Bet you're wondering what type of secret ingredient could be included in this vegan sweet potato chili. It will take your chili from a measly second to first place at those family chili cook-offs.
Are you ready to find out what it is?
This vegan sweet potato chili is the best thing to bring to family gatherings or potlucks because you can whip up huge quantities with little-to-no effort. You'll turn simple ingredients into something extra delicious.
Blending a few cups or mashing some of it in the pot makes it thicker without having to simmer for hours. So, you'll achieve that all-day cooking texture and taste in under an hour.
There are three things you'll especially love about this vegan chili recipe: taste (obviously), protein content, and the ability to create leftovers that keep for a long time.
We make batches of this chili to freeze and eat when we're feeling lazy on a rainy day. But, we're crazy and enjoy our chili on hot, sunny days too.
It's that good. Especially when you add our secret ingredient.
We know you've had those chilis that taste so one-dimensional, like a standard 5/10 recipe. The ones you'll eat, but you're not over the moon about. So, what can be done to take your chili from good to great? Cocoa powder.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Cocoa powder: okay, maybe it's not so secret, but we've been using this ingredient in our recipes for a long time to create a well-rounded, complex flavor. We don't see it in too many chili recipes out there, but you should include it for these reasons: the bitter taste counteracts with the fat and balances the slight sweetness from the tomatoes and beans. You can thank us later.
- Sweet potatoes: these make an already hearty meal even more filling. When the potatoes start falling apart in the pot, it thickens everything up so nicely. They also add the perfect touch of sweetness to level out the spicy flavor.
- Red beans: wow, do these ever make a huge difference in a chili recipe. We usually see red kidney beans used in chili recipes, but if you can get your hands on red chili beans, it makes such a difference in our opinion. As we always mention, cooking them from dry in a pressure cooker will give you the best results.
- Lime: it wouldn't be a chili recipe without some tang. We squeeze lime juice in at the end for a nice little zing and some extra vitamin C.
- Tofu: a lot of meat-eaters out there might say chili isn't complete without some ground beef. But, our baked vegan ground beef will create an equally meaty texture, while adding a ton of extra protein.
To start off, throw together our vegan ground beef recipe. Bake it while you're prepping the rest of the chili. It's ready in under 30 minutes.
Cook some quinoa in a rice cooker or pressure cooker to serve with the chili.
Sauté your onions and garlic to release the aromas, and then add in all the other chopped veggies and spices.
This includes your new secret ingredient.
Add in the tomatoes, veggie broth, and beans and put the lid on to simmer. Once all your vegetables have softened, this is when you'll mix in the vegan ground beef to let it soak up the flavor and become extra chewy.
At this point, you can either blend a few cups of your chili or hand mash some in the pot to thicken it up. Lastly, squeeze in the lime juice to give your recipe some juicy flavor.
Serve it with quinoa, cilantro, cashew sour cream, coconut yogurt, or plant-based cheese shreds!
This is one of those recipes that freezes extremely well. We like to portion out meal sizes, then thaw them one at a time whenever we're ready.
This chili will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months, or in the fridge for 3-4 days.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Opt for a cheaper neutral oil, like canola, instead of the avocado oil
- Serve this chili with more quinoa, rice, or bread to make it last longer
- Cook your beans from dry instead of buying canned
🍴 Tasting notes
Sweet potato chili is our go-to comfort meal that ticks all the boxes. It's:
- Sweet & Spicy
If you try this chili, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
- Large stock pot
- Chef knife
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Rice cooker or pressure cooker
- 1 cup quinoa ($0.44)
- 1-2 cups water ($0.00)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil ($0.19)
- 1 medium red onion ($0.24)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.12)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced ($0.83)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced ($0.28)
- 2 stalks celery, diced ($0.10)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed ($0.47)
- 1 cup corn kernels ($0.16)
- 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.99)
- 1 28 fl. oz can diced tomatoes ($0.73)
- 1 ½ cups cooked red chili beans ($0.43)
- 1 ½ cups cooked black beans ($0.43)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar ($0.09)
- 2 tbsp chilli powder ($0.06)
- 1 tbsp cumin powder ($0.03)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder ($0.11)
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika ($0.15)
- Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)
- 2 tbsp lime juice ($0.24)
- 1 recipe vegan ground beef ($3.18)
- Sliced green onions ($0.05)
- Chopped cilantro ($0.02)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, cook the quinoa in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. Alternatively, you can cook it in a rice cooker or pot on the stove. Note: if you choose this method, make sure to double the water.
- Next, prepare the vegan ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Spread it out evenly on the baking sheet and bake it at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
- In the meantime, heat the avocado oil in a large pot over medium. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Next, add in the bell pepper, carrot, sweet potato, and celery. Stir to combine.
- Then, mix in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cocoa powder and coconut sugar. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1-2 minutes.
- Once it's fragrant, add in the can of diced tomatoes, black beans, red beans, vegetable broth, and corn. Stir everything well and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for around 30-40 minutes.
- Once vegetables are softened, mash them slightly by hand in the pot, or remove 2 cups of chili and blend it in a food processor or blender. Once blended, add it back into the pot and stir.
- Lastly, mix in the vegan ground beef and lime juice. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, adjusting seasonings as needed. Remove chili from heat and serve with any of the following: quinoa, green onions, cilantro, cashew cream, coconut yogurt, plant-based cheese shreds, or lime wedges.
- This chili also tastes great served with sourdough bread or rice!
♻️ Similar recipes
For more hearty and protein-packed recipes, check out our:
- Lentil dahl for a simple way to enjoy one of the most versatile legumes known to man.
- Sweet potato and bean enchiladas if you want a flavorful and filling Mexican-style meal.
- Moroccan chickpea stew to enjoy a bowl of warming, sweet, and delicious spices.
- Southwest sweet potato black bean salad because these two foods just go hand-in-hand!
Yes, this recipe can be made without the tofu crumble. You can opt for store-bought veggie grounds too.
Yes, this recipe can be made with regular potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes. You can also use a mix of both!
If you can't find red chili beans, pinto beans or red kidney beans work for this recipe too.
No, you do not have to cook the beans from dry. You can use canned beans for this recipe. But, as we always say, freshly cooked beans taste better.