With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is invigorating yet comforting. Black bean and sweet potato chili has become a classic combo, and this easy vegan recipe for it proves why it’s such a favorite.
As an everyday meal, it’s easy yet somewhat festive; and when you need a last-minute meal for company, this never fails to please.
Complete the meal: For a quick weeknight meal, serve with a simple salad or slaw. Boost the meal with some cooked quinoa, if you’d like. For a special addition when you have more time or are having company, serve with Jalapeño Cornbread, or as shown in the photos here, Vegan Corn Muffins with Cheese and Herbs.
A minimalist Thanksgiving or game day main dish: If you’re staying at home with a small group or having a pared-down potluck celebration, this is a quick-to-fix, simple main dish that always pleases. To stretch it a bit, consider serving over quinoa.
In praise of sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the most ancient, nutritious, and valuable food crops of the Americas. Not to diminish the value of white or golden potatoes, but in comparison, sweet potatoes are substantially richer in nutrients.
They’re especially high in vitamin A and the major minerals. With their natural sweetness and glorious color, sweet potatoes lend themselves to simple preparations.
Recipe is from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, minced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 3/4-inch dice
- Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans
- 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 1 cup salsa, your favorite variety
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the salt and cilantro. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat and cook gently, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender.
- Season gently with salt. If time allows, let stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed. Garnish each serving with extra cilantro, if using.
If you like this easy chili, you might also enjoy …