Who doesn’t love chili on a cool day? This recipe gives you all the flavor and warmth of this classic comfort food, but it’s made exclusively with plants! It’s easy to make – no expert cooking skills required – and can be even easier and much less time consuming if you throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker. The stove top and slow cooker instructions are both included in this post. Each time I make it there are plenty of leftovers for our family of two, so, I wind up packaging some up in 2 cup pyrex containers and freezing for when we need a quick and balanced meal. Since this vegan sweet potato bean chili reheats well and contains the nutrients you need for satiety in one bowl, it can be a great recipe to add to meal prep day.
Ways to Enjoy Spicy Sweet Potato Bean Chili
Obviously you can just grab a bowl and dig in, but I love to get creative with recipes so they don’t get boring if I’m enjoying them several days in a row.
- Serve over a bed of mixed lettuces and top with homemade guacamole.
- Make chili nachos.
- Stuff into your favorite tortilla.
- Whisk with eggs for a chili omelet.
Chili With Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker
To make a slow cooker version of this sweet potato bean chili, add all ingredients except for the spinach, to your slow cooker basin, plus a cup of water, and set to low for 4-5 hours.
If using dried beans, you’ll also add enough water to barely cover the contents of the slow cooker basin. Then, set to high for 6-8 hours. With either method, you’ll add the spinach just before serving so that it doesn’t overcook.
Slow Cooker Spicy Sweet Potato Bean Chili
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups each black, pinto, and chili beans prepped from dry or 1 can each, rinsed and drained
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
- ½ cup frozen corn kernals
- 1 24 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 ounce can diced green chiles
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cayenne powder optional
- ½ tsp powdered ginger
- 2 cups frozen spinach or 4-6 cups fresh
- Prep all of your ingredients as listed above.
- All all ingredients, except spinach to the slow cooker.
- If using dried beans, add enough water to just barely cover the contents of the slow cooker basin. Set to high for 6-8 hours.
- If using canned beans, add one cup of water and set to low for 4-6 hours.
- When chili is ready, stir in the spinach just before serving.
Real Ingredients with Real Benefits:
Potatoes are packed with potassium which is very important for fluid balance in the body. Fluid balance is essential for all of your body’s functions and how energized you feel. And guess what? You would have to eat 9 bananas to get enough potassium in one day, so start looking to more fruits & veggies for this nutrient. Potatoes also provide you with iron and magnesium among other minerals and are a good source of Vitamin C and B vitamins, especially B6. Over 60 phytochemicals have been found in potato flesh & skin including phenolics, flavonoids, polyamines, and carotenoids, which provide antioxidant and cardiovascular enhancing properties (1).
Beans are a great source of mono-unsaturated fat, potassium, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, iron, copper, magnesium & manganese. Black beans and kidney beans also provide calcium. Phytochemicals include lutein, epicatechin, quercetin and proanthocyanidin.
Tomatoes pack in lots of Vitamins A, C, and the important fluid balance mineral Potassium. They are well known in terms of phytochemical content for their lycopene which is known for reducing risk of prostate cancer. This was one of the first phytochemicals that really made a name for itself. But people forget that tomatoes also provide other carotenoids and flavonoids such as quercitin.
Spinach provides lots of Vitamin C as well as calcium, thiamin, iron, B6, zinc, copper, riboflavin & magnesium. Phytochemicals provided include isothiocyanates, sulforophane & indoles.
Yes, corn, actually does have some health benefts – when you eat real the whole kernel anyway. Yellow corn contains fiber, folate, potassium, and antioxidant carotenoids which are great for your eyes and immune system.
Onions & garlic are part of the same family, providing the phytochemicals allicin and sulfides which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health. Onions also provide Vitamins C, B6 and folate.
Jalapeno pepper, chili peppers and cayenne & chili powder all contain capsaicin. Capsaicin has long been used for decreasing joint pain and inflammation topically but in the body may aid in appetite control, metabolism and intestinal inflammation. Oh and you aren’t the only one who gets a runny nose from spicy food – these peppers can all help clear your sinuses!
Canola Oil is my go to when I am cooking. While olive oil has great flavor and a good fat profile, canola oil actually has much more omega-3 than olive oil and a lower content of saturated fat. I don’t eat animal products on a daily basis and my fish consumption is low, so using canola oil in cooking helps me meet my daily needs. Since most canola oil in stores is genetically modified, choose an organic brand – it will still be cheaper than conventional olive oil.
Oregano actually contains manganese, iron and Vitamins A & K. It can also benefit your immune system as its phytochemicals thymol and carvacrol are anti-bacterial.
Cumin aids in digestion and helps your immune system. It has been found to aid allergies and asthma in some studies.
Ginger is great for digestion and calming your GI tract and may help the liver’s detoxifying processes.