Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Published Feb 25, 2019, Updated Oct 21, 2022
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A vegetarian chili made in the slow cooker for all of you busy bodies! Prep the veggies ahead of time, throw them in the slow cooker and dinner will be waiting for you at the end of the day.
Slow cooker week is here! I’ve been testing these recipes for the past month and I’m SO excited to share them with you! I love slow cooker meals because you can dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a healthy, home-cooked meal. AND your house smells amazing too. Such a great perk!
To kick things off with slow cooker week, I thought I’d answer a few questions for ya!
Are crock pots and slow cookers the same thing?
Pretty much! Up until writing this blog, I actually thought CrockPot was just a brand of a slow cooker, but looks like I was wrong! Both have three main components: pot, lid and heating component. The difference is that crockpots have porcelain or ceramic pots and slow cookers have metal pots. I have a Hamilton Beach slow cooker and I’m in love with ours because it’s programmable (so it switches to warm after the cook time).
Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on all day?
If you watch This Is Us, you may be questioning the safety of a slow cooker, and you might be scared to death to use your slow cooker while you’re not at home. While it’s not impossible for a fire to break out from a slow cooker, it’s highly unlikely. Just make sure your slow cooker isn’t a million years old and check for out of place metal pieces and wires. If something seems off, I recommend buying a new slow cooker!
Can I cook on high instead of low in a slow cooker?
I came across mixed reviews when researching for this post. The most common answer was no, don’t mess with the cooking temperature and time. The food in the slow cooker is meant to reach a simmer point, and then simmer for a set period of time, so I’d recommend following the directions!
Can you overcook food in a slow cooker?
Not if you follow the directions, but yes… it is possible. Most slow cookers are programmable and can be set to low or high and for a set number of hours. Once that time has been reached, they’ll turn to “warm” which just means they’ll keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat.
How to Make Chili in a slow cooker
Chili is a quintessential slow cooker meal, am I right?! I’m so excited to kick off slow cooker week with this sweet potato black bean chili. This chili does require a little bit of “pre-prep” because you’re cooking some of the veggies ahead of time, but it’s worth it for the extra flavor. Plus it is such an easy recipe once everything is in the slow cooker.
I start by roasting the sweet potato chunks. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper, throw them on a baking sheet and roast for ~30 minutes (or until tender). While the potatoes are roasting, sauté your veggies in a skillet. Fun fact: you can actually sauté right in your slow cooker pot if it’s stovetop safe. One less dirty dish! Once the potatoes are roasted, just add them in with the sautéed peppers and onions to your slow cooker and add the canned tomatoes and black beans. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours. Badaboom, badabing, dinner is done! Serve with your favorite toppings and maybe even a side of tortilla chips or cornbread. I love serving chili with my pumpkin cornbread.
How to Serve
This chili is hearty enough to be enjoyed as a meal on its own, but you can definitely serve it with some sides! Here are some serving ideas:
- over grains – if you want more volume, you can serve this chili over quinoa or brown rice. I find that when I serve over a grain, I need less chili overall to feel full.
- with bread – I love eating chili with my pumpkin cornbread muffins or vegan cornbread. It’s also delicious served with crusty bread, crackers (I love my almond flour crackers) or even tortilla chips.
- alongside a salad – add some fresh veggies with a side salad. I have a ton of salad recipes to choose from, but something light and fresh like this garlicky kale salad would be perfect.
More Chili Recipes
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- Healthy Turkey Chili
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)
- Vegetarian Green Chili
Be sure to check out all of my soup recipes here on EBF!
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 red or orange bell peppers, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of cinnamon
- Toppings: avocado, cilantro, sliced jalapeño, cashew sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Add sweet potato chunks to a baking sheet, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. This step can be done a day or two in advance.
- Start prepping chili by adding 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a skillet. Once oil is hot, add in the chopped onion, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add chili powder, salt, cayenne and cinnamon. Toss to combine and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Transfer cooked onions and peppers into your slow cooker. Add in roasted sweet potato chunks, black beans and diced tomatoes. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
- When ready to serve, top with your favorite chili toppings like avocado, cilantro, jalapeño or even cashew sour cream.
- This recipe can is part of my vegetarian freezer meal prep series. <– Check out the post to learn how to prep and freeze it in advance.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
So tasty and so simple! My toddler loved it, too!
Wow, this was really great!
I usually make meat dishes, but I thought I’d try something on the vegetarian side.
Neither of us are a fan of hot spicy foods, so I did not add the cayenne.
Such a different taste for chili, we loved it! My boyfriend knew there was something in it that he couldn’t quite identify, and it turned out to be the cinnamon, which was a wonderful little pinch of flavor.
I served it over plain white rice. We will certainly be having this again! And yes, I made a big batch so that we could freeze some.
Thanks for a great idea for a vegetarian meal with plenty of fiber and great taste!
So glad you loved this recipe, Anne!! Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!
I’m prepping this to make for meatless Monday tomorrow and am just confirming : 1 sweet potato or 1 lb sweet potatoes? Seems like it needs to be a bit heavier on the sweet potato for it to be sweet potato chili. Thanks!
Hey Ashley – Sorry for the delay. It is just 1 sweet potato. 🙂 How did this recipe turn out for you?
Prep time isn’t ten minutes if you have to roast the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes and saute the rest of the vegetable. When you’re searching for recipes by prep time, it sux when it’s not accurate.
Hey Rosie – Prep time is cutting the veggies. Sautéing and roasting would be included in the cook time.
Absolutely delicious. The mexican flavours reminded me of eating nachos. This will be one of my favourites from now. So easy! I used just 1tbsp chilli.
Thankyou so much for sharing this one❣️
Absolutely delicious. The mexican flavours reminded me of eating nachos. This will be one of my favourites from now. So easy! I used just 1tbsp chilli. I thought I would be overcooking the sweet potatoes, but your method gave a perfect result.
Thankyou so much for sharing this one❣️
We’ve had this once before as is and it was soo good! We made it again today but decide to add a little ground bison and it was so delicious!! I’m so glad I found this chili recipe! ❤️
So glad you loved this chili!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!
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