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This vegan sweet potato 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. Get tips on how to make vegan chili on the stovetop, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

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I love a good one-pot stew any day of the week and this sweet potato chili is one of my favourites. It’s the best vegan chili I’ve had yet! The results are a combination of sweet, savoury, spicy and smoky. A meatless chili that even meat-eaters and vegetarians will love. I like making a week’s worth of the stuff and storing it in the fridge. I think chili tastes even better the next day, especially when served with creamy avocado.

What kind of beans can be used to make chili?

This recipe uses kidney beans but other kinds of beans that you can add to chili includes 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 flavour 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.

Chili powder vs chilli powder blend vs paprika

There is a difference between chili powder and paprika. Pure chili powder is made of one or more chilli 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 powder blend consists of a mix of pure chili powder with herbs and other spices. 

To make the best vegan sweet potato chili, I’ll be using two types of pure chili powders: Ancho and chipotle. Ancho chili has a smoky and subtle sweet flavour, slightly similar to raisins, while chipotle chilli powder is made from smoked jalapeños, which is spicier.

vegan sweet potato chili with avocado and chips in a bowl

How to make sweet potato chili on the stove top

This is the quickest way to make vegan chili using canned beans as 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 15 to 20 minutes on low heat until the sweet potatoes are cooked. 
  3. Remove from heat and top with cilantro leaves. Serve warm.

How to make sweet potato chili in a crockpot or slow cooker

  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 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.

How to make sweet potato chili in an Instant Pot

Using an Instant Pot is the quickest way to make vegan chili 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. Then add sweet potatoes and spices and toast them for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add pre-soaked kidney beans and remaining ingredients. Cover the Instant Pot and select Bean/Chili then set the time it 30 minutes. 
  3. Once time is up, allow the pressure to release for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid then top with chopped cilantro. Serve warm.

How long can vegan chili last in the fridge?

You can store vegan sweet potato 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 vegan chili for 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before reheating.

What to serve with vegan sweet potato chili

  • rice
  • bread
  • cornbread
  • onion rings
  • french fries
  • fried pickles
vegan chili with vegan sour cream cilantro and corn chips

What toppings to serve on sweet potato chili

There are lots of options you can top your chili with, including:

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

More Stew Recipes:

vegan sweet potato chili with avocado and chips in a bowl
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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. This recipe is gluten-free, meatless and chock-full of wholesome, healthy ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Keyword: fall recipes, vegan chilli, vegan sweet potato chili, winter recipes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried kidney beans, 185g (or two 15oz/425g cans)
  • 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 water or vegetable stock, (about 1 litre)
  • 2 tbsps ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle, (spicy but optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

Instructions

  • If using dried beans, soak for at least 8 hours or overnight, then drain and rinse before using.

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.
  • 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 15 to 20 minutes on low heat until the sweet potatoes are cooked.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm topped with cilantro and avocado.

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 it 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.

Notes

  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.
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4 thoughts on “ Vegan Sweet Potato Chili ”

    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!

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