Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

I don’t usually like vegetarian chili because I find that without meat it isn’t hearty enough. I tried adding sweet potatoes to this vegetarian chili to give it a boost and it ended up tasting really good.

Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 tsp cooking oil (I used olive)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 small green bell peppers (or 1 large), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked (see this post on instructions for cooking dry beans)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 – 2 tbsp chili powder, depending on your taste (I like spicy so I added 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water or broth (I used water)

Bring a pot of water to a boil. On the bottom of each tomato, score an x. Boil the tomatoes for one minute, drain and put them in a bowl of cold water. Peel and dice. The skins will come off easily.

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.


Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until they’ve broken down a bit, about 5 minutes.


Add mushrooms, kidney beans, sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, salt and water.


Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. When done, the sweet potatoes should be tender.


This would be delicious with a dollop of sour cream and some grated cheese, but neither of those are in my budget so I just ate it plain.

Ingredients that were free of packaging

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms – I got loose ones from a bin and put them in a cloth produce bag. I don’t buy mushrooms in styrofoam containers. I can’t eat that many mushrooms anyway.
  • Kidney beans – I bought these in bulk. It would have been cheaper to buy a large plastic bag of them, but I don’t eat a lot of them so I just get a small amount in bulk when I need them.
  • Sweet potato
  • Cumin – I bought this in bulk at the health food store.

Ingredients that had packaging

  • Cooking oil – There isn’t a store in Guelph that sells bulk oils.
  • Chili powder – The health food store has this in bulk, so I’ll get it there next time. Bulk spices are cheaper than prepackaged ones.
  • Salt – I bought this in a paper box but I’m going to get it in bulk when I run out.

4 thoughts on “Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

  1. Pingback: Vegetarian Chili - The Zero-Waste Chef

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