Black Bean, Sweet Potato Chili

Now the fun begins!


Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes; peeled, diced about 1″ cubes
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 t Chili Powder (chipotle for me)
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon

Place the sweet potato cubes and next 6 ingredients into a Ziploc bag and shake until evenly coated. Spread the lot on a baking sheet and pop into a 425 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until crisp. Move them about on the baking pan a few times to prevent burning. Whilst the potatoes are crisping, move on to the chili base. When potatoes are done, set aside.

Chili Base

  • 2-4 Cups Prerequisite Black Beans
  • 25-30 Oz Chopped TomatoesBBSPC-7
  • 1 each Red Bell and Yellow Bell, chopped
  • 1 Purple Onion, chopped
  • 0-3 Jalapenos, sliced (heat tolerance depending)
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro, hand torn
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1 t Chili Powder (chipotle for me)

Over medium high heat, add oil then onions, saute until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes Add bell and jalapeno peppers, saute for another 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, add dry spices, stir briefly, then add the tomatoes. Stir to incorporate the spices. Raise heat to high, bring to boil, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover, add black beans, stir to incorporate, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.  About now is a good time to taste test and adjust the spices. Uncover add sweet potatoes, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, add cilantro and continue to cook until desired consistency.


I like sour cream but I gave it up 5 years ago. Since, I’ve found loads of good alternatives, like a cashew based source cream and thickened yogurt. By thickened I don’t mean the slew of ‘Greek style’ yogurts you can get at the grocery, however you can start with those.  Then you’ll need some way to remove the excess water. Me,  I use this ‘yogurt cheese maker’ from Donvier. Its not much more than a fine sieve but its angled such that the weight of the yogurt pushes out its own liquid. It also has a top so you can pop the lot in the fridge and get on with life. I leave mine to drain for 4 hours and afterwards it the consistency of cream cheese.


To assemble, I added the yogurt version of sour cream, avocado, goat cheese and spooned pineapple-chipotle salsa around the perimeter.


BBSPC-8Overall its good, spicy yet sweetened considerably by the sweet potatoes. Next time I’ll use less sweet potatoes in the chili but I’ll save a few to top it off for the sake of presentation.

The thickened yogurt version of sour cream was too lemony, next time I’ll try the cashew version, me thinks the nutty flavour will pair better with the sweet potato and black beans.

Goat cheese was too gamy, next time feta.

One taste tester commented that there wasn’t enough salt. Noted. Its easier to add than remove.




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