Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Black Beans

This chili with sweet potatoes & black beans is savory, sweet, slightly smoky and satisfying. A fab twist on traditional chili!

chili with sweet potatoes & black beans

This hearty, savory twist on traditional chili is one of my new favorites. The flavors are out of this world~complex and intriguing. I made a huge slow cooker full yesterday and have eaten several bowls since.

chili with sweet potatoes & black beansMy kids aren’t as crazy about this as traditional chili, as it really is very different in flavor (and they aren’t used to seeing diced sweet  potatoes in chili). Still, they all give it a thumbs up overall.

I use one of my very favorite seasonings~Berbere~to give this chili a truly unique flavor and “kick.” Berbere (from Penzey’s Spices) is a North African seasoning mixture of cayenne red pepper, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, cumin, black pepper, allspice, turmeric, cloves, Ceylon cinnamon and coriander. If you don’t have Berbere, use cayenne pepper. It won’t have the complexity of Berbere, but it will add the heat.

Savvy tips: 1). Dice the sweet potatoes very small and steam 5 minutes in a microwave steamer bag, and you won’t have to worry about undercooked potatoes. 2). Mix all my spices together in a tiny spice bowl before adding to the chili to ensure even distribution of flavors. 3). Sprinkle seasonings directly onto the browned meat and stir well so that the meat will be rich and yummy. 4). Use a slow cooker liner, and you can lift entire batch of cooked chili and place in storage container when ready to refrigerate. The next day, lift the bag from storage container back to slow cooker. Easy breezy!

Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Black Beans

This chili is loaded with flavor and a complexity not found in typical chili.

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  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced very small
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic


  • In large skillet, heat olive oil.
  • Add chuck and onion to skillet, cooking until meat is brown (add garlic last few minutes of cooking).
  • Steam sweet potatoes in microwave (I use microwave steamer bags) for 6 minutes.
  • In small bowl, add chili powder, cumin, paprika, brown sugar, cinnamon & salt.
  • Toss spices until blended.
  • Add cooked sweet potatoes to skillet with chuck.
  • Sprinkle meat & potatoes with spices.
  • Add tomatoes & beans; stir well.
  • Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.
  • Cook on high 4-5 hours.

Serve with cornbread (I love this Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Cornbread) or topped with tortilla chips, sour cream, and diced avocado. Leftovers are great~even better~the next day.

I’d love to hear back from you if you try this super yummy chili, so please feel free to leave comments! Thanks SO much for visiting my site! Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!