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. My first time trying a recipe from noracooks! Made this last night and my (non-plant-based) husband loved it! As much as I did 🙂 served it with black rice and avocadoes which went really well together with the chilli, plus pakchoy on the side.

    I didnt manage to follow the recipe 100% as our can opener was rusty, so i used 3 large fresh tomatoes with some pasta/tomato sauce in place of the canned tomatoes, which thankfully turned out well too. very grateful for a new dish to add to our meal plans! Thank you!

  2. This is really good–hearty and satisfying! I had to make bread to make sure I got every bit of broth out of the bowl. I’ve already made it twice.

    1. That didn’t seem right to me, so I redid the calculation and it’s now correct. Not sure what happened, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  3. Just made this sweet potato and black bean chili. It is AMAZING! My daughter, who has a rather discriminating pallet, ate a full bowl and wanted seconds. 

  4. Fantastic!  I used one can of black beans and one can of pinto beans.  I also didn’t see water in the recipe so I made it without – still delicious!!

  5. the BOMB. made it in the crock pot and eating it a day later w/ the suggested garnishments (green onion, avocado and cilantro) was even better!!! i tossed in about a 1/4 cup of red lentils for the last hour and it soaked up some of the liquid. YUM YUM YUM

  6. This is *really* good! I love corn in my chili, so I added a little bit of no-salt-added canned corn, and while hubs is vegan, I am vegetarian, so I added a little mild cheddar to my bowl, but it’s so good that it really doesn’t need either of those things. Highly recommend!

    1. It probably would but they will soak up some of the liquid, you may need to add more. I’m sure they would taste good though!

      1. thank you, also, how would the consistency change if i used one can of diced tomatoes in liquid and one can of tomato sauce?? 

    1. If you divided the chili into 6 servings, 1 of those would be the serving size. Of course, appetites vary, but that’s what the nutrition estimate is based on. It’s about 1 1/2 cups I think.

  7. This was soooo good! Made as directed and would not change a thing about ingredients. To make a thicker consistency, I used a potato masher for the sweet potatoes. Perfect, chili consistency. Will definitely be trying more from your page!

  8. So inexpensive, easy, and delicious! I wanted a lower calorie version, so instead of the second can of beans, I added a couple stalks of chopped celery and some spinach. I also prefer my chili less thick and more soupy, so I added 2 cups of vegetable broth in addition to the 2 cups of water. It’s light, healthy, and nutritious but still warm and comforting on a snowy day. Yum!!

  9. Excellent recipe – I used a red onion for initial cooking and doubled the garlic. Served with sour cream and it was perfect for an easy winter meal.

  10. Made it for  the first time today. Used two sweet potatoes and diced tomatoes with green chiles because that all I had on hand. Doubled the spices and used vegetable broth. Definitely a keeper and a great recipe! Thank you!

  11. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit with the whole family. I did use vegetable broth instead of water, and added some red pepper flakes because this is a spicy crew. Thank you for sharing – definitely will make this again. 

  12. SOOOOO good! I used the instant pot directions and the only change I made was that I sautéed the vegetables in water instead of oil. I ate two big bowls. Really very yummy and so easy and inexpensive. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  13. This chili was delicious and so easy to make! I had 2 sweet potatoes in the pantry so I threw both in and added a little extra water, as well as a more generous amount of spices. I also added bouillon instead of salt just to add a little extra flavor. I had a meeting in the evening so I prepped everything and got it on the stove just before the call and it just simmered away until I was ready 40 minutes later! This was quick, easy, and so full of flavor! It thickened nicely and was delicious to eat with a side of tortilla chips for Bachelorette night!

  14. This was sooooo yummy! I made it for my family of 5 tonight with Nora’s vegan cornbread and everyone loved it. My 7 year old asked for more. This recipe was a winner! 

  15. I am new to vegetarian/vegan eating, and I was skeptical about a no-meat chili, but this is absolutely delicious! I like it better than no meat chili, and the calorie content (or lack there-of) is unbelievable! I will be making this all Fall. 

  16. Stumbled upon this recipe while googling “easy vegan lunches” lol, so I made this chilli for dinner and it was delicious! Myself and my family really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  17. Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will Share your Rrecipe with my friends.

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