New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Potato Chili (vegan!) Slow Cooker Recipe


I made a *darn* good chili last week, if I do say so myself (and I do. So does the rest of the family, including my parents). I had a few sweet potatoes left in the house and I desperately wanted to make up for the absolute fiasco that took place when I threw together that icky chicken and sweet potato I-don't-know-what-I-was-thinking dish.

This was much better. So much better, I demonstrated it on BlogHer's new webShow, The Juice. You can see the video by clicking here.

This is a cheap, vegan meal that doesn't leave you hungry 15 minutes later. I promise.

The Ingredients.

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and in 2-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 2/3 cup dried beans, soaked overnight and boiled briskly for 10 minutes because of the freaky red bean toxin thing)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (whatever's on sale, mine had oregano and roasted garlic)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice (not pictured. If you don't have any in the house, use water)

The Directions.

Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker. This is enough food to feed a family of 4 regular-sized, or 6 smallish people. Peel and chunk the sweet potato and add to the pot. Add diced onion. Follow with the red bell pepper, can of tomatoes, the beans, garlic, and seasonings. Pour in OJ and water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato is fork-tender (if you want the sweet potato to get really squishy and disappear when stirred, cook longer).

The Verdict.

Super tasty. I loved the sweet smoky flavor this had, and was thrilled at the depth of flavor that came from this spice combination. The sweet potato and beans were plenty filling, and Adam didn't once mumble that he'd really like a steak. My kids ate it, but un-veganized it by adding shredded cheese and sour cream.
I will definitely make this again. Thank you so much to BlogHer and to Tropicana for the fun day of filming for The Juice production. I had an absolute ball, and am touched to have been included. Thank you.

other great chili dishes:

traditional chili
poor man's chili
clean-out-the-pantry chili
white chili
presidential (Barack Obama's) chili

67 comments:

Mama Kalila said...

That actually sounds good. Part of me wants to try it, but mention anything remotely vegetarian in nature and my husband flips his lid. Every once in awhile I manage to sneak one in... but I'm not sure he'd go for this. But it sounds so good... lol

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I think this is a veggie dish my husband would eat, at least if I subbed black beans for kidney. Sounds yummy!

mlhummy said...

This sounds yummy. I have everything on hand and will be making it tomorrow. Quick question ... do you layer the beans over the onions?

Renlim73 said...

Sounds yummy! I will have to half it, as nobody will eat it but me. . . lol. Does it freeze well? ? Thank you!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Mlhummy, sure! I don't think the order really matters much, though... ;-)

Renlim, it should definitely freeze well, though I haven't personally tried it.

--steph

Colleen said...

Sounds good and I think I have everything to make it tomorrow! I tried to make a chili today but forgot to turn on the crock and it sat on my counter for at least 3 hours before I realized my mistake. :( Wasn't worth the risk of food poisoning to eat it, even tho everything was already "cooked." Biggest bummer was then trying to figure out what to make for dinner!

Little Ol' Liz said...

Wait - chipotle powder? Where'd that come from or who carries it? I can only find the whole-smoke-dried jalapeno's I have to grind myself.

Any help appreciated :)

Steph said...

This sounds so great! Here's my question...what (if anything) would you use in place of the beans? I can't eat 'em, but would love to try this recipe!

The H's said...

Congrats on winning the One Lovely Blog Award. See the details on my blog http://makemegoyum.blogspot.com/

teragram said...

I'm fairly sure that tinned kidney beans are already cooked. If the tin doesn't give instructions warning you to cook them carefully, you should be able to eat them straight from the tin. (This is definitely the case in Ireland). It's the raw ones you need to be careful of.

Summer said...

I make a similar chili in the crockpot with black beans and butternut squash, and it's always a huge hit. If I make chili for a party, I'll usually make a traditional chili with meat and the vegan bean and squash chili, and the vegan one always gets gobbled up first!

My version used berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend with hot and smoky flavors. There's also a sweet aroma to it... adding a pinch of cinnamon to the spices on your list would give it a similar depth.

Suzanne said...

Yum! I'm back visiting my mother and this will be our next meal. You inspire me!

Natalie said...

This looks great! And I have everything in the house! Gonna try it!

Arkytam said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I love your blog...I've read it a bunch but, am only just now leaving a comment because I only just now figured out how to leave a comment...LOL.

ChazFrench said...

Hi, I just wanted to tell you that, that is a really nice photograph of the dish.

Well Done!

K. Funk Nasty said...

I absolutely cannot stand sweet potatoes--is there a substitute I could use instead of them? I generally do love all of your other recipes though (except the ones that feature sweet potatoes).

Anonymous said...

That's awesome that it's vegan...I am always looking for a good crockpot vegan recipe.

Colleen said...

Wanted to say that I made this today and it's YUMMY! I didn't have the chipotle chili powder, so I just omitted it; also didn't have OJ on hand. I thought it was really good, as did my husband, but my girls (aged 1 and 3) only ate the kidney beans, even tho they usually love sweet potatoes. I'm thinking it was the little hint of chili powder. Also, I turned it off after 6 hours - probably would have been better after 5 hours as my sweet potatoes got pretty squishy (but still mostly held their form). I might have liked them a little more firm.

foodcreate said...

This recipe sounds really yummy!
I love the pictures so tommorow
I'm going to make this recipe!
Thanks for sharing:>

And you can visit me if I can visit you:>

Welcome:>
foodcreate.com

hiptobeme said...

I was just wondering if you have ever made yogurt in your crockpot and if so, could you please link me? I made your granola recipe and I will NEVER burn it in the oven again. Wow, how cool is that?. I love crockpotting and your recipes are inspiring.

QueenTracy said...

This looks like a great recipe! I was reading this week about the advantages of eating sweet potatoes and now I have a yummy recipe to try! :-D

gfe--gluten free easily said...

The video was great, Stephanie! You rocked! It was so neat to see you on the header, too, before I clicked on the video. Are you going to the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco? I got my ticket last week and they're sold out now.

The recipe sounds wonderful to me, but I know hubby wouldn't eat it ... he doesn't do sweet potatoes. This will have to be another one I try on the support group folks. ;-) They're happy willing guinea pigs for all your recipes!

Shirley

Nicole Feliciano said...

Looks yummy. I wanted to share a recipe exchange I am doing on my blog each Friday. Here is the link:

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/05/friday-feasts_29.html

I hope you'll consider linking this up--this week I made roasted sweet potatoes.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

snuck this is on my husband and he did not even realize there was not any meat in it. we live in mexico and believe it or not, i could not find chipotle poweder. substituted the 1 cup water with 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup chipotle salsa (easy to find!)

Christina said...

I just found your blog and I am in crockpot heaven. I absolutely love cooking in my crockpot. yayyy I can not wait to read through all of your old posts and find new recipes!!

midnight macaroons said...

That looks awesome...I love your recipes!!! I have a large crockpot for roasts, etc. I want to start using crockpot recipes to make candy and chocolates. What size would you recommend? Or does it matter what size?

Guenivere said...

I made this last night for our family (me, DH, DS (5) and DD (almost 2) and everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Yum-O! Thanks a million!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, this sweet potato thing was really good, sprinkled with a bit of trader joes lowfat shredded cheese, and a piece of whole grain bread on the side. Used plain paprika, plain chili powder, just a little cumin. B.F. ate it for lunch 2 days later!

Anonymous said...

I have made vegan chili in the crockpot in the past. I added a cup of cashews and it was delicious. Love the sweet potato twist to yours!

Michelle Irinyi said...

I surprised my husband this winter by putting sweet potatoes in chili. He thought I was crazy, but pronounced it some of the best chili I'd ever made! He now requests my "Sweet Potato Chili"!

Beverly said...

I made this for dinner tonight. It is sooooo yummy. I increased the ingredients a bit because I have a big family, but I think the taste was similar to yours.

My daughter initially thought this was more of a fall/winter stew, but then she decided it was just plain comfort food and said it picked her up after a tiring day of swimming.

Many thanks for a successful night at our table! I'm looking forward to your cookbook. It will definitely be in my cart at Amazon!

Bev

Dazy said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

Mary Bell said...

OK I tried this last night. Excellent that it is fat free and taste was ok but I'd change a bit for next time. First the instructions don't say when you added the beans, but if I made something like this again I would put onions, capsicum, garlic on the bottom; then the sweet potato then the beans and other ingredients. I like my onion well cooked. Might be my cooker too I suppose. I'd add more spices too - like cummin as someone else suggested. Best thing about this recipe is the great idea of adding sweet potato to your favourite chilli recipe I reckon. Thanks for a very funny and imaginative site.

Anonymous said...

Chili---you never said when to add the cooked, canned kidney beans. Couldn't have been at the beginning with all those other uncooked items.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi anon, you're right, I neglected to write in when to add the beans. I'm sorry! I'll add it right now.

Go ahead and add them when you add the rest of the ingredients. The order doesn't really matter at all. The beans are already cooked, but won't get too squishy through the slow cooking.

oxo steph

Sam said...

This dish looks so beautiful with the colours. This is totally new for me but it looks so yummy. Try to make tonight. Thanks so much for sharing.

noL said...

1st snow day of the year here in Maine- Have a batch in for tonight! Thanks for another great recipe!!!

Anne Marie said...

Wasn't sure where to leave a comment for you...I have discovered the most awesomist can opener ever. I hope Santa brings you one for Christmas to help you open up all those cans o' beans! Best thing, it doesn't leave sharp edges, so the kiddos can help you open up cans!! Check it
outhttp://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=185688

It's a Rosle can opener. If you want to see how it works go to YouTube and search for it.

Anonymous said...

Made this last night. Overall it was awesome. However I did add about a tablespoon of sugar. It gave it a sweetness I found went well with the smokey chipotle flavours. I also found it very soupy. The solution to that is to cook it 8 hours or more (I cooked mine 8 hours, but then let it sit on the keep-warm setting for another 3). Then when it's done, mash up some of the sweet potatoes and stir it up. It becomes rich and thick, and there are still chunks of sweet potato floating around. Served this with garlic bread and it was the perfect comfort food.

workingonmyfitness said...

thank you, this shall help me on my quest to vegetarian diet, ive blogged it... teehehehe

Alex said...

we just made this tonight and it was so delicious, I had to post about it here:
http://createcorner.blogspot.com/2010/01/sweet-potato-chili.html

Anonymous said...

This Chili is amazing and no meal! The meat eaters will be really surprised as you really don't notice there is no meat. I had a friend try this, had them close their eyes, so they wouldn't notice there was no meat. They loved it!

Jennifer said...

I've made this twice, and I wonder if I'm doing something wrong... it is crazy HOT! And I live in the South and we do a LOT of Tex-Mex down here, so I'm used to hot.

I suspect maybe there's a difference between "chipotle chili powder" and "ground chipotle" (which is what I have)--does anyone know? If there is a difference, does anyone know how to mix ground chipotle with regular chili powder in the right proportions?

I really like the flavors of this recipe, so I hope I can work it out!

Kimberly said...

Made this with hard kidney beans and gigantic sweet potatoes. De-lish-ous. I replaced the chipotle chili powder with some cajun seasoning. Used regular instead of smoked paprika. I did not get the smoky flavor which I think would have been good. Anyway, it was really excellent, and guest worthy.

MemeGRL said...

This was part of my great freezer defrost and I was a little bummed because we just had chili last week. But. This was awesome! And while my husband de-veganized it in a hurry, it was terrific, and we will definitely have this again. Thanks!

Laura said...

I made this last night and it was fantastic. My "where is the meat" husband was sated after it and confirmed that he would eat it again. My 15 month old and I ate left over sweet potato for lunch today and it was just as nice. A definite hit!

Stephanie said...

oh my gosh this gets the label "orgasmic" it's so sweet and yet chili-ish...i mushed up the sweet potatoes somewhat but left others chunky.

i can't wait to get some whole grain bread to eat with this.

OHHHHHHH yeah.

steph

Kari said...

Trying this one for dinner tonight even though it's not the slightest bit cold outside. LOL I needed to use up some sweet potatoes that will sprout soon. I'm using Hunt's Fire Roasted diced tomatoes...had them in the pantry and was struggling with what to do with them. This sounds perfect!

TreyLex said...

This recipe was incredible. A couple of changes I made that really put it over the top: No extra salt added, the tomatoes add enough. A 1/2 tsp of cumin, an extra garlic clove and a pinch of ground coriander really added incredible flavor.

Jessica said...

LOVE this recipe. Made it tonight for dinner, and it was well received. Had plenty leftover for lunches tomorrow, and was able to freeze some too. Definitely a keeper!

Chrissy485 said...

This was great! I really liked the bits of sweet potato. Thanks!!!!

Sherri said...

I made this last night for my women’s meet up group, They loved it!! I didn’t want to buy all the spices separately so I just threw in a chili spice packet, it was delicious.. defiantly making it again! I love Sweet Potatoes

Anonymous said...

I was asked two days before the event to take a chili to a cookoff for a work event...I'm vegan so I goodled for a quick crockpot recipe and found yours. It turned out to be the only nonmeat chili at the event so the vegetarians really appreciated it but the meat eaters also liked it a lot. I even got a little trophy for best vegetarian chili! Thanks for the great recipe...I handed it out with your website on it so hopefully some of the people who attended will check your site out. :0) leslie

mel said...

really great. i cooked it for a chili cook-off at church figuring there may be some vegetarians who would not appreciate all the meat in the other chilis.

Anonymous said...

SOunds soo good! trying it tomorrow!

kel25 said...

I made this tonight for dinner and my family loved it. Even my 1 year old. I ddn't have chipolte chili pounder so I left that out and used all water (no orange juice). Thanks fo the great recipe.

Ed said...

OK, It's all in. Fits quite nicely in a 2qt insert with 1/2" - 3/4" clearance from the top edge. Could use a little more; maybe use 4 qt insert next time.

Stay tuned for results.

: )

Ed said...

Very nice! The first day was quite tasty. Working now on first leftover container of Sweet Potato Chili over brown rice. This recipe definitely works for me. I suspect it would work over pasta, maybe elbows, just as nicely.

Thank you.

mandalyn1680 said...

This is one of my favorite things to cook in the slow cooker. When I first made it, I found it to be really bland and didn't like the consistency of the sweet potatoes after I followed the recipe exactly. So I doubled the spices (maybe mine were old) and cooked it longer, so the sweet potatoes became mushier. It was so good! Now I make a big batch (i have a larger slow cooker): more sweet potatoes, the can of kidney beans plus a can each of rinsed black beans and garbanzo beans. Sometimes I'll also chop up some carrots too. And quadruple the spices. :) I made them recently for my son's first birthday, served over chips by Food Should Taste Good (gluten free and delicious) as nachos; people added shredded chedder, Mexican blend, or parmesan cheese. They were a hit! Thanks so much for this recipe!

Carolyn said...

Maybe I did something wrong, but this did not turn out good for my family. The 1 year old loved it, so it will be his lunch all week long. The rest of the family? Not so much. The onions weren't all the way cooked and that made the flavor too strong. Maybe if I cooked them a bit first before adding them to the pot it would have been better. I think I might adjust the spices a little bit, too. I like the idea of adding coriander and cumin. Maybe I'll make that again with those additions to the batch. The flavors, to me, were just a little bit strange.

2b2b54da-2d0b-11e1-a39d-000bcdca4d7a said...

Made this tonight for my family and company. It was a big hit with everyone - even the kids and DH (who doesn't care for sweet potatoes). I doubled the recipe and used my 6 qt. I omitted the water (but used the OJ). DIdn't have the chipotle chili powder, so just used extra regular. Big thumbsup!

Kerry & Sampson said...

Made this yesterday. So good! Just added an extra sweet potato, black beans, diced salsa tomatoes, shredded chicken, and more chili powder in place of chipotle chili powder.

Jennifer said...

I am doing something different with it; I have cut up a HUGE sweet potato AND a red and orange bell pepper, added onion powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and a little chili flakes to it. Tomorrow morning, I am going to add the black beans, 1.5 cups of water (since I have no oj) and fire roasted tomatoes (2 cans). Then I will put it on low (since I will be gone for about 10-11 hours). Should be delicious!!

Gigi said...

We like it! Next time I'll cut the sweet potato in bite size pieces.

lauren hirsch said...

yummm this is good! I added corn and used vege broth instead of the orange juice + water. Thanks for th recipe!

Unknown said...

I made this with two cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 chopped Anaheim (mild) chilis, 2 sweet bell peppers, and 3 large sweet potatoes. It still didn't fill my 6.5 qt slow cooker. Delicious, but the beans were mushy after 8 hrs. Next time I'll make it as written in my 3 qt, or increase the volume even more. (I also added some brown sugar since I subbed water for OJ.)

Mugdha Kulkarni said...

I made this for lunch today. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

Started the process of cooking the chilli yesterday night. I did not have the Chipotle Chilli Powder or the Paprika, but I added a chipotle chilli in Adobo sauce. When I woke up today morning the chilli was ready :) The chilli tastes amazing.

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