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Chipotle-Spiced Sweet Potato Chili

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Chipotle Spiced Sweet Potato Chili. Guest post and recipe from Maris Callahan of In Good Taste.

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.


Printable Recipe

Chipotle-Spiced Sweet Potato Chili

4.50 Mitt(s) 12 Rating(s)12 votes, average: 4.50 out of 512 votes, average: 4.50 out of 512 votes, average: 4.50 out of 512 votes, average: 4.50 out of 512 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5

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Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings: 6


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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

Preparation Instructions

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.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

anna on 6.26.2011

Those of you wishing to substitute the beer… first of all you can’t really taste it in the finished product (i.e. it doesn’t taste like beer specifically… but it does give an interesting flavor combination). What you really need is some liquid though. I imagine some stock or juice (tomato or vegetable?) or even just water would work, too.

anna on 6.26.2011

Yum!! I make a similar chili with squash instead of sweet potatoes (usually butternut)… I bet it’s similar but I’ll try the potatoes next time. I’m not sure about that barbecue sauce though.

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thich xem phim on 6.15.2011


Carrie on 4.19.2011

Made this tonight. Less than thrilled. All I tasted was the heat (and I’m a girl who likes spicy food!!!) and the bbq sauce. This had so much going for it. LOVED the list of ingredients, but the combination didn’t taste good. Maybe omit the bbq sauce and one chipotle? I even left out the hot sauce and the chipotle pepper powder and it was fire engine HOT.

Denise on 3.28.2011

I made this yesterday afternoon and took it to work for lunch today. It was soooo delicious! I love the sweetness of the sweet potato with spicyness of the chilis. It was so warm and comforting and yummy. It made my office smell delicious too! Thanks for a GREAT recipe!

erica on 3.23.2011

I made this tonight and it’s very yummy. My husband loved the spice, but I would have maybe omitted the hot sauce or one chipotle. Though I like spicy food, the heat in this made it hard to taste all of the great flavors.

Melissa V on 3.22.2011

Wow! Didn’t have chipotle peppers, so upped the other spices and added 1 tsp smoked paprika – I’m hooked. Eating at the moment, sweating and happy during a late rainstorm.

Nancy on 3.21.2011

Made this without the chipolte pepper powder and it’s still pretty HOT but yummy. So add your spicy ingredients sparingly unless you like pretty hot dishes.

Becky C. on 3.18.2011

I had to run by the store last night to get supplies to make this. It was so good.

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chelicera (Kelly B) on 3.17.2011

Can’t wait to try these!

Mary Ann Pierce on 3.17.2011

I made this chili and served it to 4 really big, hungry guys … they loved it … thought it was “the bomb.” Just sayin’ …

BMAC on 3.14.2011

We made this last night with two teenagers as kitchen helpers. Took no time at all and we all loved it! As the only vegan in the house, I love it when we find a keeper that works for me and for everyone else. When we make it again we will dial down the spice by omitting the hot sauce and we would double the recipe so that we have more leftovers!! We put a dollop of guacamole on top and the non-vegans put a little yogurt on theirs. This made enough for our dinner with about one serving left. We had it with salad, and it was a perfect rainy night meal.

Maris (In Good Taste) on 3.14.2011

Thanks everyone, for your wonderful comments! Instead of beer, you could substitute beef/chicken broth/vegetable broth or even something sweet to balance the spicy flavors — like apple cider.

Kristie on 3.14.2011

I usually love spicy foods, but this was a tad too spicy for me, but in a different way… I’m not sure why! I’ve never used chipotle peppers before, so maybe they are spicier than I realized :) I made this yesterday for lunch and enjoyed it quite a bit. I would dial back the amount of bbq sauce in it though, but that’s probably just a personal preference (i’m from the north living in birmingham— still getting used to bbq!) Thanks for the recipe! Another good one to add to my meatless repertoire!

Jeanette on 3.14.2011

Made this last night and we all loved it. I skipped the beer too and substituted chicken broth. Also after cooking the sweet potatoes and onions I threw everything into the crock pot and heated it on low all day. It melded the spices and thickened nicely. Thanks for a great recipe!

Katherine on 3.14.2011

Delicious! This will certainly become a regular in my kitchen. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Ashley on 3.13.2011

For those who are wondering about the beer, I made this tonight and just swapped the beer for beef broth – still tasted great!

MOV on 3.13.2011

I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, as long as “sweet potatoes” is really code for “chocolate”. Or pretzels.
Always an inspiration!

Melissa on 3.12.2011

Just made this this evening. It is wonderful, and I can’t wait to see how it is tomorrow after sitting and melding overnight. The only thing I changed was to add some smoked paparika in with the other spices. Yum! Thanks for a great recipe!

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Wenderly on 3.12.2011

That looks & sounds just *spectacular* Maris! You are brilliant love!

Ashley on 3.12.2011

I would love to make this, but I too would like to substitute the beer with something else…Any tips????

Liz on 3.11.2011

Chipotle and sweet potato were made for each other!

Teresa on 3.11.2011

recipe looks great – I too would not use the beer any other suggestions?

Teresa on 3.11.2011

looks great — love sweet potatoes, plus the zip of chipotle! like others what is another choice for the Beer?

laura @ alittlebarefoot on 3.11.2011

this looks incredible! sweet potatoes are the best.

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NadiaTheRussianVegetarian on 3.11.2011

Holy crapola! This just made my mouth water! Print! Print! Print!

Happy When Not Hungry on 3.11.2011

This looks delicious! I love the flavor combination too. Yum!

Kate on 3.10.2011

I am not a fan of plain sweet potatoes, but my absolute favorite soup is Sweet Potato Soup. It has a little orange juice and hot sauce which seems quite the combination among other ingredients.
I will certainly be trying this recipe also!

Shiyiya on 3.10.2011

I’ve tried sweet potatoes. And I hate them.

Sandy on 3.10.2011

This is the first time I’ve been on this blog. These recipes look delicious! I’m new to the blogging world and I’ve recently started my own blog about the antics of my 12 children ranging in ages from 26 years to 5 months. My sweetie often calls me a “pioneer woman” because we mostly cook from scratch and I like to quilt and sew and craft. Please visit my blog at
I’m trying out a recipe each Thursday and today I have included a recipe for my favorite sourdough bread. Give it a try and let me know what you think! See you soon!

Aggie on 3.10.2011

I’m a sweet potato lover. But I haven’t tried it in chili yet!! This looks delicious!

Diane on 3.10.2011

I love sweet potatoes in any form. It all started with a sweet potato muffin I had once when I visited historic Williamsburg. The muffin gets just a bit of a carmelized edge on it… warm with butter. Mmmmm. I’m getting off the subject. The chili sounds good!

Jenifer Gallagher on 3.10.2011

I, too, would like to know if there is a substitute for the beer AND for the BBQ sauce (can’t have the sugar). Otherwise, this would be PERFECT for our Friday night meal!

Cara on 3.10.2011

I LOVE sweet potatoes (eating one right now for lunch, in fact), but I am married to a sweet potato hater. He just doesn’t like the “sweet”. But I think this chili recipe sounds delicious! I like the sweet potato-chipotle combo!

jeannette on 3.10.2011

i confess, i hated sweet potatoes because of one bad incident. the potato was too smooshy and almost slimy. and from then on i banished them. i did however find sweet potato fries to be delicious so i started small trying to make my own sweet potato fries and then branched out. now i love them. and i am psyched to try this!!

Daryl Callahan on 3.10.2011

I love anythiong sweet potato and this looks just fabulous. So different. I am going to make this recipe. What I especially love is that there is no meat in it

Rachel W. on 3.10.2011

This looks amazing and makes me want to make a big pot RIGHT NOW! My significant other claims to hate sweet potatoes, but I agree that he probably has just never had them cooked WELL!

Charity on 3.10.2011

I LOOOOVE sweet ‘taters! And OreIda now makes these frozen sweet potato fries that crisp up in the oven – heavenly!

Angela P on 3.10.2011

This sounds AMAZING. We have lots of food allergies/issues in our house so I would need to make this without the beer, beans, and corn. Any suggestions on how I could modify this recipe to omit/substitute these ingredients and still have it taste fabulous?

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Urban Wife on 3.10.2011

What an awesome combination – I would never have dreamed it up! Thanks for sharing.

Mary Jane on 3.10.2011

Hmmmmmm, sounds very interesting!
Never had sweet potato chilil, but I love sweet potatoes!
Will have to try it now, since it’s still not that warm outside….
even though it’s VERY nice to see the sun after our long, gray
dreary days here in NE Oklahoma. :-)

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Katrina on 3.10.2011

This looks so awesome! I’ve never used sweet potato in chili. Yum!

Heather @ Heather's Dish on 3.10.2011

Chipotle spiced wins in my book every time!

Lacey B on 3.10.2011

I’m a fan of the sweet potatoes.. especially in fry form with lime juice, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt.. roasted in the oven.. this recipe has me craving cold weather and and a big bowl of this delicious concoction!

Suzanne @ Window On The Prairie on 3.10.2011

It’s still colder than you know what here in northeast Kansas, so I’m all for more chili. Different twist here with the sweet potatoes. Thanks Maris.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on 3.10.2011

This chili sounds fabulous. Love sweet potatoes!