Recipe: Sweet Potato Black Bean Cocoa Chili



Ahh, chili- the quintessential Fall meal, right? I start craving chili at the first sign of a leaf crunching under my feet or the smell of cool air, whether it's August or October.

This hearty plant-based chili recipe has been around since my personal chef days, nearly a decade ago, but I've only recently brought it back into rotation for our family meals. Our kids love it, it's less expensive without the meat, and it's a welcome change to our chili repertoire. I find it's best enjoyed with a nice dollop of Cabot Sour Cream (if you're in the Northeast, otherwise, I'm sorry you don't get to experience the glorious Cabot sour cream!) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.


A couple more chili recipes: Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Smoky Turkey Chickpea Chili





Sweet Potato Black Bean Cocoa Chili

Serves a family of 4-6

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2 tbsp avocado or olive oil

1 medium onion, diced 1 medium bell pepper, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato 1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted is my favorite) 2 tbsp tomato paste (optional, but find it makes it heartier!) 1 tbsp chili powder (more if you want it spicier) 1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp coriander

3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken broth if you're a meat eater)

3 cups or 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed salt, if desired (if vegetable stock is not salted enough)

optional: juice of 1 lime


Stovetop or Instant Pot

1. Heat oil to medium high heat in a large pot. Add diced onions and sautee until softened, about 3-4 minutes.


2. Add bell pepper, stir and sautee for another 3 minutes or so, add garlic and stir.

3. Stir in all spices, cocoa, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes and black beans and stir to combine.


4. Add stock and bring to a boil, or switch to manual (on Instant Pot).


5. Simmer or cook on stew setting 45-60 minutes until sweet potato is soft. Season to taste. Can also be made in slow cooker: combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Season to taste and serve.

Serve with a sprinkle of lime juice, sour cream or greek yogurt and chopped cilantro, if desired.


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Headshots Marie Guagliardo Photography & Sarah Zollo Portraits