Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

By • January 21, 2013 • 28 Comments

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Author Notes: Make game day memorable with this sweet, smoky, and flavorful chili recipe that just so happens to be vegan, too.Gena Hamshaw

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 4 cups sweet potato, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion (about one medium to large onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper en adobo, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 14 or 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (and more as needed)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chives, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 large Haas avocado
  1. Soak the black beans in water for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Drain the soak liquid. Submerge them in fresh water, with enough to cover them by a few inches. Bring beans to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook till beans are tender, approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Drain and set them aside.
  2. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or a large pot. Saute the onion for a few minutes, then add the sweet potato and garlic. Keep sauteing until the onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the chili en adobo, the cumin, the chili powder, and the smoked paprika. Heat until the spices are very fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes and one can of vegetable broth.
  4. When broth is bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 or 35 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are totally tender. As you co along, you can continue to add the remaining cup of vegetable broth as is needed and depending on the texture chili you like. Season to taste with salt.
  5. When chili is finished, allow it to sit for a little while so that flavors can marinate. To serve, top a generous bowl with some fresh avocado slices and chives.
Jump to Comments (28)

Tags: beans, soup, Vegan, winter

Comments (28) Questions (3)


about 1 month ago gingerroot



9 months ago Kaitlyn O'Keefe

awesome idea!! I added corn and red quinoa and it was fantastic :)


11 months ago Gisele73

This is delicious and easy! With canned beans, quick as well. Thanks very much.


12 months ago sarah williams

can you make this ahead of time?


12 months ago plainhomecook

Sure! It may lose a little heat but otherwise will be fine.


about 1 year ago Sarah Quinn

This was absolutely delicious. It's the first time I used Chipotle peppers in adobo as they are hard to find in Dublin. Oh my, what a smoky delicious difference a real depth of flavour. Going to make it again tonight!


about 1 year ago rsfgs

Yum. Thanks for the recipe. I used canned black beans and a winter ale instead of vegetable stock (once cooking was underway I realized I was stock-less). Would definitely make again. A good, hearty, fall dish.


over 1 year ago BarbaraAnneCampbell

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over 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Hi plainhomecook. I actually used canned beans when I made it. Just skip step 1 and drain 2 cans of organic black beans. Add to chili in step 4 when sweet potatoes are cooked, as Tedi suggested.


over 1 year ago plainhomecook

Thank you Erika!


over 1 year ago plainhomecook

I'm cooking this for a crowd and am in a hurry. How would you suggest I modify to use canned black beans? Thanks!


over 1 year ago Meryl Seigel

When do you add the beans?


over 1 year ago Tedi

I just added them in when the potatoes were cooked to warm them through, as another reviewer suggested.

I will be making this again and again! I added in extra potatoes and ended up having enough to freeze (makes a lot for 2 people). I'm anxious to see how it tastes when thawed.

Great recipe!


over 1 year ago hotlips

Served this with a mixture of greek yogurt (6oz plain) and adobo sauce (5tsp). Better than cheese or sour cream.


over 1 year ago Natalie D.

Oh my goodness! This was so good. I made this last week for my family and my mom went and made it again this weekend. :) Thanks for sharing!


almost 2 years ago adele93

has anybody tried this with another bean or lentil as it is very difficult to find dried or canned black beans in Victoria, Australia, i would have to order then from interstate


over 1 year ago JORJ

Can you get adzuki beans? I feel like any meatier bean would work in this recipe. I don't think lentils would be as good, but a bigger bean would be great -- cannellini, kidney, navy, etc.


over 1 year ago adele93

i can defiantly get kidney and cannelleni beans! but im just wondering about borlotti beans


over 1 year ago Kim Simpson

@adele I live in Adelaide and I got my black beans from the shelf at Coles.


over 1 year ago adele93

Oh really! Thanksfor that, ill have to look again


almost 2 years ago Nyasha

Made this the other night and received rave reviews from friends. Substituted fresh tomatoes for canned & Cayenne pepper for chili powder. Omitted the chives & avocado because the selection at the grocer was less than appetizing. Very spicy, incredibly delicious. Will be making again and again and again!


almost 2 years ago Cadnace Schwartz

Excellent recipe. I cooked the beans in the vegetable broth. I added one cup of the bean broth to the sweet potato mixture in step 3. I then added all the beans and the remaining broth for step 4.I had a green pepper and some sliced carrots so they went in also. One can of corn was wanting into the chili so I let it in. Awesome! Thank you Gena Hamshaw.


almost 2 years ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Made this last night. It was outstanding. Smoky paprika really makes the difference. I wasn't sure when to add the cooked beans but just poured them in during the last ten minutes to warm.


almost 2 years ago loubaby

from all the wonderful comments you have convinced me to try this....looks good. thanks


almost 2 years ago JORJ

just made it -- it came out delish! I would only note that the chili is quite spicy if you follow the amounts in the recipe -- I would maybe not add any more chili powder the next time I make it -- the chipotle in adobo is spicy enough.


almost 2 years ago Carrie S.

I'm actually in the middle of making this, and cannot figure out when to add the beans back in! The recipe just says to set them aside :/