Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

It finally feels like winter (again) around here. After weeks of spring-like weather, we’re back to the right season. No snow falling gently from the sky to make it worth it either – just cold and wet and dreary conditions. Crock pot weather, if you ask me. Nothing like a big pot of something warm and cozy to make you feel better about the icky view out the window and the bad hair day that ensues. Unfortunately, while extremely convenient, most crock pot concoctions start with high-fat cuts of meat and too many cans of cream-of-something soup. Not this one! This vegetarian chili is hearty and delicious and healthy.

In your quest to save a few minutes in the morning, you may be tempted to skip the sautéing step but promise me you won’t give in to the temptation! Set the alarm for a few minutes earlier and get out that nonstick skillet! Taking the time to sauté the vegetables before adding them to the slow-cooker intensifies their flavor and is key to this recipe’s success. This is a pretty mild chili, not a fire-breathing-dragon variety, so it’s broadly appealing, even to vegetable-eating children (wink).

Stay warm!


Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

adapted from


serves 4-6



1 medium red onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper

1  28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1  15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed

1  15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips for serving



1. In a large nonstick skillet saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, and cinnamon, in 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

2. In a 4-to-6 quart slow cooker combine sauteed vegetables with the tomatoes (and their juices), beans, sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 cup of water.

3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, until sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened.

4. Serve the chili with sour cream or Greek yogurt, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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