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.
A hearty chili packed with sweet potatoes, black beans and smoky chipotle peppers with a little bit of fire.
- 1 pound Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cubed Into 1/2 Inch Dice
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil, Divided
- 1 whole Onion, Medium Dice
- 2 cloves Garlic, Rough Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Chili Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper Powder
- 1 cup Dark Beer
- 1 can 28 Oz Can Whole Tomatoes
- 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Chopped
- ½ cups Barbecue Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Red Hot Sauce (more If Desired)
- 1-½ cup Frozen Corn
- 1 can (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
- 2 cups Crushed Tortilla Chips, If Desired
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
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 remaining 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.
Maris Callahan is the author of In Good Taste, where she writes fresh, simple recipes for young professionals and busy cooks. When she isn’t working on her next recipe she is usually reading, writing, eating—or doing a combination of all three.