Simply prepared in a skillet, this deliciously zesty sweet potato chili is on the dinner table in under twenty-five minutes! Brimming with lean ground beef, tender cubes of sweet potato, onions, red bell peppers, red beans, warm spices and a touch of sharp cheddar cheese, this is my favorite hearty chili recipe to cozy up to.
Sweet Potato Chili, a Hearty One-Pan Take on Chili
Zesty one-pan recipes filled with spices and warming, hearty, and even healthy ingredients, are the kinds of meals which I most enjoy preparing when the days and evenings take a turn for the cooler.
Comforting braises, thick stews and mildly spicy chilis are my favorites, and filling them to the brim with layers of flavors, colorful veggies and lean meats are the way to go. These always warm my belly, and offer wonderful coziness!
This easy sweet potato chili recipe is my colorful take on traditional chili, simply prepared using only one skillet or pan. It has a short cook time (just long enough to soften the sweet potatoes), and is filled with all of those favorite ingredients that I love most in a hearty, hot bowl of chili.
Topped with a little spoon of cool sour cream and some crunchy corn chips on the side for dipping, this spice-filled sweet potato chili is a scrumptious, easy meal to enjoy on a cold evening, all cuddled up in a warm blankie, on the couch!
How to Make Sweet Potato Chili in a Skillet
I love the flavor of lean ground beef, as well as some sweetness and color from diced sweet potato, red onion, and red bell peppers, so I was inspired to use those ingredients in this chili recipe.
Red kidney beans offer a hint of texture, and the finishing touches of sharp cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and green onions add some rich savoriness and freshness.
While some traditional chili recipes can require a long simmer time to develop those rich flavors, my sweet potato chili recipe comes together in no time at all.
I simply use a large skillet or pan to saute and cook all of my aromatic ingredients together and create those deliciously zesty and warming layers of textures and flavors.
Then, my chili is ready to be ladled into a big bowl, finished with some extra cheese and my favorite toppings, and enjoyed spoonful after hearty spoonful!
Here’s a glance at my recipe for sweet potato chili: (or just jump to the full recipe…)
- Into a large cast-iron skillet or braising pan I crumble in my ground beef, and cook that until no longer pink.
- Next, the deliciously zesty aromatic ingredients such as onions, peppers and spices go into the pan, and are sauteed with the beef.
- The colorful diced sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and beans are folded into my skillet next, along with some beef stock; and then the mixture is gently simmered for about 20-22 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- To finish things up, I stir a touch of cheddar cheese directly into the chili for extra flavor, then spoon into bowls while hot and top with additional cheese, cilantro, greens onions, and any other toppings I’m craving!
Sweet Potato Chili
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 542 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef (94/6 ratio)
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 small red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 extra-large sweet potato (or 2 small), peeled and diced into medium-small cubes
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained of juice
- 1 cup beef (or chicken) stock, warm
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 green onions, chopped, divided use
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
- Sour cream, as optional garnish
- Place a large, non-stick heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the oil; once hot, crumble in the ground beef, breaking it up slightly with a spoon, and brown it for about 2-3 minutes; next, add in a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, the oregano, cumin, chili powder and paprika, and stir to combine.
- Add in the diced onion and red bell peppers, and saute those together with the ground beef for about 3-4 minutes; add in the garlic and stir to incorporate, and once that becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste and stir, and cook the mixture for a minute or two.
- Next, add in the diced sweet potato and the diced tomatoes, plus the beef or chicken stock, and stir to combine; then, add in the kidney beans and gently fold those in.
- Cover the pan and gently simmer the chili on low for about 20-22 minutes, or until the sweet potato cubes are tender, stirring occasionally; turn off the heat.
- To finish the chili, fold in the chopped cilantro, about half of the chopped green onions, and about half of the cheddar cheese; serve the chili in bowls topped with a sprinkle of the remaining cheddar cheese, and sour cream, if desired. (This is delicious with a side of cornbread or corn chips, as well!)
Tips & Tidbits for my Sweet Potato Chili:
- Lean ground beef, or other meaty options: Using an organic 94/6 ratio lean to fat ground beef is what I opt for here, but other delicious options to use are ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Vegetarian sweet potato chili: If you’d like to go the vegetarian route for this chili recipe, it’s super easy! You can leave out the ground beef and simply saute the aromatics and spices together, then proceed with the recipe. Or, you can opt for a sliced mushrooms to create that hearty, meaty texture, or ground soy or tempeh and crumble that in. (I actually love the crumbled soy—it looks and tastes just like ground beef to me.) Also, you can sub veggie stock for the beef or chicken stock!
- Colorful veggies: While the sweet potatoes and red bell peppers offer great color and flavor, other tasty add-ins are green bell peppers and corn. You could also substitute black beans or pinto beans for the red kidney beans.
- Prepare ahead for easy serving: This simple recipe can be prepared a day or two ahead of when you’d like to serve it. The flavors will deepen and mingle that much more! Simply allow it to cool once cooked, then keep in a covered container or pan, and gently re-heat when ready to serve.
Feast your eyes on these, :
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!