Guest BloggersHolidaysHome & EntertainingRecipes

Healthy Holidays: Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili

Guest blog by Sarah Thomas Pilcher

This is the perfect healthy recipe for the chilly fall weather.

This chili is bursting with flavor from bell peppers, perfectly roasted sweet potatoes and copper + protein-filled beans. Not only is it vegetarian + vegan, this meal is also low in just about everything — cholesterol, saturated fat and calories — except flavor! Orange veggies are rich in vitamin A, while greens are full of folate and reds offer antioxidants. This family recipe will delight anyone at your next gathering!

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces


  1. In a 4-to-6 quart Dutch Oven or Stock Pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped vegetables (onion, peppers and sweet potatoes) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start turning translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and spices (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cocoa powder, cinnamon and another dash of salt and pepper) and liquid ingredients (tomatoes, beans and broth), and stir. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has reduced to a heartier consistency, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Season chili with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the chili into individual bowls, garnish as desired and serve.

Fun Cooking Notes

You can also roast the sweet potatoes and season them with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cocoa powder, cinnamon and another dash of salt and pepper and put them in the chili at the end. Make sure you incorporate them well throughout your chili. They are the star of the show!

If using a Crock-Pot instead of a Dutch Oven…

  • Low to cook all day
  • High to make in 45 minutes


Sarah Thomas Pilcher is an IA contributor
Inviting Arkansas

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on our latest news!