Black Bean Chili over Sweet Potato

A vegetarian Black Bean Chili served over sweet potato #chili #vegetarian #blackbean @mjskitchen


This black bean chili recipe is one of my pre-computer recipes that I’ve been playing around with since the early 90’s.  It’s a vegan black bean chili, but if you don’t mind a little cheese, a topping of feta is a great finishing touch.  You can serve this chili over rice (brown rice is best) or polenta, or with buttermilk cornbread or tortillas.  But our favorite way is to serve it over sweet potato.  The sweetness of the sweet potato is the perfect complement for the richness and spiciness of the chili.

Black Bean Chili over Sweet Potato

1970's pressure cooker | mjskitchen.comThis recipe uses a pressure cooker, but you could cook this on a stove top in a large Dutch oven.  It would take 2 to 2.5 hours in a Dutch oven and less than an hour in a pressure cooker.  Also as a disclaimer on the pressure cooker, I’m still using my 40 year old pressure cooker and have no idea how the new ones work today. So the cook time might be a little different.

Black Bean Chili Served Over Sweet Potatoes (Recipe)
4 hrs
1 hr
Total Time
5 hrs
Love the combination of black beans and sweet potatoes.  Create a complete meal by scooping some black bean chile over sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes could be roasted, mashed, or baked.  They all work.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Main Course, Vegetarian
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
Beans and Brine
  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • Enough water to cover the beans plus 1" above
Chili ingredients
  • 5 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper or poblano, diced
  • ½ cup roasted green chile, chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with juice or 1 ½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 teaspoon red chile powder*
  • ½ tsp. chipotle powder*
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika*
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika*
  • 1 tsp. toasted cumin/coriander mix
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced (optional)
Sweet Potato
  • ½ small to medium sweet potato per serving, roasted or microwaved
  • OR 1/2 cup mashed sweet potaotes
Toppings (use as many as you want or none at all)
  • Raw onion, minced
  • Scallions with tops, thinly sliced
  • Red chile sauce
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sour cream or creme fraiche
To brine the beans
  1. Place about 5 - 6 cups of water in a large bowl with 1 Tbsp. coarse salt. Stir to dissolve the salt.

  2. Add the beans and let brine 4 hours.

  3. After 4 hours, drain and rinse the beans. Transfer to pressure cooker.
Making the chili
  1. Add 5 ½ cups vegetable broth to the pressure cooker with the beans and start heating the broth and beans while you chop the vegetables.

  2. Add all chili ingredients (except cilantro) to the pressure cooker. Stir well.
  3. Close the cooker and bring to a medium high pressure.
  4. Once the setting is reached, cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes.
  6. Relieve the pressure on the cooker, open and test beans for doneness and salt. If not quite cooked, continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so at high heat until done and to desired consistency.
  7. If using cilantro, stir it in now and serve over sweet potato with desired toppings.
  8. If using roasted or microwaved sweet potato*, place ½ of a sweet potato in a bowl. Cut down the middle to open it up. Pour the desired amount of black bean chili on top of the sweet potato. Top with desired toppings.
  9. If using mashed potatoes, scoop potatoes in a bowl. Make a hole in the center and scoop chili into the center. Top with desired topping.
Kitchen Notes

Vegetable broth – I don’t make vegetable broth from scratch. I use water and a vegetable bouillon base (5 cups water to 1 tsp. base).  Between the brine and the base, you’ll find that you won’t need to add additional salt to the finished chili, that is unless you like food really salty.


Chile powders – As you can see from the recipe, I don’t use a chili powder blend but rather several different chile powders and other spices and herbs.  By using the discrete components of a blend, you can create a flavor profile that best fits your palate.  Therefore, rather than grabbing a bottle of “chili powder”, grab all of the “chile powders” you have in your pantry and create your own.


The Sweet Potato – The sweet potato can be baked, microwaved or mashed.  Here’s a quick & easy mashed sweet potato recipe.


For the baked sweet potato, scrub it, poke a couple of times with a fork, coat the outside with oil or butter, and roast in a preheated 400°F oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until done.


For the microwaved potato, scrub, poke a couple of times with a fork, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Turn over and microwave for another 3 minutes or until done.



A vegetarian Black Bean Chili served over sweet potato #chili #vegetarian #blackbean @mjskitchen


If you like this vegan Black Bean Chili recipes, you might want to check out these other black bean recipes.


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44 Responses to “Black Bean Chili over Sweet Potato”

  1. Carol @ Wild Goose December 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Another fab recipe. Glad you are such a wonderful cook.
    I am so glad I discovered your blog. It’s a pleasure to read.

    Happy Holidays my Little Xmas Elf.

    • mj December 24, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks so much Carol! Wishing you a wonderful holiday as well!

  2. Zsuzsa December 20, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Peach Lady you are my kind of gal for not discarding a still useful item for a fleshy new one. I had to abandon mine a while ago, I could not get rubber rings for it. The new one doesn’t need rings. We kept the pot for wilderness camping.

    I love beans its time to cook up a nice bean dish and feed the man some leftovers. [he doesn’t like beans] This one looks delishious.

    • mj December 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

      I know…I hate to throw away something that still works! I did have to do an Internet search to find the gaskets. Mine had serious dry rot. It’s working great now. 🙂 That’s right…your husband doesn’t like beans. I have a nephew (in-law) that doesn’t like them either and my niece loves them. It’s a big UGH for her. I think she gets them when they go out to eat. Have a wonderful holiday Zsuzsa!

  3. Easyfoodsmith December 14, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    This combination sounds truly wonderful.

    • mj December 15, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks Darlin!

  4. Sissi December 14, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    I see your pre-computer era recipe collection contains some real jewels! I also should look more often into my old recipe copy book… I cannot believe you have one more lovely exotic bean dish in your collection! I think you should consider – after publishing the New Mexico cookery book – a huge bean recipe book too! You amaze me with the number of delicious bean dishes you cook!

    • mj December 15, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks so much Sissi! It’s good to go back into those old recipes because you can find a lot of jewels that you’ve missed over the years. Yes, I do have a lot of bean recipes. We try to eat vegetarian 2-3 times a week and beans are a great protein that enable us to do that. Thus A LOT of beans. 🙂 Oh hopefully one day I’ll do a cookbook, but I think it might be too much work. HA!!!

  5. Chgojohn December 13, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    This chili sounds wonderful, MJ, but your choice to serve it atop sweet potato is truly inspired. Dare I say it? I think I’d prefer it served this way rather than served over polenta. (I could lose my Bartolini Clan card over this admission,)

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

      Oh I’ll never tell John (about the polenta) :). The sweet potato is definitely the top choice with brown rice coming in second. Thanks so much for you comments!

  6. Mette December 13, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    I’ve started a collection of dried bean recipes, and I can’t wait to try this one. It sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks Mette! I hope you do give it a try.

  7. Hotly Spiced December 12, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    The combination of the black beans with the sweet potatoes makes for a very colourful dish. And a very flavourful dish! This isn’t something I’ve made before but I’d love to try it xx

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

      Thanks Charlie! It is colorful but it was very hard to get a good picture. How do you make chili look good? 🙂

  8. Amy (Savory Moments) December 12, 2015 at 4:32 am #

    This looks delicious, MJ! Plus, so healthy!

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

      Thanks Amy!

  9. Viviane Bauquet Farre December 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    The flavor combos here are so mouthwatering… as usual! Especially love the spicy/sweet play. Happy holidays, MJ!

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane! Hope you have a Happy Holiday as well!

  10. Deb|EastofEdenCooking December 10, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Perfect dinner for these cold and rainy days! Hearty and felling with great flavor too.

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

      Thanks so much Deb!

  11. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz December 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Love this chili and a sweet potato is brilliant as a serving shell, if you like. Looks yummy!

    • mj December 13, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! The sweet potato does make a great base for the chili.

  12. Tamara December 10, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    This looks like a fabulous dish for #meatlessmonday! I love that you’ve incorporated both red and green chile too 🙂 Fortunately, I have both for now. I have a new Pinterest board “Extraordinary Pressure-Cooker Recipes,” and I’m going to pin it. I’m looking for collaborators, though, and would love to send an invite so you can pin any other pressure-cooker recipes you may have or come post in the future!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      It is definitely a great meatless Monday dish! With red and green chile, I guess I could have called a Christmas chile. 🙂 I’d love to join your Pinterest board. Send me an invitation. Thanks Tamara!

  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 9, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    Broad smile for the pre-computer days… I remember them well and sometimes long for their return ;). I’ve come across a lot of stuffed sweet potato recipes but none with this particular combination of warming, seductive ingredients (plus, there’s feta!!). Love the bold, beautiful character to this one MJ (ps: I’m overdue to make cornbread – thank you for the delicious reminder).

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Just the other day B and I were talking about what would happen if the world lost Internet. Those of us who lived before computers would be able to handle it, but those who grew up with them, would probably be at a loss. 🙂 Thanks so much for the wonderful comments on the chili.

  14. Abbe @ This is How I Cook December 9, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    I have never ever used a pressure cooker, but the good thing is that I can make black beans without it. Love this recipe and I love sweet potatoes! Yum!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Yes, you can make black beans and this black bean chili without a pressure cooker. I’ve done it before myself. 🙂 Thanks Abbe! Hope things are going well.

  15. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 9, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    I want this over roasted sweet potato chunks – the ones with just a bit of caramelization on it. Yummo!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      That sounds good!!! Thanks Maureen!

  16. April J Harris December 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    Oh how I love baked sweet potatoes – and your Black Bean Chili topping sounds amazing, MJ! What a wonderful, wholesome, comfort food recipe!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Thanks so much April! It’s hard to beat baked sweet potatoes. 🙂

  17. Adina December 9, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Sounds delicious. I actually have a bag of black beans hanging around in my cupboard for a loooong time. I always buy them, cook something and forget the rest. I will keep this in mind.

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Sounds like it’s time to make a pot of black beans! 🙂 Thanks Adina!

  18. Amy December 9, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Great flavor and textures.

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks Amy!

  19. Ramona W December 9, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    What a great idea to use the sweet potatoes as a base for this yummy chili! I have to try that next time!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      The sweet potato makes a great chile base. Thanks!

  20. Katerina December 9, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    I’ve already printed this to try! Looks perfect! Pinned!

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Oh Goody!!!! Hope you enjoy! Thanks!

  21. Angie@Angie's Recipes December 9, 2015 at 2:59 am #

    We love chilies too. I adore the combo of sweet potato and vegetarian chili, MJ.

    • mj December 10, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks Angie!

  22. John/Kitchen Riffs December 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    LOVE the combo of black beans, chilies, and sweet potatoes! In fact I sometimes make a chili that combines all these ingredients. This is definitely my kind of food — thanks for this.

    • mj December 8, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      I remember seeing that chili of yours a while back. The same flavors, just arranged and served differently. Thanks John!

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