It’s easy to get bogged down in using the same ingredients over and over when making chili, resulting in the same flavors again and again. While you always need the staples of meat, tomato, chili powder or chilis and beans, the world is your oyster in regard to the rest of your ingredients. Since we’re celebrating Chili Month, our wonderful food blogger Kate from Babaganosh has written us with her recipe for a unique and tasty Sweet Potato Mixed Bean Chili. Every bit as scrumptious as it is creative, this sweet and savory concoction may force you to rethink what you know about chili.

This chili starts off normally enough, with a base of ground beef, diced tomatoes and Randall Mixed Beans. From there, we blaze a trail into sweet territory with the addition of sweet potatoes and raisins. The slightly caramelized onions bridge the gap between traditional chili flavor and the sweet additions. To round out the bevy of spices used, a small amount of cinnamon lends this chili a slight Cincinnati-style chili zing, making this recipe run the gamut of flavors you may not have thought possible with chili until now.


Sweet Potato Mixed Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Mixed Bean Chili


  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 28 oz jar diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato (~12 oz), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Randall Deluxe Mixed Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, chopped green onions


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the diced onion for 5 minutes over medium heat. Transfer the sautéed onion to a ~5-quart soup pot.
  2. Add the rest of the olive oil (2 tablespoons) to the same skillet, and cook the ground beef over high heat for about 5 minutes or until it is browned, using a spatula to break up the beef. Transfer the browned beef to the soup pot. The beef does not have to be fully cooked yet.
  3. To the same soup pot, add the next 12 ingredients (diced tomatoes through raisins) and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil. When the chili is boiling crack open the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and the chili has thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For some extra heat add another ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot with optional garnish.
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