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
4.96 stars (75 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 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
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.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

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  1. So simple but so good! To make this chili a little lighter, I replaced one of the two cans of beans with a diced bell pepper. I also added a finely diced jalapeño. I left the seeds in the jalapeño, because I like a good kick, but you could remove the seeds for a little less spice. Other than that, I made it exactly as written and it was perfect! Thank you, as always!

    1. You’re so welcome, Emma! Thanks for sharing the substitutions you used (it’s so flexible, right?) and I’m so happy you loved the chili!

  2. Very easy. Very good. I added more sweet potato, chicken broth instead of water, and added turkey to mine as well, so you can definitely work it to your liking. I’m going to try with butternut squash next time!

  3. The recipe was delicious and easy to make. I love a spice so I added a small can of mild green chilies…YUM! Thanks! I will be making this again and again.

    1. I’m so glad you loved the chili! I appreciate you taking your time to share your wonderful review and comments! Thank you and happy cooking!

  4. Easy to make and delicious. I did use 2 chopped jalapeño peppers instead of chili powder and added some oregano. It is very filling. 

  5. Delicious, not too spicy but super flavorful. The whole family could eat this. My almost 1 year old baby even loved it.

  6. I just want to tell you that I made your cornbread last night (despite my husband’s protest of a vegan cornbread) AND today I made the chili using butternut squash. The cornbread is GONE and my husband fought me over the last piece; the maple butter is delicious! And we can’t wait to eat the chili tonite (I’m going to try one of your vegan sour cream/other toppings). So glad I found your recipes!

    1. Hi Polly! Welcome to Nora Cooks! I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for sharing your comments, and I hope you enjoy your journey through my recipes! Reach out if you have any recipe questions, and happy cooking!

  7. As good as your ultimate vegan chili recipe!  Instead of mashing sweet potatoes to thicken, I added some dry TVP after everything else and before it started to simmer.  Such a simple preparation and delicious meal. 

  8. Very tasty. I usually used ground turkey, but didn’t miss the meat. I added 1 can black beans and 1 can kidney beans. Also served over brown rice. The cilantro gives it an extra kick.

  9. This recipe sounds great! I have to make a vegan chili for a party – this says it’s a vegetarian chili. I am neither so I am having trouble understanding what about this recipe makes it vegetarian and not vegan. 
    Can you tell me that I can substitute to make it vegan? 

  10. I made this for dinner tonight and it was great!  It will definitely be in the rotation from now on. Thank you ?

  11. This is one of my favorite lunch recipes to meal prep in the Fall/Winter!!! It’s so easy to make and lasts me a whole week of work lunches! It’s also delicious — love the addition of sweet potato to chili! I usually cook it with the lid on or else I find the sweet potatoes take forever to cook

    1. Hi Cadey! I agree that this is a great fall/winter recipe! I’m so glad that you love it! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments!

  12. Delicious. Used the fire roasted tomatoes, though found I had to cook longer to soften sweet potatoes.
    Very flavorful.

  13. Omg I was not expecting this recipe to be so good! Instead of water I used vegetable broth and used bell pepper that needed to used. I will definitely be using this delicious recipe again. Thanks again.

    1. I’m so thrilled that you loved the recipe, and will be making it again! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments! Happy cooking!

  14. We tried this tonight.  We added two poblanos and one orange bell pepper because we needed to use them up.  We served it with cilantro and corn bread. It was delicious!  Thank you!

    1. Hi Karen! I’m glad you guys loved the chili! Your additions sound delicious! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments!

  15. I made this recipe and took to a potluck. It was a huge hit – not one spoonful left to bring home! I served it with sliced limes and cilantro. Really delicious! Thanks, Nora!

    1. Hi Vena. I’m glad the chili was a hit at your potluck! That’s so fun! It sounds so good with the sliced lime! Thank you for sharing your great review and comments!

  16. This recipe is absolutely delicious!  The ONLY thing I did different was to substitute the sweet potato for diced butternut squash because I had a big container in my refrigerator. My husband who is not completely WFPB gave it 5 stars. This will definitely be a dish I make on a regular basis. 

    1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review and comments! I’m glad that you guys loved the chili, and thrilled you’ll be adding it to your meal rotation! Happy cooking!

  17. i have tried four of your recipe, and one is better than the next. very easy to make with everyday products and excelent taste . again thank you

    1. Thank you, John! I’m glad you are enjoying my recipes! Enjoy your journey through them, and let me know how they go! Thank you for sharing!

  18. This was sooo good! It was really filling and tasty. It was flavorful, but not too spicy. I’m adding it to my regular repertoire of healthy dinners. Was good the next day, too.

    1. I’m so thrilled this is going on your meal rotation! Thanks or sharing your review and comments! I’m glad you loved the chili!

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