Hearty, Healthy Sweet Potato Chili

Here’s everything you want in a chili. It’s thick and rich and flavorful. It’s loaded with hearty goodies like beans, meat (or substitute brown rice), tomatoes, and of course, big chunks of sweet potatoes. And it’s something you can enjoy whole-heartedly with a clear conscience, because it’s low in fat, high in fiber, and jam-packed with vitamins and minerals.

Cozy up to it on a cold night, serve it for casual gatherings with the gang, and bring it to potlucks and tailgate parties. We love it as the centerpiece of a chili bar, with all kinds of toppings on the side—so each guest can garnish each bowl exactly the way they want.

Serves 6




Hearty, Healthy Sweet Potato Chili

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Pound ground beef, turkey, chicken, or pork (see note)
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt, divided, or more to taste
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon ground coriander
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 14.5-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 Cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, water, or a combination
1 15-ounce can dark (red) kidney beans
1 15-ounce can light (pink) kidney or pinto beans
1 1/2 Pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 5 1/2 cups)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Shredded cheese, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sliced jalapeno, chopped onion, shredded cabbage, and/or sour cream, for garnish

Hearty, Healthy Sweet Potato Chili Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, or more to taste. Transfer the meat and any juices to a bowl and set aside.

  2. Return the saucepan or stockpot to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, oregano, cayenne, cinnamon, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cooked meat, tomatoes, broth or water, beans (with their juices), and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add lime juice and more salt to taste.

  3. Serve the chili garnished with shredded cheese, diced avocado, sliced jalapeno, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, and/or sour cream.


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Recipe notes

Note: To make this chili vegetarian, omit the meat and the first step, and in the second step, instead of the meat, add 2 cups of cooked brown rice.


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