Chipotle Spiced Sweet Potato Chili

by Maris Callahan on March 15, 2011

I have a theory that the only people who don’t like sweet potatoes haven’t tried them. Or maybe they have tried them but they’ve tried them plain, cooked half-heartedly in a microwave and topped with something lackluster, like fat-free sour cream or worse: fake butter.

Sweet potatoes also take a lot of flack when it comes to French fries. Dedicated eaters have strong opinions about how they like their French fries: thick steak fries to drag through ketchup or barbecue sauce, thin crispy pommes frites to eat sprinkled with sea salt or truffle oil.

Now I’m giving myself a craving for French fries.My point here is that sweet potatoes are easily an unsung hero in the tuber family and without having tried them in a wide variety of recipes that have different flavors and textures it’s hard to give them the credit they deserve.

Sweet potatoes offer a myriad of health benefits so when you’re making a hot, stick-to-your-ribs, spicy chili recipe they are a perfect way to inject a little nutrition into your dinner.

Chipotle-Spiced Sweet Potato Chili
Makes 4-6 servings

What you need:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into ½ inch dice
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 tablespoon chili pepper
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup dark beer
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with their juice
2 whole chipotle peppers In adobo sauce, chopped
½ cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red hot sauce (or more, if desired)
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears corn, kernels removed or 1½ cups frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper as desired and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just tender.

Heat a deep heavy pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the onions until lightly caramelized. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder and cumin and cook for an additional minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir them frequently so they don’t burn at the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the beer and scrape up any browned bits (these are called fond and they’re full of flavor) from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

Simmer the chili for about 15-20 minutes or until it begins to thicken slightly. Add the corn, beans, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a bowl topped with crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Daryl March 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

Love love love sweet potatoes and love that this has no meat. Love all ingredients in this but will not be taking corn off the cob! Frozen for me!!!


Joanne March 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Sweet potatoes are actually the most nutritionally dense veggie out there and I truly can’t understand those who don’t like them. They’re just wrong.

I love this chili! The smoky chipotle with the sweet sweet potato. So good.


Rebekah March 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I absolutely love sweet potatoes & chipotle together!!! since I didn’t see this recipe on Tasty Kitchen I’m glad you posted it here. looks wonderful!


Aggie March 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

this chili inspired me to make my own! I totally forgot to write down my “recipe”…so sad, but as I look as yours it’s pretty much the same-ish! … though I love that you added bbq sauce! I bet that added a nice sweet touch to it!



grace March 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

you know those certain words on menus that always catch your eye? chipotle is one for me–if something’s been chipotle-d, then it’s for me. nice dish!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: