Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili


How are you?

Let me guess – you are home, slightly bored (or majorly restless) and wondering what activities will occupy your day today? How many of you are cooking as a way to pass the time?

For me, cooking is a wonderful creative outlet. My mind starts day-dreaming of food I want to eat, and eventually a recipe comes together. Like this Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili I made the other night.

Overhead shot of a bowl of chili. Chili shows chunks of sweet potato, black beans and ground beef, with avocado on top. A healthy, fast and family-friendly recipe.

Before Michigan went into hyper-shut down, I bought a large pack of ground beef – which I was oddly craving. Chili seemed like the perfect way to make a huge batch of something that could feed me all week. Let me tell you – it did not disappoint.

This dish was just meant to be a meal, but it tasted so good I had to make it a blog post. My first post in a year and a half!! Holy Cow! I’ve missed blogging so much, but it’s hard to find the time. So, dare I say….happy fruit from this whole quarantine situation!

An overhead picture of a bowl of chili with chunks of sweet potato, black beans and ground meat. Diced avocado is garnished on top. A healthy, fast and family-friendly recipe.

I’m on day 7 of quarantine, but I was WFH up until two days ago, so it really only feels like day 2 for me. For those of you into week 2 or 3 already, God Bless You!

I realize we are living in NON-ideal times, however, I like to try and find little blessings in even the crappiest circumstances. Some days, I am better at this than others. Lately, I’ve been wearing a really great pair of rose-colored-glasses, making it much easier to see the positives.

For example, one thing I love seeing these days (thank you Instagram!) is people cooking at home. In my opinion, cooking at home for our families is one of the best ways we can connect with each other and nourish our relationships. Cooking is also a great way to try something new, engage with kids, be creative, and be good to our bodies. All of that, just from cooking? Yep!!

A sideview picture of a bowl of chili with chunks of sweet potato, black beans and ground meat. Diced avocado is garnished on top. A healthy, fast and family-friendly recipe.

While I know many of you are looking for recipes to cook to pass the time, it’s also helpful to find recipes that are healthy, easy and delicious! Another reason I am excited to share this one.

Now, because so many of us are on lock-down, I am making a lot of substitution suggestions in the recipe. No need to hit the stores here, folks. Just substitute or skip!

As for more blogging, well, I’ll be home for the next few weeks (at least!) and my mind is spinning with ideas. Especially recipe ideas that won’t force anyone to grocery shop. Stay tuned, keep in touch, and let me know what great food you are cooking by leaving me a comment below. And if you need some inspo – head over to my home page. Thanks!

A sideview picture of a bowl of chili with chunks of sweet potato, black beans and ground meat. Diced avocado is garnished on top. A healthy, fast and family-friendly recipe.
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An overhead shot of a bowl of chili, with chunks of sweet potato, black beans and ground meat. Topped with diced avocado. A healthy, fast, family-friendly meal.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This recipe is super fast and easy! While the beef browns, chop your veggies. And, in light of the Covid-19 Quarantine happening all over our globe, I am including loads of substitute suggestions so no shopping needed. If you don’t have something, don’t fret, just leave it out. Your final dish may turn out slightly differently, but it will still be tasty and nutritious!


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (olive, coconut, canola or avocado)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (sub: turkey or chicken)
  • salt (kosher is my fave), to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced (sub: baby sweet bell peppers or poblano)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced small
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (sub: Italian seasoning or dried basil)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (sub: 2 fresh cloves, minced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (I used chipotle)
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (sub: rice vinegar or 1/2 cup beer!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (sub: beef or veggie stock)
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, strained and rinsed (sub: other canned beans)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (sub: fresh cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (to thicken – totally optional)

Optional Toppings:

  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • hot sauce
  • diced onion
  • corn chips


  • Warm oil in large pot over medium-high heat. 
  • Add ground meat, season with salt and pepper, then cook until meat is browned, stirring often. 
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to plate. Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in the pot, or add a little more oil if needed. Add onions, bell pepper, jalapeño, celery, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, then cook until veggies are soft and onions are translucent. Continue to stir often.
  • Stir sweet potatoes into onion mixture. Clear a space in the center of the pot and add the tomato paste. Toast for 1 minute, then stir to combine all ingredients. 
  • Pour in vinegar and cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add stock, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Add the meat back to the pot along with the black beans. 
  • If you want to thicken the broth, stir cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl. With the chili boiling, stir the slurry mixture into the pot. Let boil 2 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir in chopped parsley. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with choice of toppings!

Keywords: healthy, fast, family-friendly, chili, sweet potatoes, black beans, ground beef, ground turkey, easy, comfort food

6 thoughts on “Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili”

  • Welcome back! I love reading your recipes and philosophical tips. Haven’t made it yet but am just following past experience!

  • Love to see all the substitutes! Looks delicious. Glad to see your blog again. Thanks for the positive messages here. We are cooking basics over here, but i made chick pea & noddle soup the other day, turned out pretty good. Can’t go wrong with soup. Be well !

  • So happy to see you back here again! We need you and your recipes and your positive outlook now more than ever!!

  • You read my mind–made chili yesterday and sweet potatoes today; now I’ll know to combine them. So glad to be back in the world of Craveable Kitchen. ox

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