The other day I discovered two massive sweet potatoes at the bottom of my produce drawer. They were about to go bad, so I decided right then and there that I had to make a meal that revolved around sweet potatoes. A sweet potato chili immediately came to mind as the weather was finally chilly and I had several cans of beans and diced tomatoes in the pantry. I hopped on my computer to find a quick and easy recipe for sweet potato chili. However, the internet’s results appeared unappetizing and lackluster, so I set out to create my own sweet potato chili.
The final dish is smoky and satisfying with a low undertone of heat, thanks to plenty of chili powder. If you don’t like spicy dishes, reduce the amount of chili powder. The chili only gets better over time, thus, leftovers are encouraged. Use whatever combination of beans you have on hand; in a pinch regular diced tomatoes work fine, but I recommend seeking out the Ro-Tel.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4 inch chunks
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beer
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 14-ounce cans tomatoes with green chills (Ro-Tel)
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
Grated white cheese, like manchego or Monterey Jack, optional for garnish
Fresh cilantro sprigs, optional for garnish
- In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring often to ensure that the onion doesn’t brown.
- Add the garlic to the onions in the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato and spices to the pot and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir everything together to coat all of the vegetables with the spices.
- Add the beer and chicken broth. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
- Add the tomatoes and beans and stir to combine. Continue to simmer, uncovered for another 15 minutes, until the chili is thick and the flavors are well combined.
- Stir in the green onions and orange zest. Serve immediately in bowls topped with grated cheese and cilantro, if desired.
Serves 4 -6.