This vegan sweet potato and black bean chilli is delicious, healthy, and hearty. Low in calories and gluten-free, you can enjoy it as a one-pot meal or along with your favourite sides.
For a hit of rich umami flavour, stir in a dollop of yeast extract and a splash of vegan Worcestershire sauce. If you like coriander, add the chopped stems during cooking and garnish with the fresh leaves when serving.
This chilli keeps well in both the fridge and freezer, so make a big batch and enjoy it for lunches and dinners in the days or weeks to come. For similar recipe ideas, check out this sweet potato and lentil dal, smoky jackfruit chilli and creamy black bean curry.
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Is sweet potato chilli good for you?
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and most of our B vitamins. They're one of the healthiest and most cost-effective foods on the planet, with one of the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar.
One serving of this sweet potato and black bean chilli provides:
- Calories: 341 kcal
- Protein: 15 grams (30% of RDA)
- Fibre: 17 grams (71% of RDA)
- Iron: 8 mg (44% of RDA)
Are black beans good for you?
Pulses such as black beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They truly are nutritional powerhouses.
What you'll need
This sweet potato and black bean chilli uses simple ingredients to create a healthy vegan one-pot meal. You'll need:
- Sweet potatoes for carbs and a tonne of healthy nutrients
- Black beans for protein and that classic chilli texture
- Mixed spices including ground cumin and smoked paprika
- Tinned tomatoes for the bulk of the dish
How to make sweet potato and black bean chilli
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
Next, add the chopped garlic, chilli, and sweet potato cubes and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper (1).
After a few minutes, stir in the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, black beans, Marmite, Henderson's Relish, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, bay leaves, and vegan stock (2).
Break the tomatoes apart with a spoon, mix well, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook on a low/medium heat for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, stir in the spinach and the chopped coriander stems. It will look like a lot of spinach at first, but it'll soon cook down. Simmer for another few minutes (3).
Once the spinach has wilted and the sweet potato cubes are soft, adjust the seasoning and serve.
This chilli is great with a dollop of vegan sour cream or crème fraiche, chopped coriander, and a squeeze of lime juice. Other suggestions for toppings include homemade guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, easy pico de gallo, grated vegan cheese, dairy-free crema, and sliced spring onions.
While the sweet potato in the recipe makes this a great one-pot meal, you could reduce the amounts and enjoy the chilli with other sides such as:
This recipe uses tinned black beans, but you could substitute these for any beans you like. You could also soak and/or pre-cook your own dried beans, or try other legumes such as chickpeas or lentils. Want to find out more? Check out my Beginner's Guide to Pulses.
If you need to ensure that this recipe is 100% gluten-free, use a vegan stock and yeast extract that are certified or labelled as such. You'll want to make sure that any additional toppings or sides are also gluten-free.
Store this sweet potato chilli in the fridge for up to four days. Simply reheat in the microwave or in a pan with a splash of water to loosen it up.
You can store this chilli in the freezer in sealed containers or resealable bags for up to six months. Defrost before reheating in the microwave or in a pan with a splash of water.
Variations and tips for sweet potato chilli
- Sweet potato: I used 2 large sweet potatoes weighing a total of approx. 1.5 lbs (700 grams), which is roughly equivalent to 3-4 medium sweet potatoes.
- Quantity: If you increase the recipe quantity, just be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly. You can easily make this chilli stretch further with an extra tin of tomatoes and/or beans.
- Add more veg: Include chopped celery and carrot at the start for a more flavourful base. Add peppers, mushrooms, courgette, kale, aubergine, or anything else you fancy (or want to use up).
- Henderson's Relish: Feel free to swap this out for Worcestershire sauce or half the amount of red wine vinegar (just be aware that these are not always strictly vegan).
- Chilli powder: If you don't have fresh chillies, you can swap these out for approx. one tablespoon of chilli powder (the heat and flavour will vary depending on the powder).
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
- Vegan Goulash (Hungarian Stew)
- Vegan 'Beef' Stew
- Jackfruit & Black Bean Tacos
- Vegan Jambalaya (Cajun-Spiced Rice)
- Quinoa Stew with Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Lime
- Lemony Butter Bean Stew
- Vegan Sausage Casserole
- Vegan Sweet Potato Pancakes
You can also check out my full list of vegan mains.
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli (GF)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2-3 fresh chillies, finely sliced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (1.5 lbs / 700 g)
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 3x 14 oz (400 g) tins plum tomatoes
- 2x 14 oz (400 g) tins black beans, drained
- 1 tablespoon Marmite (or other yeast extract if GF)
- 2 tablespoons Henderson's Relish (or half the amount of red wine vinegar, see notes)
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano or mixed herbs
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegan stock
- 5 oz (150 g) fresh spinach (approx. 4-5 cups)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Small bunch fresh coriander (stems and leaves)
- Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
- Next, add the chopped garlic, chilli, and sweet potato cubes and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- After a few minutes, stir in the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, black beans, Marmite, Henderson's Relish, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, bay leaves, and vegan stock. Break the tomatoes apart with a spoon, mix well, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook on a low/medium heat for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, stir in the spinach and the chopped coriander stems. It will look like a lot of spinach at first, but it'll soon cook down. Simmer for another few minutes.
- Once the spinach has wilted and the sweet potato cubes are soft, adjust the seasoning then serve with chopped coriander (see notes for more serving suggestions).
- Smoky Jackfruit Chilli
- Sweet Potato Dal with Lime
- Healthy Black Bean Soup
- Easy Vegan Chilli
- Vegan Potato Hash
- Vegan Goulash (Hungarian Stew)
- Pinto Bean Soup with Chilli and Lime
- Spicy Tofu Jalfrezi
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