Easy, vegan sweet potato chili is the perfect vegan comfort food for a cold winter’s day. You’ll love this vegan chili recipe.
I love a simple chili recipe, and this easy, vegan sweet potato chili is just that. You need only five ingredients for a comforting bowl of chili you can make any day of the week.
I love this sweet potato chili because it’s so easy to prepare. It’s also super amenable to changes, depending on your preferences.
To make this chili, here’s what you need:
- Dry beans: I use Rancho Gordo’s Santa Maria Pinquito Beans. Use your favorite chili bean here. You can try this recipe with canned or dry kidney or pink beans. Black beans would also work well!
- Spice blend: I use Sweet Chilifire. Your favorite chili seasoning, Mexican spice blend, or chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne powder will work.
- Aromatics: I keep it simple with an onion and diced poblano pepper for their subtle heat. Try it with roasted red bell peppers instead!
- Sweet potatoes: No sweet potatoes? No problem! Try it with butternut or acorn squash instead!
You know what makes the best vegan comfort food? When it’s easy to make! If using dry beans, you’ll need to work in time to soak and cook them until they’re soft. Canned works super well, so you can save yourself the planning and skip the soak!
Top this chili with your favorite chili toppings, like crushed tortilla, plant-based cheese or sour cream, avocado, or minced red onion. I make a super quick red cabbage slaw that tastes incredible on top of chili!
Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
- Large pot
- 1 cup dry pink beans or 2 15-ounce cans pink beans or kidney beans
- 2 bay leaves, optional
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 2 poblano peppers, trimmed, seeded, and diced
- 1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon chili seasoning or Mexican spice blend
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cups water
- Salt and pepper
For serving, optional:
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 jalapeño pepper, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro, minced
- Pinch of salt
- Plant-based sour cream
- Place beans in a large pot. Add bay leaves, if you like. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2–3 hours until tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged. Once the beans are tender, season liberally with salt. Pour the beans and any liquid from the pot into a large bowl. Discard bay leaves if used. Note: If using canned beans, skip this step.
Start the chili:
- Heat neutral oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the poblano peppers to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the chili seasoning to the pot and cook, stirring regularly, for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir to coat all of the vegetables in the paste. Cook for 3–4 minutes until the paste begins to sizzle and deepen in color.
Simmer the chili:
- Pour in the water and stir to incorporate until smooth. Add the beans along with another pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
Prepare the cabbage topping, optional:
- Combine distilled white vinegar and sugar in a microwave-safe jar. Microwave in 30-second increments until the sugar is dissolved.
- Place the cabbage, jalapeño, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add salt. Pour the vinegar-sugar mixture over the cabbage and toss to coat. Refrigerate til needed.
- Ladle the chili between bowls and pile the cabbage garnish on top. Serve with a dollop of plant-based sour cream in each bowl. Enjoy!