Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa is a hearty, vegetarian recipe that will even satisfy the carnivores in your house. 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe

If the mere mention of “chili” conjures up a very specific bowl of a beefy, meaty soup, then feel free to call this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili…Soup or Stoup. Lie, beg…do what you must to get your team to try this recipe. It’s that good. 🙂

I think the quinoa gives it a little something extra and gives it a chili feel. And, adding this little seed is so easy to do. Just add it along with the other ingredients it will cook while the chili simmers! I love this process so much we added quinoa to Black Bean Quinoa Soup and our homemade vegetable soup recipes.

I may or may not have used a few tricks to get my crew to try this out the first time. #sorrynotsorrry

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe

So…I did a little research to support my hypothesis that I could indeed call this “chili.”

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe

First, I found that the 4th Thursday of February is National Chili Day, which just happens to be February 25 this year! Of course, this is not a public holiday. But, you will find lots of great chili recipes out on social media.

(And, yes…it’s true that food holidays are mostly made-up holidays by associations and such. But, they are fun opportunities to celebrate your favorite foods!)

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe

But, what I really wanted to know was whether I could indeed call this recipe “chili” when in fact there was no meat involved. It turns out the great debate is about whether or not chili should contain beans. It’s a regional issue according to Beans in Chili by the Huffington Post. Meat is a given. Sooooo…..add add some crumbled ground beef or turkey to this recipe if that’s how you roll.

Beans, no beans. Meat, no meat. In my book, so long as it tastes great, you can call it chili if you want to!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili Notes

This super easy dish cooks in one pot in less than 30 minutes. It’s the perfect weeknight meal and does just as well for entertaining.

  • Sweet potatoes can be peeled and cubed ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Freeze leftovers or extra batches in tightly-sealing plastic bags or individual freezer containers.
  • Add crumbled beef or turkey, if desired.
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe

Check out some other chili variations we love!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa Recipe
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5 from 4 votes

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Quinoa Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa is a hearty, meatless recipe that will even satisfy the carnivores in your house.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 362kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups diced sweet potato about 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion about 1/2 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth 4 cups
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can
  • 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice or squeeze of fresh lime juice


  • Place olive oil in large pot and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add sweet potato and onion to pot and saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for about a minute more.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except for cilantro and lime juice, to pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender and the quinoa is cooked.
  • Stir in cilantro and lime juice.


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1688mg | Potassium: 1181mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 15515IU | Vitamin C: 19.6mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 5.5mg
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  1. This looks like a perfect dinner for meatless monday!

  2. Girl, I’m with you. If you think it’s chili, then it’s chili. Now to convince my husband to eat quinoa…. 🙂 I need to know your tricks!

  3. The colors in this are so vibrant and I love the quinoa in it!

  4. Oh my gosh! I didn’t know it was National Chili Day! That’s definitely worth celebrating, especially with this gorgeous chili recipe! So totally bursting with both flavor and nutrition – love, love!!! 😀

  5. How fun that National Chili Day is my brothers birthday! I will have to tell him that 😉 And this sweet potato and black bean chili is right up our alley! I love the colors.

  6. I love chili all day every day. This version looks fabulous!

  7. I’m not really into the chili debate. I love it with beans, and without. I also love your version with the quinoa. Looks so, so good!

  8. Hey! Chilli con Carne is my favorite Mexican dish. But I will try this amazing vegetarian meal! A lot of chilli powder is never a mistake. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great chili!! Made it tonight for my daughter’s family and everyone ate it including the kids.

  10. Christine Gloeckner says

    This was amazing! I was worried for a while that it was too much broth, but in the last few minutes the quinoa soaked most of it up. Definitely making again. Quick, easy, and healthy!

  11. The diced tomatoes I had on hand already had garlic and lime juice added. The canned Cuban black beans that I used already had cumin added. Bonus!

  12. Can you substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes? My husband is not a fan of sweet potatoes. Thanks!

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