I first published this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili recipe back in 2015. It remains one of my favorite chili recipes!
With these dark, chilly evenings we have going on, along with seriously busy days, this is the perfect easy weeknight meal. Dump it all in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to dinner! What could be better than that?
When it comes to vegetarian chili recipes – especially ones made in the Crock Pot – I feel like I have to reign myself in. Or else basically, I’d have to call this blog “Kitchen Chili.” Or “Chili Treaty.” Neither of which are very catchy.
It’s just that chili is the perfect food for vegetarians. I know, I know – there are many arguments about what makes a “real” chili, and meat is one of the ingredients that many consider a must. To which I oh-so-wisely and poignantly say: “Whatever.” I think chili is what you make it – and it doesn’t need meat, goshdarnit! There are so many infinitely awesome variations of chili and such an assortment of potential meatless ingredients that it is more than possible to create a hearty, satiating, and dare I say award-winning bowl of meatless chili.
(But if your resident carnivore really, really wants meat in their bowl of Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili, this chili would lend itself well to some cooked diced chicken or browned ground turkey thrown in to their portions).
I especially adore quinoa in chili – it helps thicken up the batch and adds another element of filling protein.
If you don’t have black beans on hand, this chili is equally great with pinto beans, or you might try kidney beans, too.
Chili Treaty, man. I should totally make it happen, right?
Don’t answer that.
If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Quinoa
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed well in cool water)
- 3 cups cooked black beans (about 2 [15-ounce] cans, drained)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced*)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- If not vegan (Greek yogurt or sour cream (or if vegan, try this delicious vegan cashew sour cream))
- Chopped green onions
- Add all ingredients (except additional salt and pepper and toppings) to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. That's it! Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with assorted toppings. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for about 3 days. It freezes well, too!
What type of cocoa powder do you use?
For this, I’ve only tried just the standard Hershey’s cocoa powder. But I’ve found with chili the type of cocoa powder you use doesn’t really matter all that much. You can even leave it out if you like; I just like the rich flavor note it adds. 🙂
This looks so yummy! Definitely going in a Real Food Meal Plan soon.
I make a similar chili with black beans and sweet potatoes, but I like the idea of adding quinoa – it adds interesting texture to the profile. I will have to give this one a try this month!
I’m a veggie chili addict myself, so I’m totally with you on this one. BRING IT ON. This sounds super!
Can I take dried black beans (soaked overnight) and just let them cook while cooking the chili? We’ve done this before with pinto and it works just fine.
Hmm … I suppose that would probably work! I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it. That would probably make the beans taste great! I would maybe add a little more liquid though.
Just a follow-up…my chili was DELICIOUS! And it looked just like your picture – I was pretty thrilled about that! 🙂 I did, essentially, double the recipe. I used a full 1 lb. bag of uncooked black beans, soaked overnight and just put in the pot the next morning uncooked. On low about 9-10 hours later, they were perfect! (In total, I added about 3 cups of water to the mix.)
Loved this recipe! The quinoa was a really nice touch. Thank you for posting this! :o)
Thanks for posting this. It looks really great. Just to make it perfect i would It perfect i would like to know how low is cook on low actually. Big thanks!
8-10 hours should do the trick!
The chili is delicious and full of good nutrients. Just curious, when you say 6 servings, what serving size did you use?
This was delicious. Turned out nice and thick, with a rich flavor from the cocoa powder and smoked paprika. I used garbanzo beans, since that was all I had.
I’ve made this a few times and it is DELICIOUS and super easy. Do you know how many calories per serving?
We have made this several times and it is always a hit!!! My very meat eating husband loves this vegetarian dish so much. I didnt have cocoa powder the first time I made it so I left it out and have continued to every time because we think it is just perfect. And we actually double the recipe because we will literally eat it for every meal until it’s gone! Thanks for the great recipe-it will surely continue to be a family favorite for years to come!
Added a ton of kale and cilantro to the pot. Didn’t have any cocoa powder so i broke off a small brick of 90% dark chocolate, also added fresh garlic. NOMS
Those are not black beans in your picture, what are they?
They actually are black beans, the images just skewed a little orange.
Made this and its delicious. Also has one of my very favorite qualities in a recipe: it’s even better the next day!
I use a very similiar recipe for black bean & sweet potato chili it just doesn’t use the quinoa or cocoa. I’m excited to try this. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you liked it! 🙂
Made this for our meat free Lenten dinner the other night. Loved it! Thanks!! I’ve decided to cook veggie for a minimum of three days a week, and this will be a welcome addition to my repertoire.
Where did this recipe go? I can’t see it on the page …. is it still posted? I really want to try it – my three favourite ingredients and in a slow cooker?!?! sounds amazing!
Sorry about that, Marney, the recipe is back!
What Happened to this recipe 🙁 I was planning on using it tonight and the recipe portion of the post has dissapeared!
The recipe is back up now! So sorry about that.
I’m actually have trouble finding the recipe, but it sounds exactly what I’m looking for. I clicked the top “skip to the recipe” link which I’m now on but I still don’t see it 🙁 Help!
Whoops! That was an error on my end – the recipe is back up now. So sorry about that.
Since discovering this recipe 3 months ago, I’ve made it almost every week! My husband (who is a BIG meat-eater) even loves it. I describe it as a hybrid chili/stew because to me it has a mixture of both tastes. In the south we like things spicy, so I use two whole jalapeños- seeds and all. Sometimes we’ll buy bread bowls to eat it with. Delicious!
Mmmm … bread bowls. 🙂 SO glad you both like the recipe!
Made this today and it is delicious! This will be lunch for work this week with a side salad.
I’ve made this a bunch of times for tailgates and potlucks and everyone loves it. If you can’t wait on the slow cooker, 15 minutes in the electric pressure cooker works pretty well!!!
Any idea on calorie coun per serving?
I just put this in the pot!!! I’m excited for dinner! I put in coca nibs instead of powder and cumin seeds instead of powder (that’s what I had on hand) thanks for the recipe!!
I hope you loved it as much as we do! 🙂
I don’t have a slow cooker, but wants to make a double or triple portion to a party. Do you have any ideas what to do?
A large Dutch oven on the stove top (or even in the oven) would work. You’ll just want to watch your liquids as you need way less liquid for slow cookers.
Can this be doubled?
Absolutely! Just make sure your Crock Pot is big enough before starting. 🙂
SO delicious. I added a few bay leaves and about a tablespoon of freshly ground coriander. And rather than using cooked beans, I used dry beans. Soaked overnight, drained, and added a cup and a half of water into the crockpot with them. Will definitely make again.
And I didn’t have cocoa on hand so I had to leave that bit out.
I love those additions! Thanks Joshua!
Super recipe! I prefer to add the quinoa during the last hour of cooking, though (better texture that way; less mushy). Thank you for posting this!
Great idea! Thanks Teri.
This is an amazing vegan chili recipe! I made this today and my whole family absolutely loves it! We will definitely have this again!
Yay, so glad you like it! 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous!! So quick to throw in a pot, ignore and enjoy. I would add some tomato paste for a more rich tomato base next time, plus I’d sautée the onions but that’s the beauty – completely adjustable. Fantastic tip about testing the jalapeño. I presumed they were all the same – they are NOT! I’d have ruined it if I’d put the lot in.
This chili was delicious! I subbed the green pepper for a poblano and cubanelle pepper and added an additional Tbsp of chili powder for extra kick. I stuffed peppers with the chili the next day, topped off with cheese and popped in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. Another winner! This one’s a keeper!
If I were to add frozen corn, when would be the best time to do that?
Hi Linda, I would add it about 10 minutes before serving time; just enough time to thaw but it won’t get overcooked. Sounds like a delicious addition! 🙂
Seriously good chilli ☺
Do you happen to know the nutrition information on this? Like how many carbs, how much saturated fat? I’m thinking about making it but I’m doing my best to stay with this diet.
Absolutely incredible! Made mine in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes and it was delightful!
I think the cooking time stated is a little long . I did 8.5 hours on lowdand it came musher than I would like.
Looks amazing … I’m making this as i post this comment. Only one tweak: I substituted lentils for quinoa. I’ll let you know how it turned out! Thanks for posting this recipe!
Ok. Tried both. It works great with either quinoa or lentils. Maybe a combo of both next time ? Thanks for the killer recipe !
Hi Michael, Thanks for the idea! Did you put the lentils in dry or cooked? Thanks for the info!
I was looking for the best vegan recipe and landed here – Can’t get better than this. Thanks, Kare you made my sunday!
I followed another recipe to disastrous results (likely because I missed something lol). This, your recipe, came out fantastic! I was excited around the sixth hour at how it was turning out and everyone loved it. I’ll make a double batch tonight so I can freeze some to take to work this week. Am considering adding pineapple and hoping it doesn’t damage the chili…maybe I’ll add it an hour before it’s done so things don’t go mushy?
Can this be made with an instant pot? Looks great!!!
I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it would work well! Might want to increase the liquid a bit though; I find Instant Pots need a tad more.
I found your site after searching for vegan food ideas. Pic looks so yummy. I wanted to try your recipe with uncooked black beans.. when u said to add extra water, do u mean broth or water? I didn’t see any water in the recipe?
My 40 year old hubby just suffered a cardiac arrest and I’m trying to try different foods for us to be healthier.
It is very delicious. Thank you for sharing your fantastic recipes.
I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for your comment and review.
I used cacao instead of cocoa. Is this. Any different?
I did so because I did not have my glasses on when shopping! I’ve subbed for more recipes. Respect to you as a mum in a “carnivore”’family,
Your recipe is cooking now for black bean quinoa chilli. Will try tommorrow at lunch.
Hi Martin, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier! I just found that I missed a whole bunch of comments on this recipe. I hope you liked the recipe even with cacao – I’m not sure it would add much flavor to the recipe like cocoa powder would, but who knows, maybe you’ve come up with something new and awesome! 🙂
How long would it take to cook on the gas stove in a big saucepan?
We love this recipe and this has become our standard chili recipe. My husband loves his ground beef, but doesn’t miss it at all in this. He was skeptical at first, but now he prefers this one! Thanks so much, we LOVE this. I still occasionally add some turkey, but it doesn’t need it.
Thanks so much for the review, Casey! I’m glad the recipe won your husband over. Mine too! 🙂
What is the nutritional information for this chili. Calories,fat, carbs and protein?
I just added that info. Thank you for asking!
One of the best slow cook recipes ever, veggie or non! All the ingredients gel together very well.
Note: using dark chocolate as an alternative to cocoa powder definitely works well in my experience.
Thanks so much, Eddie! I want to try dark chocolate now; yum!
This was so surprisingly good. Instead of using the jalapenos and green pepper (my family are heat-sensitive) I threw in four diced poblano peppers. The perfect level of spice without being hot! Everyone loved it.
Great idea. Love the flavor poblanos add too! Thanks Novi, so glad you liked it!
Great recipe. I add 1 dried chipotle pepper to enhance that smokey flavor. Discard pepper after cooking. Also 1 Tbsp of corn meal for tex Mexican flavor and texture. It’s still gluten free 🙂