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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Courtesy Matt Armendariz
Cook Time:
45 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Gaby Dalkin is known for her quick, easy and family-friendly recipes, like this vegan chili recipe. It's her go-to vegetarian dinner and one of yours too — in fact, it’s one of the most popular recipes to ever come out of the TODAY kitchen. Why? It comes together in under one hour and can serve four to six hungry eaters. Not to mention it’s the ultimate combination of cozy comfort food made with plant-based ingredients — the perfect addition to your January meal plan. That’s right — this chili recipe is totally meat-free. Instead, it gets its heft from a duo of sweet potatoes and beans.

You’ll probably be able to find nearly all of the ingredients for this chili in your pantry. A couple varieties of ground spices (namely chili, chipotle pepper and cumin), plus canned goods like black beans, fire-roasted diced tomato and vegetable stock, are really all it takes to build this hearty recipe. If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the bright orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 

Technique Tip: Gaby recommends using a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven for the best results.

Swap Option: Add any kind of beans that you prefer, says Gaby, such as pinto beans, red kidney beans and even chickpeas. If you want more protein, add shredded rotisserie chicken (though this obviously will negate that it’s a vegetarian recipe).


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • avocado, cilantro, crema and grated cheese, to serve (optional)
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In a large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, add oil and warm for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin and salt and stir to combine. Add the stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir to incorporate.


Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the quinoa is fully cooked, the sweet potatoes are soft and the entire mixture is thick like a chili. Add lime juice and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt as needed.


Garnish with avocado, cilantro, crema or cheese before serving.