A bubbling pot of sweet and savory beef chili with a hint of spice. Quick and easy to prepare, and packed full of healthy ingredients. Served with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and a slice of sourdough bread, this easy and hearty sweet potato and beef chili recipe is sure to be a family favorite, no matter the season!
It’s that time of year when chilly, or just downright cold days, leave us wanting a hearty, warm meal for supper.
Between having a ten-month old baby and trying to balance housework and all other manner of homemaker/entrepreneur duties, I need something that doesn’t take up a ton of extra time in the kitchen!
Luckily, this hearty sweet potato and beef chili recipe is just that; easy to get on the table!
When served with a nice slice of sourdough bread, this chili makes the perfect dish for those short fall and winter days.
Why Sweet Potatoes in Chili?
Sweet potatoes are chock full of important nutrients like beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which our bodies need to keep our eyes, immune system and skin healthy!
They are also high in fiber, which helps feed the good microbes in our gut and aids in the prevention of high glucose spikes due to carbohydrate intake.
Plus, they taste absolutely delicious when paired with the savory spiciness of beef chili!
Having the right tools for the job makes everything easier!
Wooden Cutting Board – a larger one works best, giving you more space to work and equating to less trips to the stock pot.
Vegetable Peeler – this makes for quick work on peeling the sweet potatoes!
Large Stock Pot – having a stainless steel pot larger than 8 quarts is best.
Wooden Spoon – any solid mixing spoon will do.
Measuring Cups – one that measures liquid and dry ingredients effectively is best. Or using separate ones works just fine too 🙂
Sharp Knife – needed for cutting the sweet potatoes.
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 pint jars)
2 15oz cans of black beans (or two cups dry beans, cooked)
2lbs of ground beef
6-7 small sweet potatoes
2 cups water
1/2 cup quinoa
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
3 dashes cayenne pepper (more if desired)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or two cloves garlic, minced)
1/2-1 small onion, diced
1 tsp salt
How to Make Easy and Hearty Sweet Potato and Beef Chili:
You will want to start by browning your ground beef over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic (powder) to cook up with the meat.
You can either brown it in the stock pot you’ll be using for the chili or in a smaller pot. Either way, make sure to stir it every few minutes, allowing it to cook through evenly and to prevent burning.
As the meat is browning, go ahead and peel the sweet potatoes. I prefer using a vegetable peeler, but you could also use a sharp knife if that’s what you have!
You can save the peels and feed them to your chickens (unlike regular potatoes, they are safe to feed your chickens!), or throw them in your compost pile.
After you peel the sweet potatoes, you will want to dice them up into 1 inch sized pieces or smaller.
You could do larger, if you prefer, but I find that if they’re much bigger than 1 inch they take longer to cook and don’t always cook evenly.
Once diced, throw them in a large stock pot.
Next, if using canned beans, add them and their liquid to the stock pot.
Instead of canned beans you could also use dried beans and cook them yourself. This will add about 3 hours to the cook time, but really doesn’t add much hands on time.
If you go this route, I prefer to use 1 cup pinto beans and 1 cup black beans. I put them in the bottom of the stock pot, cover them with 3-4 quarts water, and sprinkle a little salt and oregano over the top for flavor.
I let it simmer on medium low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Once they’re soft, I drain about 1/2-3/4 of the liquid off and proceed as I would with canned beans!
For the tomatoes, you could leave them chunky, like they come in the can (or are generally canned at home) or you could throw them in a blender and give them a quick puree.
It really doesn’t take more than two or three pulses of the blender for them to be nice and pureed, which makes for a much smoother chili.
After the tomatoes are pureed (if you choose to puree them), add them, water, quinoa, and spices to the stock pot. Mix really well to fully incorporate the spices throughout the chili.
You can use whatever kind of quinoa you prefer. For this recipe I used an organic tricolored quinoa mixture.
Cook the chili over medium to medium high heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep things cooking evenly and prevent burning.
Once the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is hot and bubbly, it is ready to go!
Serve by itself or topped with some freshly shredded cheddar cheese and avocado slices.
It also pairs nicely with a fresh piece of sourdough bread and a glass of dry red wine, specifically a merlot. 🙂
Quick Chili Recipe Note:
If the recipe is just too much for your family to finish in one serving, I find that the leftovers make a lovely meal as well. And it saves me another night of cooking supper, which is always a bonus! 😉
Other Homestead Kitchen Recipes:
- 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 pint jars)
- 2 15oz cans of black beans (or two cups dry beans, cooked)
- 2lbs of ground beef
- 6-7 small sweet potatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 3 dashes cayenne pepper (more if desired)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or two cloves garlic, minced)
- 1/2-1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- Brown the ground beef with onions and garlic in big stock pot.
- Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1 inch (or smaller) pieces.
- Pour the beans into a large stock pot (drain 1/2-3/4 liquid if home cooked beans).
- Add the diced sweet potatoes, water, quinoa, tomatoes, and spices.
- Stir really well to fully incorporate the spices throughout the chili.
- Let simmer on medium to medium high for approximately 45 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy on its own or served with some avocado slices and shredded cheddar cheese!
Instead of canned beans you could also use dried beans and cook them yourself. This will add about 3 hours to the cook time, but really doesn't add much hands on time. If you go this route, I prefer to use 1 cup pinto beans and 1 cup black beans. I put them in the bottom of the stock pot, cover them with 3-4 quarts water, and sprinkle a little salt and oregano over the top for flavor. I let it simmer on medium low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Once they're soft, I drain 1/2-3/4 of the liquid and proceed as I would with canned beans!