Skip to Content

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

This hearty bowl of chili has it all — meat, beans, and just the right amount of heat!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili made with spicy Italian sausage is loaded with delicious flavor. Prepare this easy recipe for a weeknight dinner or for your next football party!

Sweet potatoes in chili may be seem unusual, but when paired with the other spices they add a hint of sweetness for the perfect balance in this dish. Serve this black bean chili with tortilla chips, corn muffins, or a crusty loaf of bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Looking for more delicious chili recipes? An exclusive list of amazing chili cook-off recipes from some of my blogging friends is at the bottom of this post just for you!

top down view of a soup mug filled with black bean and sweet potato chili sitting on a white plate with a spoon laying to the side.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

  • Ground Italian sausage — Most chili recipes start with ground beef, but here we’re using bulk Italian sausage which is seasoned with fennel, garlic, and other spices. Use either the mild or spicy sausage depending on your heat preference.
  • Canned black beans — Using canned beans is a real time saver, but always rinse and drain them well before adding to any recipe to remove extra sodium.
  • A large sweet potato — Peel and dice one large or two medium sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. I personally prefer dark orange sweet potatoes, but any variety will work in this recipe.
  • Canned tomatoes — The recipe calls for petite-diced tomatoes, but you may want to substitute fire-roasted tomatoes or your favorite salsa for even more spice.
  • Onion — Use whatever you have on hand sweet yellow onion, white onion, or red onion. Also, diced red bell pepper would be a delicious addition.
  • Chili powder & cumin — These ground spices are essential for any kind of chili! Substitute a chipotle chili powder for a more smoky flavor.

tip

  • A squeeze of fresh lime juice stirred into the pot at the end of cooking gives this chili an extra punch of flavor and brightness.

process steps for making black bean sweet potato chili: brown Italian sausage in a Dutch oven; add onions and diced sweet potatoes; stir in garlic and spices; add black beans and canned tomatoes.

How to make chili with sweet potatoes?

STEP 1 | Brown the meat

Break up the Italian sausage into the bottom of a Dutch oven and sauté over medium hight heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off any excess grease.

STEP 2 | Sauté the aromatics

Toss in the diced sweet potatoes and onions and cook until the onions are tender. Add minced garlic and the other spices and cook until the mixture is fragrant.

STEP 3 | Finish cooking the sweet potatoes

Add about 3 cups of water to the pot. Once the chili begins to boil, reduce the heat and cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.

STEP 4 | Simmer

Finally, stir in the canned black beans and tomatoes. Simmer until all the ingredients are heated through.

tip

  • Most canned beans and vegetables already have been salted, so be careful when adding more salt to your soups and chilis. Always drain canned beans and rinse well under cool running water to remove excess sodium.

close up shot of black bean sweet potato chili in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Frequently asked questions

Can this chili be frozen?

Yes! Be sure to let the soup cool completely, then store in resealable freezer bags for up to 2 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm on top of the stove or in the microwave.

Will this recipe work with dry black beans instead?

While I haven’t tried that myself, you absolutely could use dry beans. One can is equivalent to about 3/4 cup of dry beans, so you’d need to cook 1 1/2 cups from scratch for this chili recipe.

Can you make this chili vegetarian?

Of course! Obviously, you would omit the sausage, but I’d suggest that you also add an extra can of beans.

I like my chili less brothy. How do you thicken chili?

For a thicker broth, simply blend or mash up half the beans and stir them back into the chili.

a soup mug filled with black bean and sweet potato chili  sitting on a white plate with a spoon laying to the side.

Serving suggestions

Serve with lime wedges, avocado slices, sour cream, tortilla chips, cornbread, or garlic bread.

a spoonful of black bean sweet potato chili lifting out of a crock sitting on a white plate with a lime wedge.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

Yield: 8 servings

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

top down view of a soup mug filled with black bean and sweet potato chili sitting on a white plate with a spoon laying to the side.

This hearty bowl of chili has it all — meat, beans, and just the right amount of heat! Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili made with spicy Italian sausage is loaded with delicious flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage, mild or spicy
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Crumble the Italian sausage into the bottom of a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté until the meat is no longer pink, about 6 - 7 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and onions. Cook and for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Add the beans and tomatoes, and squeeze in the fresh lime juice. Simmer for another 5 minutes, or until heated the chili is heated through.

Notes

To freeze chili, cool completely first, then store in resealable freezer bags for up to 2 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm on top of the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 685mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 12gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Welcome to our 2021 Chili Cook-Off! 

October is Chili Cook-Off Month! We have delicious recipes from across the country to get your chili making to the next level of deliciousness!

#ChiliCookOff is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise

sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Gorgeous, delicious, and super nutritious all at the same time!

Wendy Klik

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

I like that you used Italian Sausage. I'm sure that added a lot of flavor to this recipe. And sweet potatoes for the win!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe