Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili loaded with wholesome, healthy veggies and a rich tomato base. This is hearty and filling and full of nutrition!

Another cookbook review today! Today's book is called The Colorful Kitchen, Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Vibrancy, Inside and Out by Ilene Godofsky Moreno. As the title suggests, the recipes are very colorful and feature lots of veggies and ingredients used in plant-based recipes.

When trying to decide what to make from the book, I decided to choose Sweet Potato Chili because I love sweet potatoes and I love chili! Yum, yum. I must admit, growing up in Texas, this was nothing like the chili we ate. It doesn't have any chili powder. I've never seen or eaten a chili without chili powder. And I've never seen celery, carrots or nutmeg in a classic chili. That's not what I'm used to, but because it was different, I wanted to try it for that very reason. I'm always up for trying new things! While it is not like a classic chili flavor, it reminded me more of a stew, but it was tasty and very chunky! I enjoyed the chunks of sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are one of my very favorite foods to eat and I try to eat them several times a week.

The chapters are broken up into Smoothies, Breakfast, Salads, Soup, Sandwiches, Sides, Snacks & Appetizers, Entrees, Dessert and Kitchen Staples & Sauces. And every recipe has a photo, which really helps to know how the recipe should look. The recipes use a lot of familiar ingredients like cashews, cauliflower, mushrooms, tempeh, tofu, kale, beans, potatoes. Easy to find ingredients.

She has recipes like Hummus & Artichoke Tortilla Pizza, Harvest Butternut Squash & Apple Burger, Portobello & Potato Pesto Tacos and No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake to name just a few. Lots of delicious options in the book!

Now, since I'm an oil-free cook and this is an oil-free blog and so many of you are also oil-free, I need to disclose that there is a lot of recipes calling for oil in the book, so if that is of concern to you, I feel it's important that you know ahead of time. This is a question I get asked often with each book review I do, so I wanted to just mention that ahead of time. Some call for small amounts and some call for 1/3-1/2 cup or so, as well as vegan butter in some of the desserts. I feel that many of the recipes that call for oil for soups or small amounts can easily be subbed with broth/water.

Recipe printed with permission of Benbella Books, Inc. You can order the book here.

Yields Serves 4-6

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili loaded with wholesome, healthy veggies and a rich tomato base. This is hearty and filling and full of nutrition!

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  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used 1/4 cup broth instead of oil)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (or one 15-ounce can, rinsed, drained)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (see Notes)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)
  • SERVE WITH Cashew Sour Cream (see below), vegan cheddar cheese or 2 green onions, chopped
    Optional Cashew Sour Cream
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 4 hours
  • Juice of ½–1 lemon, to taste*
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1–3 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the coconut oil (I used broth instead) in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very tender.
  4. Stir in the kidney beans, tamari, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, until everything is warm (simmer even longer for extra-thick chili). Serve with the Cashew Sour Cream, cheese (if desired), and green onions.
  5. For the sour cream:
  6. Drain and rinse the cashews. Transfer the cashews to a blender and add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup.
  7. Starting with 1 tablespoon at a time, add the nondairy milk as needed to blend, and blend until completely smooth. Add the salt and pepper and stir. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


I personally did not add the nutmeg to the chili. I also only added 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne because I felt 1 tsp would be way too spicy for my family. The 1/2 teaspoon still made it plenty spicy, so use as much or as little as you desire. I also doubled the tamari.

I also wanted to mention that I did a recorded interview for another Plant-based summit, similar to the one I did last year, but this one is only audio. It is with Shelly Hughes at Plant-Based Lifestyle Summit. You can find out all about signing up for the summit and hearing the interviews with 21 experts, including myself, that begins February 12. You will learn all about healthy eating habits and how to transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Sign up for the series free here!


  1. Sue
    I LOVE that you are sharing oil-free recipes! Thanks so much! I'm with you! And sweet potatoes are my favorite starch!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Sue, actually ALL of my recipes on my blog are oil-free! This recipe is from the book listed above that I shared above. The recipe is not oil-free but I noted how to do it oil-free, but so there is no confusion. All MY own recipes are oil-free so you should have no issue with recipes on the blog :) I have some very old ones from several years back (just a very few) that have a little oil, but only a handful.
  2. Thank you for flagging the fact that the recipes in the cookbook use oil. I am a no oil cook too, and LOVE the fact that you produce such fabulous oil free recipes.
  3. Chili without chili powder—perhaps this was the chili designed just for me and my spice preferences ha! It still sounds wonderfully seasoned and flavorful and most importantly CHUNKY. I love that it's a cozy meal in a mug all by itself too. I always appreciate your honest reviews and options to adapt, oil-free cooking really isn't as hard as it seems. Although if coconut oil is all that stands between me and no bake cheesecake...just tell me how much and I'll get right on that :D
  4. This is my favorite kind of healthy comfort food! Cooked down sweet potatoes are just amazing, and I love your addition of tamari to this recipe - nice little umami punch! And the cashew sour cream, I could pour that on everything!
  5. What a delightful review, and I adore the recipe you chose, wish it were in front of me for lunch right now! I love that you substituted broth for the oil, I bet that makes it taste so light. Dee xx
  6. I made this recipe this weekend. I did a couple of changes - first I think the cumin overpowered the dish. So next time I would leave it out. I also probably used too many sweet potatoes - so I used a hand blender to give it some creaminess. Still left a LOT of chunks in there! I added a cup of almond milk to the finished product because the heat was hitting me hard. On day two of the recipe the heat calmed down a lot. But those of some of my tweaks! Thanks for your posts.. I read every day and your recipes are the BEST plant-based meals that I have ever made!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Dee! This recipe isn't mine, but from the book above that I list in the post that I reviewed. Yes, it is VERY chunky. I stated that in my post and it's not that you added too many potatoes, it is just that chunky. I definitely feel it could use more broth/liquid because I love more liquid in a "chili". Yes, the heat, that is why I made the note about the cayenne. I definitely felt 1 tsp cayenne was too much as well and that's why I only used a 1/2 tsp and it was still PLENTY spicy. That is powerful stuff, haha!
      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
        And thank you so much for the compliment on my recipes, you are too kind!
  7. Some other examples would be nondairy milks and meat substitutes.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Examples of what?
  8. DELICIOUS!!! we reduced half of the qty of cayenne but it was still too spicy for our 2 year old daughter. It was perfect for me :) next time I ll just had it to half the recipe. I ll definitly do it again!!!!!!!!!!! :) Thank you for your amazing and simple recipies!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad to hear that Catherine!
  9. Found another new favorite!! Yummy!!

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