Full of flavor and so simple to make, this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili is a wonderfully satisfying vegetarian meal! Best served with avocado chunks, cilantro and cornbread.

bowl of chili with sweet potatoes, avocado and cilantro on top, grey towel and background

Want to impress a crowd with an incredible vegan dish? This chili is the perfect choice! Make a batch of The Best Vegan Cornbread to go with it and you’re set.

How to make it

This chili is so easy to make!

  1. Saute a chopped onion in a pot with a little olive oil. Add garlic and a large chopped/peeled sweet potato and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Add spices (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt) and stir.
  3. Pour in a can of diced tomatoes, two cans of black beans and two cups of water.
  4. Stir, bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes. That’s it!

collage of how to make chili

Special Tips & Instructions

  • How to make it in an Instant Pot: Saute the onion, then the garlic and sweet potato in the Instant Pot, then add the spices. Add the diced tomatoes, black beans and water. Stir, seal and cook for 8 minutes at high pressure.
  • How to make in a Slow Cooker: Add all ingredients to slow cooker/crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or 7-8 hours on low.
  • Veggie Swaps: Swap butternut squash for the sweet potato for a change (YUM!). You can also add about 2 cups of chopped spinach or kale near the end of cooking for some green goodness.

What to serve with chili

I love this sweet potato black bean chili with chopped avocado, cilantro and green onions. And a side of vegan cornbread, of course! Other options: vegan sour cream, sprinkle of non-dairy cheese shreds, tortilla chips, guacamole, diced red onion, or a scoop of brown rice.

close of up a bowl of sweet potato black bean chili

If you want a more traditional, “meaty” chili, make sure to check out my award winning Ultimate Vegan Chili!

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

square image of chili, grey background
5 stars (64 ratings)

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Full of flavor and so simple to make, this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili is a wonderfully satisfying vegetarian meal! Best served with avocado chunks, cilantro and cornbread.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes, with their juices OR fire roasted tomatoes
  • (2) 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups water

Optional toppings


  • In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Saute the diced onion for 3-4 minutes, until translucent, then add in the garlic and sweet potato and cook about 2 more minutes.
  • Next add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Stir into the vegetable mixture.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes along with their juices, drained and rinsed black beans and the 2 cups of water. Stir to combine. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.
  • Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the sweet potatoes for a thicker texture, if desired.
  • Serve with avocado chunks, cilantro, chopped green onions, vegan cornbread or vegan sour cream.



  1. For oil free, simply use water to saute instead of oil.
  2. May substitute peeled/chopped butternut squash for the sweet potato, if desired. You could also add 2 cups of baby spinach or chopped kale.
  3. To make in an Instant Pot: Use the saute feature and cook the onion, then the garlic and sweet potato, then the spices just like in the regular instructions. Turn off the Instant Pot for a moment and add the diced tomatoes, black beans and water. Stir, then seal and set the timer to 8 minutes at high pressure. Release pressure manually, and serve with desired toppings.
  4. To make in a Crock Pot: Add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. 
  5. The recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled to serve a large crowd. 
  6. The chili freezes well and will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 8535IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*The recipe was originally posted February 2017 and has been updated with better photos/writing and recipe March 2020.

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  1. I just made this for dinner. It was beyond good! I paired it with your cornbread recipe and both were just perfect. Thank you!

  2. Just made this in my instant pot to have for dinner the next few nights and had to try a bite. Holy moly. It’s so yummy! I added chopped green chile and zucchini, and I used vegetable broth instead of water for some extra flavor. Highly recommended!

  3. Made this recipe today! Added kale, celery, and carrots…… it took it to the next level, so delicious!

  4. Hey Nora!

    Made this last night and really enjoyed it! Will probably do the cornbread for my leftovers. Hope you and the fam are well.

    1. Hi Hersh! Good to hear from you! I’m glad you liked it, and I hope you love the cornbread! It’s one of my favorites!

  5. Do you have the original recipe somewhere? I liked it with the celery and bell pepper, but can’t remember the other changes. Thanks!

    1. I did simplify the recipe somewhat when I reposted it, but the only changes really were taking out 2 celery stalks chopped, a bell pepper and 2 carrots chopped. You can certainly add in more veggies when you sauté the onion. Thanks!

  6. Wow! This was delicious! Vegans and non-vegans enjoyed it. I served it with your vegan cornbread, which was equally delicious! I have made the corn bread as written, and subbed unsw applesauce for the oil. Both ways turn out great! Thank you, Nora!

  7. I just made this tonight. Awesome!!!
    I’ve only had chili with beef, turkey, or veggie crumbles. I will make this again for sure.

  8. I made this a few days ago for our dinner in the slow cooker. The chili was full of flavor & filling, we had your cornbread for a side, simply delicious! My husband, our sweet dog & I went walking in the parks over the weekend as we had temps in the 60’s which is warm for us this time of year. I knew when I got home my dinner was ready & hot to eat; I like days like that ?

  9. This looks so good!! I love the taste of black beans and sweet potatoes or butternut squash! Thank you for this delicious looking recipe and offering the “no oil” option.

  10. I made this recipe for a party where because I had a few vegan friends attending. It was so delicious everyone ate this chili. It’s a keeper!! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!!

  11. This chili is delicious. We are just starting to eat vegan and this is definitely a keeper. Also, made the cornbread it is fabulous together. I am definitely looking at many more of your recipes.

    1. Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed both the chili and cornbread and I hope you find many more recipes to enjoy.

    1. I’m not sure as I’ve never tested it in the Instant Pot, but maybe 10 minutes? You might need less water, too.

  12. This is my first Vegan Chili since I changed my life style. And…..this is the best ever chili. My go to chili from now on. The sweet potatoes!!!!! Oh!!!!!! They are amazing in this recipe!! I would not have thought of adding them.
    Thank you so much. And…today….I made your one bowl cornbread! My room mate said for Me to make
    this one from now on. I have you on bookmarks my friend!!!!!?

    1. Yay! Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment, it made my day! So glad you enjoyed the chili, aren’t sweet potatoes in chili surprisingly wonderful!?

  13. Just tried this recipe for dinner tonight. It’s a keeper for sure. Both hubby and I loved it. Thanks.

  14. Thank you, this recipe was awesome, I am not vegan but trying to incorporate more vegan / vegetarian meals into my diet and if everything tastes this good it will be very easy!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the chili, thanks for sharing! Food should always taste delicious, in my opinion, so that’s my goal! 🙂

  15. Hi! I can’t handle a lot of heat. What kind of red pepper do you recommend? Red bell pepper? I’m making this for dinner Saturday night for a friend who is vegan. Can’t wait!!!

    1. Yes, red bell pepper. 🙂 This recipe is not very spicy. Or if you don’t like peppers you could leave them out, too! Hope you enjoy it!

  16. I finally made this tonight. Added a zucchini as well and only had a yellow onion and used vegetable broth in place of water. First off, I totally did not plan to make this. I looked at the recipe and the ingredients and wow….we had it all….no last minute trips to the store! Thanks to my wife and her raw diet, there are always lots of veggies around.

    The chilli is FANTASTIC! My son and I loved it.

    I made some cashew sour cream to go on top….amazing contrast to the sweet and spice of the chilli.

    This will be a winter staple recipe for the fall and long winter.


    1. Thanks so much Mike! I’m so glad you liked it! Zucchini sounds like a yummy addition, as well as cashew sour cream. I always feel like chili needs that on top!

      1. I’d love the recipe for the vegan sour cream. I’m definitely going to make this chili when the weather cools down a bit (still 100+ here in Texas!)

  17. Giday

    Not a Vegan by any means, but made this for our dinner at the Fire Station for the boys.

    The blokes thought it was pretty good. No worries.

    Chris …New Zealand

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