Sweet Potato and Pinto Bean Chili


  • Makes6 servings

This is an amazing, really fast chili. If you don’t happen to have pinto beans, use black beans or good old kidney beans for a more traditional look.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 2 tbsp Mexican chili powder

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 796-mL can diced tomatoes

  • 2 540-mL cans pinto beans, (or other beans), drained and rinsed

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, (or less, to taste)

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onions are soft – about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin, and cook for another minute or so. Add the vegetable broth and the cubed sweet potatoes, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost tender – about 10 minutes, plus or minus a bit.

  • Add the tomatoes with all the juice from the can, the beans, salt, oregano and cayenne. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then let simmer until the potatoes are completely tender – about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped fresh cilantro.

  • Serve with rice, or freshly baked corn bread, and sprinkled with shredded cheese, if you like.

This article was originally published on Apr 01, 2004

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