Vegan Sweet Potato Chili

This vegan sweet potato chili is hearty, satisfying and just what’s needed to warm you up during fall and winter! Get tips on how to make it on the stovetop, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

vegan sweet potato chili in pot

I love a good one-pot stew any day of the week and this vegan sweet potato chili is one of my favourites. It’s the best I’ve had yet!

The results are a combination of sweet, savory, spicy and smoky. Even meat-eaters and vegetarians will love it. This meatless chilli recipe is gluten-free and chock-full of wholesome, healthy ingredients.

I like meal-prepping a week’s worth and storing it in the fridge. It's so quick and easy to throw together in an Instant Pot, slow cooker or on the stovetop. Leftovers taste even better the next day!

How to make vegan sweet potato chili

(This is a quick summary of each method. More details and measurements are in the recipe card at the end)

Stovetop Method

This is the quickest way to make this recipe using canned beans as the cooking time is about 20 minutes:

1. Set a pot on the stove to medium heat. Add oil, chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add diced tomato or tomato paste, bell pepper, spices, oregano, diced sweet potato and beans with liquid. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on low heat until the sweet potatoes are cooked. 

3. Remove from heat and top with cilantro leaves. Serve warm.

vegan sweet potato chili in pot with big spoon

Slow cooker or Crockpot Method

1. Oil the inside of the slow cooker and place diced sweet potatoes in the bottom.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients including pre-soaked kidney beans and turn the setting to high. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. 

3. Adjust the slow cooker setting to low and give the chili a stir. Cook for an additional 3 hours. The slow cooker can be left on warm setting until you’re ready to serve.

Instant Pot Method

Using an Instant Pot is the quickest way to make this recipe from scratch, using dried beans. Here’s how:

1. Set Instant Pot to sauté and allow it to heat up. Add oil, chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add sweet potatoes and spices and toast them for about 30 seconds.

3. Add pre-soaked kidney beans and remaining ingredients. Cover the Instant Pot and select Bean/Chili then set the time it 30 minutes. 

4. Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid then top with chopped cilantro. Serve warm.

sweet potato chili in white bowl with hand holding spoon

What other kinds of beans can be used in vegan chili?

This vegan chili recipe uses kidney beans but other kinds of beans that you can add include black beans, pinto beans, lentils and chickpeas. You can use one type or a combination.

Making chili from scratch using dried beans would yield the best flavor but be sure to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight and drain before cooking. You can also use canned beans to save some time.

What are the differences between using chili powder, a chili spice blend or paprika?

There is a difference in flavor between chili powder and paprika. Pure chili powder is made of one or more pepper varieties that have been dried and ground. These peppers can range from mild to various levels of hot on the spiciness scale.

Paprika, however, is usually made of sweeter varieties of red capsicum, or as we like to call them, sweet peppers or bell peppers. A chili spice blend consists of a mix of pure chili powder with herbs and other spices. 

To make the best sweet potato chili, I’ll be using two types of chili powders: Ancho and chipotle.

Ancho chili has a smoky and subtly sweet flavor, slightly similar to raisins, while chipotle is made from smoked jalapeños, which is spicier.

How long can this vegan chili last in the fridge?

You can store this chili in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Stir in a few tablespoons of water and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

You can also freeze it for 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before reheating.

Serving Ideas

sweet potato chili with tortilla chips and avocado in a white bowl

What toppings can I add to vegan chili?

  • avocados
  • chips (corn, taro or cassava)
  • vegan sour cream
  • vegan cheese
  • sliced jalapeños
  • diced bell pepper
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green or red onions

More Vegan Stew Recipes:

This post was originally published on November 3, 2019, but was updated on October 21, 2020, with new photos.

vegan sweet potato chili in pot

Vegan Sweet Potato Chili

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 186kcal
Print Pin Rate
This chili is hearty, satisfying and just what’s needed to warm you up during fall and winter. This recipe is gluten-free, meatless and chock-full of wholesome, healthy ingredients.

Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, select the Metric option below and use measuring spoons.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans kidney beans, 15oz/425g each, See Notes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste, or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 tbsps ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle, (spicy but optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves, or green onions
  • avocado, peeled & sliced
  • taro/dasheen chips

Instructions

Stovetop method using canned beans

  • Drain and rinse canned beans. Set a pot on the stove to medium heat. Add oil, chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent for 2-3 minutes.
    2 cans kidney beans ,1 large onion ,1 large carrot ,1 tablespoon oil ,5 cloves garlic
  • Add diced tomato or tomato paste, bell pepper, spices, oregano, cubed sweet potato, kidney beans, water or stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on low heat until the sweet potatoes are cooked.
    2 medium sweet potatoes ,1 red bell pepper ,2 tbsps tomato paste ,5 cups vegetable stock ,2 tbsps ancho chili powder ,1 teaspoon cumin ,1 teaspoon paprika ,2 tsps oregano ,Salt and pepper to taste ,½ teaspoon ground chipotle
  • Remove from heat and serve warm topped with cilantro and avocado.
    chopped fresh cilantro leaves ,avocado ,taro/dasheen chips

Crockpot or slow cooker method using dried beans

  • Oil the inside of the slow cooker and place diced sweet potatoes in the bottom.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients including pre-soaked kidney beans and turn the setting to high. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Adjust the slow cooker setting to low and give the chili a stir. Cook for an additional 3 hours. The slow cooker can be left on warm setting until you’re ready to serve.

Instant Pot method using dried beans

  • Set Instant Pot to sauté and allow it to heat up. Add oil, chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent for 2-3 minutes. Then add sweet potatoes and spices and toast them for about 30 seconds.
  • Add pre-soaked kidney beans and remaining ingredients. Cover the Instant Pot and select Bean/Chili then set the time for 30 minutes.
  • Once time is up, allow the pressure to release for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid then top with chopped cilantro and avocado. Serve warm.

Full Recipe Video

Notes

  • If you're using dried beans, soak 1 cup/185g for at least 8 hours or overnight, then drain and rinse.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • You can replace the tomato paste or fresh tomatoes with 1 can chopped tomatoes but use 3 cups water or stock.
  • Try serving this chili with millet, a tasty alternative to rice.
  • More vegan stew recipes: Quick Vegan Lentil Stew (My bloat-free method), Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas
Tried this recipe? Upload a photo in the comments below!If you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a rating. It really helps the blog.

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 926mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 14476IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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4 Comments

    1. First peel the whole avocado then starting at one end and cut around the seed. So you will be cutting the avocado horizontally instead of the usual vertical way. Once you've cut a slice around the seed, gently lift it through the seed without breaking it. I hope this helps!