sweet potato chili in bowl

Sweet Potato And Beef Chili

Nothing is more fall than sweet potatoes. And it’s even better when those sweet potatoes come straight out of your garden to make a sweet potato and beef chili.

I have to brag here a bit. I really had no experience growing sweet potatoes and didn’t know what to expect. But when I dug my fingers deep in the dirt and pulled out these Georgia jewels, I felt a sense of pride.

Sweet potatoes

It takes a lot of patience to grow this tropical vine. I put the slips in the ground on May 1st and they weren’t ready to come up until October 12th. This was due in part to a long, hot and humid summer. Fortunately, Harps and Walmart kept my sweet potato supply full in the interim period.

You might not immediately think that a savory tomato heavy chili recipe would fuse well with sweet taters. I was a bit skeptical. But somehow the sweetness of the sweet potatoes combines just perfectly with the tang of the tomatoes and the umami of the beef. This is probably the best chili I have ever made. I will definitely add this recipe to my list of fall must-cooks.

Staying true to my traditions, I cooked the onions way down before adding the garlic, beef and other ingredients. It really paid off. If you are short on time, you can sauté them for just a few minutes, but I would highly recommend cooking them down until they are reduced and brown. The flavor is amazing!

After browning the beef, all you have to do is toss in the remaining ingredients and simmer it for about 35 minutes or until the sweet potatoes cut easily with a fork.

sweet potato and beef chili

Like traditional chili recipes, a delicious homemade cornbread would go very well with this sweet potato and beef chili. I opted out of the cornbread this time because I am trying to get back on track with my Paleo diet. I threw in just a half teaspoon of cinnamon at the end because,. well….sweet potatoes and cinnamon, right? It worked really well.

sweet potato and beef chili in bowl

PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 60 minutes SERVINGS: 6


  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and cook for about 15 minutes or until reduced and brown. Add beef and garlic and cook until beef is brown.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium low for about 35 minutes or until sweet potatoes cut easily with a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro.


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