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Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sharon Palmer

Looking for an easy way to put economical, plant-powered meals on the table? No sweat! Give this super easy recipe for Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes a try. It’s the perfect dish for a cool weather comfort food meal, potluck or tailgate party. Use an Instant Pot or slow cooker to make it even easier. The leftovers are great the next day, too! 

Featuring deep red kidney beans, hearty sweet potatoes, vibrant red tomato sauce, and flavorful herbs, this is really how you do plant-based eating at it’s best. I love to serve this recipe with a crisp salad, some flaky cornbread, and I’m all set. It’s also really good as the basis of a taco or tostada salad. You can even put it in a mason jar and tote it along to work for a healthy lunch that will keep you going all day long. 

This recipe is featured in my book, Plant-Powered for Life. But you can also grab it below as a little preview from my classic book. Enjoy!

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Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x



  1. Cover the beans with water and soak overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and add to a large pot with the 4½ cups of water and the broth base. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, sweet potatoes, celery, garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and liquid smoke and stir well.
  4. Cover and cook for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender yet firm and the beans are tender. Add water as needed to replace moisture lost to evaporation, although the consistency should be thick.


To prepare the dish in a slow cooker, place the soaked beans and the remaining ingredients into the container and cook for 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Instant Pot Directions: For Steps 2-4, place ingredients in an Instant Pot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN


  • Serving Size: 1 cup each
  • Calories: 167
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 134 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 10 g

For other plant-based soup, chili, and stew recipes, check out: 

Smoky Lentil Chili
French Wild Rice Vegetable Soup
Indian-Style Yellow Lentil Stew

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6 thoughts on “Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

    • Yes, you can use canned beans—the equivalent is 4 cans of beans = 1 pound dried beans (roughly). Don’t soak the beans in a can, reduce the water amount significantly, and reduce cooking time.

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