Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili

Sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa chili – a hearty and nutritious vegetarian chili recipe.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili (#vegetarian) | @BobsRedMill and @MuirGlenOrganic #ChiliRoundup | www.theroastedroot.net

Words of wisdom:

1.) Never attempt to blow out a candle while brushing your teeth. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. That’s an itch you don’t need to scratch. Next!

B.) Day-old spring rolls don’t follow the same principles as day-old bagles. Day old bagels = edible. Day old spring rolls ≠ edible.

iii.) If it didn’t feel good in the past, it’s not going to feel good now.  Yes, this applies to trying to remove 400 degree F items from the oven using your bare hands. It will never feel good. Not even if you’re Wolverine.

4.) Don’t: eat a banana right before spin class. Just. no.

V.) Do: make this chili.

The Roasted Root: Your trusted source for sweet potato, black bean, & quinoa chili, and unsolicited advice.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili (#vegetarian) | @BobsRedMill and @MuirGlenOrganic #ChiliRoundup | www.theroastedroot.net

Lately, I’ve been simplifying my cooking. Clean meals that can be prepared in under an hour from start to finish have won my affection. The reason for this is equal parts laziness and hunger. Like most ‘mericans, I find myself strapped for time during the week and starving when I get home from work. My solution to this has been to streamline my grocery purchasing and make big batches of food on the weekends that can last me through the week.

Which is exactly what happened with this chili. It involves simple ingredients, takes 45 minutes to make, and leaves you with an abundance of leftovers for healthy meals.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili (#vegetarian) | @BobsRedMill and @MuirGlenOrganic #ChiliRoundup | www.theroastedroot.net

This chili is hearty and nutritious. I added a couple of finely chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce to the recipe for a little smoky kick to counterbalance the sweetness of the sweet potato. If you prefer mild food, you can skip the chipotle chilis.

If you don’t keep dry black beans on hand, you can use 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans for this chili to save you some time.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili (#vegetarian) | @BobsRedMill and @MuirGlenOrganic #ChiliRoundup | www.theroastedroot.net

This simple recipe is packed with flavor and will satisfy both vegetarians and meat eaters.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili (#vegetarian) | @BobsRedMill and @MuirGlenOrganic #ChiliRoundup | www.theroastedroot.net

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Chili

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium 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 cup dry black turtle beans or 1 can black beans
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt to taste

For Serving:

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


  1. Pour one cup of dry beans in a large bowl or container and fill with water so that beans are completely covered. Allow beans to soak overnight. Drain water from the beans and set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil to medium.
  3. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently until onion begins to sweat, 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sweet potato and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, quinoa, and beans and continue cooking another 2 minutes, stirring everything together.
  6. Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring chili to a full boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow chili to bubble gently for 15 to 20 minutes, until quinoa and sweet potato is cooked.
  7. 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.
  8. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and your favorite chili toppings.

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  1. Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness

    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!

  2. Julie

    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??}

  3. marquis @realrawkitchen

    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 🙂

  4. Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog

    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.

  5. Abby

    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. Julia Post author

      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. Julia Post author

      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!

    1. Julia Post author

      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!

  6. Jennie @themessybakerblog

    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.

  7. Kristin

    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.

  8. Pretty Haute

    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. Julia Post author

      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! 🙂

  9. Kate

    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. Julia Post author

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

  10. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    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. Julia Post author

      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!

  11. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    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. Yogapro

      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 🙂

  12. Kathy

    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!

  13. Andrew

    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. Julia Post author

      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. Andrew

        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. G

          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!

  14. Monica

    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. Julia Post author

      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

  15. Caroline

    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. Julia Post author

      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!

  16. Stephen

    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.

  17. sekret

    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


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