Sweet Potato Black Bean and Quinoa Chili is a hearty vegan dinner recipe that is so satisfying and cozy for cold evenings. Serve it up with your favorite toppings any time of year, particularly during the cold fall and winter months!

Two bowls of Sweet Potato Black Bean and Quinoa Chili topped with avocado and sour cream

If this is your first time making black bean sweet potato chili, you’re in for a real treat! The combination of flavors and the fact that it is such a satisfying meal will instantly make this one of your favorite vegetarian recipes. It is the kind of meal I love to enjoy on a daily basis. 

The combination of plant-based protein, dietary fiber and plenty of nutrients makes for a balanced meal containing everything you need and nothing that you don’t!

Potatoes and beans are two of the most satiating foods on the planet, so combining them in a hearty vegan chili makes for a filling and delicious healthy dinner. Not to mention, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids for complete protein. 

One of my favorite parts about this recipe, in addition to its nutrient profile, is the fact that it is so easy to meal prep. Simply store individual portions in meal prep containers or jars for healthy work lunches or weeknight dinners.

Sweet potato quinoa black bean chili in bowls, ready to serve.

Let’s discuss the basic ingredients for this healthy chili recipe. You can find the full list of ingredients at all major supermarkets. 

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Chili:

Avocado Oil or Olive Oil: Used to sauté the vegetables, we need a quality cooking oil like olive oil or avocado oil.

Onion and Garlic: Bringing big flavor to the chili, fresh onion and garlic cloves are paramount to boosting the flavor of this healthy meal.

Sweet Potato or Yam: One of the main ingredients in this sweet potato black bean chili are sweet potatoes. You can use jewel yams, garnet yams, or any kind of sweet potatoes you like. This ingredient adds heartiness for a very filling vegetarian chili recipe.

Quinoa: We add dry (uncooked) quinoa into the chili to add plant-based protein and hearty texture to the meal.

Black Beans: The combination of sweet potatoes and earthy black beans works seamlessly in so many recipes! In fact, you can enjoy it in my Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegetarian Tacos. Nevertheless, you can use any type of beans here.

Vegetable Broth: Used as the soup broth, we need some vegetable stock or vegetable broth. 

Diced Tomatoes: For more tomato flavor, you can add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce (optional): Chipotle peppers bring spice and smokiness to the chili to add more flavor. This secret ingredient brings unique flavor that rivals traditional chili recipes.

If you prefer mild food over spicy food, omit the chipotle peppers because they are very spicy. 

Seasonings: Chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. These simple seasonings are all we need to make that iconic chili flavor.

I like using sweet paprika, but you can use smoked paprika if you love smoky flavor.

For Serving:

Choose your favorite chili toppings! We all know chili toppings are sometimes the best part about enjoying our favorite chili recipes. I like topping chili with sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), avocado, grated cheese, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, and chopped green onion.

Looking for ways you can change up this quinoa chili recipe? Here are some ideas.

Recipe Customizations:

  • Swap out the black beans for garbanzo beans, pinto beans, red beans, or kidney beans. Any can of beans works. 
  • If you aren’t vegan, you can use chicken broth instead of vegetables broth.
  • Add one pound of ground turkey, ground beef, or a chopped chicken breast to increase the protein in the meal.
  • Chop up one red bell pepper or green bell pepper and add it in.

Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients for sweet potato quinoa chili, let’s make a pot! 

How to Make Sweet Potato Black Bean and Quinoa Chili:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat on the stove top.

Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently until onion begins to sweat, 5 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and cook another 5 minutes.

Onion and sweet potato cooking in a large soup pot

Add the garlic and quinoa and continue cooking another 2 minutes, stirring everything together.

Quinoa being stirred into the pot with the onion and chopped sweet potatoes.

Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring chili to a full boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low or low. Allow chili to gently boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until quinoa and sweet potato are cooked.

Sweet potato quinoa chili with broth and seasonings added in, ready to stir.

Remove pot from heat and allow it to sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. The longer the chili sits, the thicker it will be. Taste the chili for flavor and add more sea salt or a squeeze of lime juice to your personal taste. 

Finished sweet potato chili in a large pot.

Serve a bowl of black bean sweet potato chili with sour cream, cilantro, and your favorite chili toppings.

This vegan quinoa chili recipe tastes even better the next day, once the flavors have had time to develop. 

Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze chili in a large zip lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Prefer cooking in the slow cooker? You can prepare this recipe in your crock pot by cooking on high heat for 3 to 4 hours or low heat for 5 to 6 hours.

Sweet Potato black bean quinoa chili in two bowls with topping. A spoon and napkin to the side, ready to serve.

The next time you’re in the mood for an easy chili recipe that will make you feel full and energized, whip up this black bean sweet potato chili recipe!

If you love healthy soup recipes, also try out these vegetarian soups!

More Vegetarian Soup Recipes:

Best vegetarian chili, let’s go!

Sweet Potato black bean quinoa chili in two bowls with topping. A spoon and napkin to the side, ready to serve.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili

4.58 from 7 votes
Make a big batch of this Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili every week for a nourishing meal prep meal! Easy to customize and full of fiber, complex carbs and plant-based protein.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam chopped into ½” cubes (about 4 cups worth)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans or 1 cup dry black beans, soaked
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce chopped, optional
  • 1.5 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste

For Serving:

  • Sour Cream or plain yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Avocado

Instructions

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently until onion begins to sweat, 5 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and quinoa and continue cooking another 2 minutes, stirring everything together.
  • Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring chili to a full boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low or low. Allow chili to gently boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until quinoa and sweet potato are cooked.
  • Remove pot from heat and allow it to sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. The longer the chili sits, the thicker it will be.
  • Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and your favorite chili toppings.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 4) · Calories: 342kcal · Carbohydrates: 52g · Protein: 12g · Fat: 11g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 6g · Cholesterol: 1mg · Sodium: 1019mg · Fiber: 13g · Sugar: 10g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free recipes, easy healthy recipes, gluten free recipes, gut healthy recipes, healthy recipe
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. This is my kind of chili through and through and through!!! I don’t like to play favorite but the sweet potato addition is totally my jam!

  2. Sweet potatoes and quinoa in chili? You are speaking my love language girl! Especially when it comes together in 45 minutes and allows me to have leftovers so I can be lazy and not have to make my hubby his lunches (worst wife ever award right there!)
    Plus, I love your advice. That blowing out the candle while brushing my teeth thang could totally save my life one day!

  3. It’s like you know we are freezing our butts off here in the midwest. Black turtle beans? Sounds like what turtles poop out. I don’t know about these. I just talked about turtle poop on your food blog. Sorry about that. Enjoy your weekend and bring me some chili!! {Please??}

  4. This sounds delicious. I love the flavors of chili and I make a pretty good cooked (and raw!) chili, myself, but I’ve yet to add sweet potato or quinoa to it. That’s definitely a variation I think I’d love since I love it in almost everything else (especially salads!). Thanks for posting AND for your words of wisdom 🙂

  5. Ermmmm, black bean and sweet potato chili is my favorite! I love that you added quinoa. Also I love your words of wisdom: So. Much. Truth.

    Happy weekend, m’dear!

  6. I always debate with myself whether or not potatoes should go in chili. When you throw sweet potatoes in the mix though, that’s a completely different story. This chili sounds delicious and the perfect thing for this horrible cold spell we’ve been having.

  7. Haha, I completely agree with the spring roll thing. It’s their fatal flaw! I’m making some tonight actually! This soup looks so warm and hearty. Yuuuummy 🙂

  8. It snowed in Florida today, and I wish I was joking. Which basically means I needs this cooking away keeping hte house warm and cozy! Gaw-geous photos lady!

    1. Holy crap! I didn’t know it was possible to snow in Florida! Even Florida is getting snow and we’ve got nothing! Sigh…at least we have chili and football… 🙂

    1. I keep hearing you folks out in Ohio have it rough this winter! I’d gladly take some of the chilly weather, as we’ve had the most non-winter winter ever over hear on the west coast. So happy to hear you made and enjoyed the chili!

  9. I needed to hear that 400F advice. You know, for the ninety-third time. 😛

    And I NEED THIS CHILI. It has all of my favorite things!!

    1. I tell ya…we food bloggers think we’re all high and mighty until we touch a 400-degree oven wrack. Puts ya in an insta ego check!

  10. I have the scars to prove that removing things from the oven with bare hands is not such a good idea. Running on a full stomach…not so much, either. I love that this can be made in under 1 hour. It looks beautifully hearty.

  11. Oh my goodness. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never been able to find just the right chili recipe, but I think I just found it. Awesome recipe.

  12. I made this chili last night but use 1/2 cup of low sodium canned black beans. I couldn’t find any black turtle beans. I checked Trader Joe’s and ShopRite. The meal is delicious, this will be my lunch along with a side spring mix salad.

    1. So glad you liked the chili. To my knowledge, black turtle beans and black beans are the same thing…the ones I used were dry beans from Bob’s Red mill, but it’s fine to use canned black beans too 🙂 Thanks so much for making the chili and for your note! 🙂

  13. This is exactly how I make mine- and I kid you not! Right down to the adobo chipotle, the smoked paprika and the quinoa. And ironically, I just made a pot of this last night and it was perfect for yet another round of absolutely frigid cold. Great minds think alike!

    1. Heck yes! Gotta love this chili! It’s probably the easiest chili I’ve ever made, and SO good! Veggie chipotle chili-ers unite!

  14. I totally get your laziness hunger dilemma. This is like everyday of my life these days. Throw in some exhaustedness and that is me! I am mad about you adding quinoa to soups and chilis. It makes it more of a hearty meal to me. Also, thanks for the advice. I usually make the mistake of trying to pick a cast iron skillet up by the handle after i have taken it out of the oven. It is like I forget it is 400 degrees!

    1. Amazing what a little quinoa can do for a soup! I love that it helps thicken them up, and your your point – makes them more filling and nutrient rich. YUM!

  15. When I noticed the numbering of your words of wisdom, I died! Hahaha!

    This chili looks incredible! I’m totally with you on the lazy hangriness thing…I’m all about some one pot, eat all week meals! Of course, I say that but when is the last time I actually DID it? Oh yeah, back in November when I made my pumpkin chili. Fail, Heather…fail!

    I was traumatized years ago by chipotle peppers. I used an entire can of WHOLE chipotles in a batch of chili. It ended up so hot that I had to keep adding stuff to it to try to balance it out. At the end of it all, I had enough to feed BOTH teams playing in the Superbowl this year and it STILL gave me heartburn! 😯

    1. We don’t have much a winter here in Mexico, so I am adapting this for my crockpot. Love, love, love every single thing here, and I’ll get to smell it all day. Thanks. Please check out my website and give me a like 🙂

  16. This chili is totally amazing. I made it for myself as part of my food plan, and my family members devoured it. The following day I served (what little) was left over rice, and it tasted even better. This one is going into the rotation. Delicious, beautiful colors and great texture: a winner!

  17. Hi, I tried making this today and had a problem with the black beans getting cooked. They just took way longer than everything to cook even with soaking them for 24 hours and followed the recipe word for word… the sweet potatoes became very mushy and I had to keep adding liquid to keep it from burning on the bottom. Any ideas on why? Maybe I should cook the black beans a bit before adding them in?

    1. Hi Andrew, I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you! I didn’t have any issues with the beans or the amount of liquid, so I’m wondering if the difference could have just been our crock pots cooking at different temperatures? Sounds like cooking the beans ahead of time will work better, or even using canned beans. My apologies again and let me know if you give it another go!

      1. Uh oh, I guess I didn’t understand that this recipe was for the crock pot… did it on the stove top, so maybe it was just a difference in temperatures. I’ll definitely try again, the flavors are really good together. Thanks for the reply

        1. I cooked this on the stove in a large pot and it turned out fine. Don’t bother with soaking the beans overnight. Just used canned beans. Everyone loved this soup!

  18. This is hands down my go to chili recipe! Could this be done in the slow cooker instead? If so, how long would you recommend?

    1. That’s a great question! I would say if you’re using dried black beans, you’ll want to get them going first, so essentially, add everything to the crock pot except for the sweet potato and quinoa…I’d have them cook for 3 or so hours on high before adding the quinoa and sweet potato, then cook for another 3 hours. This is totally me guessing, so I’m not sure if that’s the correct time or not, but it is what I would do to test it out 😉 If you’re using canned beans, I would add everything to the crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 to 2.5, then check on it and continue cooking if need be. I hope his helps! xo

  19. I don’t understand what ” 2 in chipotle chilis adobo sauce chopped” in the ingredients means. Two inch chilis in sauce? something in a can, or a jar? I’m eager to try recipe but don’t get this bit!

    1. Hi Caroline, my apologies for the confusion. I changed recipe plugins a while back, which caused some of the ingredients in some of my recipes to become transposed – I went ahead and fixed the recipe. You’ll want to use 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (the canned kind). If you prefer your chili on the mild end, you can omit this ingredient altogether, as chipotle chilis are very spicy. Hope this helps, and hope you enjoy the chili!

  20. I was at my college reunion 2 weeks ago and we were allowed to have lunch in our respective House dorms. The food is actually much better and this was one of the items available. I am certified KCBS Master BBQ judge, but after having this with my meal I had to find the recipe. I am looking forward to trying it.

  21. Aby pokazać te lub sektorze prywatnym concret trzeba . Obejmuje to takie rzeczy się dzieje, co jest konieczne i nie należy podawać się motywy, które są uruchamiane przez całą

  22. BEST recipe of its kind – sweet potato, black bean, quinoa chili. It’s the combo of seasonings, chipotle peppers and quinoa that make it the best. (Backstory: first made this recipe years ago – thankfully I recognized the name Roasted Root and found it again today. Now there are too many boring chili recipes to cull through that aren’t as good.) Highly recommend it. Saved in my phone.

    1. Aww I love hearing that, Ruth! Thanks so much for such a sweet review. I’m thrilled you found a chili recipe you enjoy! xo