This vegan sweet potato black bean chili is easy to make with just a handful of everyday ingredients. You’ll love this hearty recipe for a healthy, filling plant-based meal that’s perfect for Fall and Winter.

A bowl of sweet potato chili topped with avocado, cilantro and green onion.

Recipe Features

  • quick and easy – ready in 1-pot in 30 minutes
  • dietary needs – this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and sugar-free
  • freezes well – make in advance and freeze for healthy meals later on

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Start by chopping up the onion, garlic, jalapeno, sweet potato and bell pepper then start cooking up the onion and garlic. After a few minutes, add the spices, stiring often and cook for a few more minutes.

Soup pot with diced onion and garlic being mixed with a wooden spoon.

Chopped onions and garlic cooking in a large soup pot.

Step 2. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomato and broth and simmer until the sweet potato is tender.

Quick Tip: For thicker chili, try mashing some of the cooked chili with a potato mashed, pulsing an immersion blender in the pot a couple times or removing a couple scoops of chili, blending then adding back to the pot.

Red pepper and jalapeno being added to a large pot of chili.

Step 3. Finally, stir in the corn and black beans and heat through for a few minutes. If desired, stir in some fresh cilantro before serving.

Black beans and corn being stirring into a pot of chili.
Sweet potato chili in a large soup pot topped with fresh, chopped cilantro.

Instant Pot Instructions

To make this chili in an Instant Pot:

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to Saute and add the onions, garlic and bit of water to the Instant Pot. Saute for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring often.
  2. Add the spices and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper, jalapeno, sweet potato, tomato and broth, seal the Instant Pot lid, use the Pressure Cook function and set the timer to 10 minutes.
  4. Once the timer beeps, use the Quick Release to let the pressure out then carefully remove the lid and stir in the corn and black beans, as well as the cilantro if you’re using. Season with salt and pepper, if needed and serve right away.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is easily customizable with the following variations and substitutions:

  • For chipotle chili, add 1 minced chipotle pepper in adobo or 1 tsp of chipotle powder.
  • Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa or brown rice at the end for an even heartier chili.
  • For spicy chili, add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • You can mix-and-match any beans in this recipe. Kidney beans, pinto beans, white kidney beans and chickpeas work in addition to or instead of black beans.
  • For a deeper flavour, try adding 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder. I didn’t include it in the recipe because it’s not for everyone but it does complement the other chili spices very nicely.
  • If you don’t have a red bell pepper, any color bell pepper works just fine.
A bowl of sweet potato chili topped with avocado, cilantro and green onion.

Chili Toppings

Here are some tasty ideas for topping this black bean chili:

Have sweet potatoes you need to use up? Try my sweet potato smoothie, savory vegan breakfast bowl, sweet potato curry or sweet potato buddha bowl.

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A bowl of sweet potato chili topped with avocado, cilantro and green onion.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish, Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
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Enjoy this healthy chili topped with avocado, cilantro and green onion for a hearty, filling plant-based meal.


  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato, about 2 small to medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups corn
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • handful of fresh chopped cilantro, optional
  • fresh lime juice, optional


  1. Add the diced onion and garlic to a large soup pot with a few tablespoons of water or vegetable broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook for 2-3 more minutes. If the pot is drying out, add a bit more water as needed.
  3. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomato and vegetable broth and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sweet potato is very tender. You should easily be able to pierce with a fork or slice in half with a butter knife.
  4. Stir in the corn and black beans and cook for a few more minutes to heat through.
  5. Optional: for extra-thick chili, use a potato masher to mash up the chili up a bit or pulse an immersion blender in the pot a couple times. You can also remove a few scoops of chili, blend, then add back into the pot.
  6. If adding cilantro, stir that in now, otherwise you can use some as a topping.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and add a spritz of fresh lime, if desired.
  8. Serve right away topped with avocado, green onion, vegan sour cream, crushed tortilla chips or any other topping favorites.
  9. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge or up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


See post for Instant Pot instructions.

For spicy chili, add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili flakes.