This Sweet Potato Chili will become your new favorite chili recipe! Hearty yet not heavy, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
The only thing better than a good chili recipe?
A great sweet potato chili recipe!
Sweet potatoes work so beautifully in chili. The spices and flavors in the chili are balanced by the bites of tender, sweet, and comforting sweet potatoes.
I created the original version of this recipe over a decade ago. It first appeared in my 3rd cookbook eat, drink & be vegan. It’s different from the original sweet potato chili in that it’s just a little heartier and denser with the components of beans, lentils – and of course sweet potatoes!
Plus, I have some beautiful new food photos (thank you Angela). 😋🙏
What I especially love about this chili is that it’s hearty as you’d expect with chili, but not heavy.
Chili is delicious, but can feel so heavy after eating. Even a plant-based chili.
But this chili is lighter with red lentils, and the sweet potatoes also give it a lightness. Because even though they are hearty, they digest easily.
Moreover, the spices in this chili are really well-balanced. Flavorful without being too hot-spicy. Of course, you can amp up the hot-spicy if you want. I keep the heat level fairly mild, to begin with. That’s always an easy tweak you can make, adding hot sauce or other extra heat before serving.
Enjoy, enjoy my friends! I wish you delicious eats and blessings… x Dreena
Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
This sweet potato chili is made with a base of red lentils, and the spice profile is complemented perfectly with the tender sweet potatoes. This will be a family favorite!
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups chopped onions
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 – 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika or sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
- 4 cups peeled and cubed about 1” orange or yellow sweet potatoes
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1¼ cups dry red lentils rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14-oz can black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Place a large pot on medium heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of water and add the onions, celery, salt, pepper, and spices, and stir through. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly soft; reduce heat if the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add the sweet potatoes and garlic, and stir through, adding another splash of water if needed. Add the lentils to the pot along with the 2½ cups water, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in lime juice, remove bay leaf, and serve.