Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili Recipe on Food52 (2024)

One-Pot Wonders

by: Gena Hamshaw



13 Ratings

  • Serves 6

Jump to Recipe

Author Notes

Make game day memorable with this sweet, smoky, and flavorful chili recipe that just so happens to be vegan, too. —Gena Hamshaw

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cupsdried black beans
  • 4 cupssweet potato, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoonolive oil
  • 2 cupschopped white or yellow onion (about one medium to large onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper en adobo, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoonscumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoonsmoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoonground chili powder
  • 1 14 or 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cupsvegetable broth (and more as needed)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 cupchives, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 large Haas avocado
  1. Soak the black beans in water for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Drain the soak liquid. Submerge them in fresh water, with enough to cover them by a few inches. Bring beans to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook till beans are tender, approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Drain and set them aside.
  2. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or a large pot. Saute the onion for a few minutes, then add the sweet potato and garlic. Keep sauteing until the onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the chili en adobo, the cumin, the chili powder, and the smoked paprika. Heat until the spices are very fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes and one can of vegetable broth.
  4. When broth is bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 or 35 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are totally tender. As you co along, you can continue to add the remaining cup of vegetable broth as is needed and depending on the texture chili you like. Season to taste with salt.
  5. When chili is finished, allow it to sit for a little while so that flavors can marinate. To serve, top a generous bowl with some fresh avocado slices and chives.


  • Stew
  • Chili
  • American
  • Cumin
  • Vegetable
  • Bean
  • Avocado
  • Chive
  • Paprika
  • Sweet Potato/Yam
  • Serves a Crowd
  • One-Pot Wonders

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jim Brown

  • 8675309

  • MKinLA

  • Tucker & Me

  • gingerroot

Popular on Food52

53 Reviews

Kristen January 12, 2023

There aren’t many recipes that I go back to again and again, but this one is a winner. I have brought this to chili cook off parties, and it has gone head to head with seven or eight other recipes for full meat chili but had more distinctive flavor, depth & complexity than any of the others. Hard not to love it…. I usually use canned beans. 3 cans. I halve the chipotle so my kid will eat it then add more to taste as it gets close to done. (I keep the leftover chipotle en adobo in the freezer for the next pot) I add a little more smoked paprika to make up for it…. I have freezer leftovers fine although the sweet potatoes get mushy when thawed.

Ashleigh January 11, 2023

This is a wonderful recipe that we come back to time and time again, and is loved by vegans and meat-lovers alike. This recipe is also in the Food52 Vegan Cookbook, which we love.

Jim B. February 21, 2022

Nice recipe! The onion, sweet potato and tomatoes give it a markedly sweet flavor, which is balanced nicely with the smoky flavors of the paprika and chipotle. Salt helped give it more depth.

The directions fail to mention when to add the beans. I added them when I added the tomatoes.

The ingredient list includes 2 cups of broth and the directions mention adding 1 *can* of broth, and more later as needed. The smallest can of broth is 15 oz, or almost 2 cups -- adding all of that initially would have made the chili too soupy. I used a little more than 1 1/2 cups of homemade vegetable broth in total.

popinjay July 14, 2021

Fabulous recipe! Very simple, quick to put together, doesn't require much fussing about.

For less heat, I suggest deseeding the chipotles. Makes a big difference.

Like its meatful chili cousins, it benefits /greatly/ from a good long while on a low simmer, then resting overnight.

I also increased the cumin and chili powder a bit. And agree it benefits from a bit of acidity... lime or vinegar or tabasco (which has vinegar).

LFK February 9, 2021

Delicious!! Added two cups of vegetable stock at square one and a bit more after that. 2 tsp of kosher salt worked for me. The finale seemed to require acid. Squeezing two lime wedges over a serving did the trick. I often garnish w/sour cream, yoghurt, or cheddar cheese...but resisted my non-vegan impulses...

8675309 March 13, 2019

A nice go-to recipe for chilly winter days. The sweet potato flavor can overpower the black beans so maybe increase the bean-to-potato ratio or reduce the amount of sweet potato content. To reply to Dana below - yes - it does freeze well. I've made/frozen it twice - no problem!

Sherry S. January 19, 2018

Great recipe, although I made a few changes. I used butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes, used a full 28 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes and just one cup of vegetable broth, doubled the spices, used two chiles in adobo and one of my cans of beans was kidney. This recipe gets deeper and more flavorful as it sits. This is a real winner.

Dana December 2, 2017

anybody know if this recipe freezes well?

8675309 March 13, 2019

Dana - yes, it freezes well. I make a big batch, split it into three containers, eat from one and freeze the other two. Have had it frozen for up to a month and still full of flavors. Hope this helps!

Kristen January 12, 2023

I freeze it but the sweet potatoes do get mushy.

big 8. May 17, 2017

Is there a pressure cooker version or how would you modify? Tbx

gustus October 17, 2016

I love this recipe and have made it several times, and it just now dawned on me that I never commented on it. I even took it to a potluck chili contest, and it won (bragging rights only) for best vegetarian chili. I gave credit Gena and Food52 full credit when asked for the recipe. I have started adding an extra 1-2 cups of broth, just to make the batch stretch further, and haven't noticed any dilution of flavor. Thanks for this cool season staple!

MKinLA January 27, 2016

I came to this recipe by way of a adaptation from Washington Post (with attribution to this original). The adaptation uses rinsed canned black beans (low sodium), added along with the tomatoes and broth. Found myself out of smoked paprika so used sweet paprika, a little extra chipotle in adobo, a dash of Smoked Tabasco, and a few twists of Trader Joe's South African Smoke seasoning blend. Knocked out by the vibrant flavor of this chili. Added 1 T of dark brown sugar at the end to bump up the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes (sweet and spicy is a personal favorite; does not *need* it) and drizzled a cilantro yogurt cream over the top, which compliments the flavor, cools the heat, and cuts the calories of sour cream. Will probably top with cilantro instead of chives henceforth. The picky 12-year-old across the street gobbled down two bowls and pronounced it "heavenly," so kids can be fans, too, if they're spice tolerant. It's even better than it sounds, and it's definitely going into heavy rotation during the cooler months a lot more often than just Meatless Mondays.

KathyS January 25, 2016

Made this just in time for "snowzilla" and wow! It is a keeper (though agree with Tucker & Me and think the directions need to be updated). Anyway, I love the smoky, sweet, and spicy heat from all of the flavors. Thanks!

January 25, 2016

It IS a fabulous dish. Had leftovers in an omelet this week, and stuffed in a tortilla.

January 12, 2016

Maybe I'm blind, but there is nothing about adding back in the beans or did I miss it. Also, the ingredients call for 2 cups of broth then refer to a second "can" in the directions. I know what needs to happen here, but it could use a little more clarity...just sayin' :-)

Miriam P. March 27, 2016

@Tucker & Me, I was wondering the same thing too about adding the beans in. Does. When do you add the beans?

March 27, 2016

I add them (3 cans drained and rinsed when I have no time to deal with dried beans) after the aromatics with the tomatoes and broth.

Kaja1105 February 9, 2021

The recipe also appears in the Food52 vegan cookbook, and there is says to add the beans with the tomatoes and broth. I made a big pot of black beans last week to use in a different recipe and decided to use some of the extra beans in this one. Excellent! I had no chili powder, so I used 1 tsp. of ground chipotle.

trisha September 20, 2015

I'm jumping the gun on fall but found fingerling sweet potatoes at the farmers market and gave this recipe a try. I used 2 cans of black beans and doubled up on the chipotle peppers in adobo (and added in a heaping tablespoon of the adobo sauce). AMAZING! It's still simmering away and the flavors are already great, I love how much the smoky flavor actually comes through. Packing this up in jars and I'm set for lunch for the week.

gingerroot November 4, 2014


Kaitlyn O. March 11, 2014

awesome idea!! I added corn and red quinoa and it was fantastic :)

Gisele73 February 3, 2014

This is delicious and easy! With canned beans, quick as well. Thanks very much.

sarah W. January 3, 2014

can you make this ahead of time?

plainhomecook January 3, 2014

Sure! It may lose a little heat but otherwise will be fine.

Sarah Q. November 11, 2013

This was absolutely delicious. It's the first time I used Chipotle peppers in adobo as they are hard to find in Dublin. Oh my, what a smoky delicious difference a real depth of flavour. Going to make it again tonight!

rsfgs October 23, 2013

Yum. Thanks for the recipe. I used canned black beans and a winter ale instead of vegetable stock (once cooking was underway I realized I was stock-less). Would definitely make again. A good, hearty, fall dish.

Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili Recipe on Food52 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5862

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.