Comforting Sweet Potato and Beef Chili

  • By Jess Dang
  • January 5, 2014

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili recipe by @cooksmarts #paleo #glutenfree

When the weather is cold and I need a kick of warmth, I turn to comforting soups. Last month, the temperature dropped down to below freezing in Mountain View! As someone who’s lived in California now for almost 15 years, I have lost all my East coast edge, and I was craving some warm chili, which I wanted to eat while donning a fur hat and enclosed in one of these wearable sleeping bags (I got neither of these for Christmas – I obviously did not hint hard enough to my husband).

However I was feeling experimental and didn’t want to cook my usual chili combo, which is why I added sweet potatoes to this chili recipe! I’m so glad I did and I know many of our meal plans subscribers were very glad too. Here are a few of my favorite reviews when we featured this sweet potato and beef chili recipe on our December 2, 2013 menu (now if you sign up for a free account, you can preview all our menus):

Sam one of our paleo members said, “[This chili] was so good that I actually ate the whole pot within a few hours (does that make me fat?). I can’t wait for this to come up again, but I’ll have to show some restraint.”

Corey said, “Addictive tasting. We did the veg version, and it may be the best veggie chili I’ve had.”

Mary Ann said, “I couldn’t stop eating it.”

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili recipe by @cooksmarts #paleo #glutenfree

So the lesson is make this chili at your own risk, because you might become addicted. Or do what I did – double the recipe to make sure you can’t eat it all and guarantee some leftovers.

What non-traditional ingredients have you added to your chili? Share in the comments below!

Prepping Smarts:

Sweet potatoes are good for all diets. Plus, they’re high in vitamin-A and fiber. High five!


How to Prep Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious nutritional powerhouse - learn how to prep them in this video.

Equipment Smarts:

Dutch ovens hold and retain heat well, which is why soups come together more quickly when cooked in one. Save time and energy, and add a pop of color to your kitchen!


For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’ page

See this recipe in our meal plan here

1 4

Easy Beef and Sweet Potato Chili Recipe

I could not get enough of this soup. Scooping up heaping bites of sweet potato, avocado, beef (or beans) with tortilla chips made this ultra comforting.

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 35 min

Total time: 55 min

Serves: 4


  • Lean ground beef - 1 lb.
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp.
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp.
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Red onion - 1, diced
  • Sweet potatoes - 1 1/4 lb., peeled & cubed
  • Coriander - 2 tsp.
  • Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp.
  • Chili powder - 1/4 tsp.
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbs.
  • Diced tomatoes - 1 can, drained
  • Chicken stock - 2 1/4 cups
  • Avocados - 1 to 2, cubed
  • Cilantro - small handful, chopped
  • Lime - 1/2, juice of
  • Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
  • Sour cream (opt) - for serving on top of chili
  • Tortilla chips (opt) - for serving



  1. Ground beef – Season with salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  2. Garlic / Onions / Sweet potatoes – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Spices – Mix together coriander, cumin, paprika, and chili powder in a bowl. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)


  1. Heat a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and then garlic to heated oil. Once you can smell the garlic, add onions with a generous dash of salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
  2. Next add in ground beef with half the spices and diced tomatoes. Brown and break up with a wooden spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. If there is a lot of grease, drain from the pot.
  3. Add in sweet potatoes, chicken stock, and remainder of spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for another 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are softened.
  4. While soup is cooking, cube avocados and chop cilantro.
  5. Turn off heat and add in a squeeze of lime juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, hot sauce, or any of the spices. Top soup with avocado, cilantro, and sour cream. Scoop chili with tortilla chips.

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