in Michigan? My husband Joseph is of the Galbreath side.

    Thanks so much, Barbara Galbreath

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We are related to some Overhisers in Michigan but it goes back a bit.

  2. Georgi says:


  3. Jessie Leigh says:

    I made this chili today and it was delicious. The only thing I would watch out for is the amount of chili powder in the recipe. I LOVE spicy, but because my 2 toddlers were going to be eating this as well, so I used about 1-1/2 tablespoons of chili powder and omitted the cayenne, and I was sweating! Needless to say, I’ll be enjoying this one my own. Next time I’ll leave the spice out for the little ones.

  4. Tamara says:

    This was absolutely delicious! Sweet, smoky and bold with just the right amount of heat. Great with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro in individual bowls. By far my favorite chili recipe yet!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Joan Burlew says:

    You mention to be sure to cut sweet potatoes as directed but my recipe had no info on how to prep the 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes. Please share this part of the recipe. Thank you.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      The vegetable prep is part of step 1! “Dice the sweet potatoes into a small dice (cubes about 1/2-inch thick).”

  6. Chris says:

    It was hearty and delicious.

  7. Julie a Simonds says:

    Do the sweet potatoes need to be peeled?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:


  8. Marcia H. says:

    Followed the recipe exactly except for the amount and cooking method of sweet potatoes – doubled and oven-roasted. An excellent recipe. Well balanced and the cocoa and vinegar are perfect additions.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Kathy says:

    Does this freeze well. We loved it but this was way more than we could eat

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      It does freeze well! The sweet potatoes get a little softer when frozen but it’s still tasty. You can freeze for up to 3 months. Let us know how it holds up!

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