Black bean and sweet potato chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili with Cornbread

Black bean and sweet potato chili
Black bean and sweet potato chili with cornbread

This Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili was a bit of a find really. I had seen a couple of Chili recipes that included Cocoa powder which I found slightly intriguing. I know a lot of South American cuisine uses Chocolate in the dish and while I’ve never had it, I’ve always been keen to try one. This recipe was the base for my version which I changed slightly to reduce the quantity.

This is a toe in the water approach to the Chocolate in a savory dish recipe for me. I’m writing this as the Chili bubbles gently away on the stove top, and I can definitely smell the Cocoa – and I’m not 100% sure this is going to work. By the time I get to the end of this recipe, I’ll give you the truthful verdict. Let hope it’s a good one.

This is also Vegan, and Low Calorie – the low-calorie bit being the main reason I’m making it. The recipe yields 3 servings at only 200 calories each (which is my lunchtime target), or divide it by two for a 300 ¬†calorie meal.

Unusually I’m making this for a non low-calorie day so I don’t need to watch the calories, so I’ve got a bit of Corn Bread on the side to mop up the juices.

Black bean and sweet potato chili - Ingredients
Black bean and sweet potato chili – Ingredients


250 grams sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces
1 x 400 gram tin of crushed tomatoes
1 x 400 gram tin of Black Beans drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell pepper roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp Chili powder
1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 cup water
1 lime, juice and Zest
salt and pepper to taste

Black bean and sweet potato chili
Black bean and sweet potato chili


Gently soften the onion, garlic and bell pepper with a little of the water in a saucepan over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Serve when the Sweet potato is just cooked (about 20 minutes). You don’t want the sweet potato to be mushy.
Serve with a spoonful of Yogurt (or Sour Cream) and fresh coriander.

The verdict? This yields quite a sizable portion of food for the amount of calories, and I’m pleased to say the result is delicious. The cocoa powder flavour is subtle and works wonderfully with the hint of Chili heat, and the sweetness of the sweet potato. This will be on high rotation over winter. I am so impressed with the result I think I’ll have a crack at a Mexican Mole very soon – stay tuned.

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