Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

By Marge Perry & David Bonom

The smoky, sweet and spicy flavors blend beautifully in this sultry twist on chili. Make it meatless by omitting the bacon and adding ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Course: Soup

All you need for this recipe and more...


6 slices thick cut smoked bacon, chopped

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice

2 medium onions, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

2 cups chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can no salted added fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can no salt added black beans

1/2 cup quick cooking barley

1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Heat a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minute. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towel. 

2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the saucepan and return to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeño pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. Pour in the broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender and the barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.