sweet potato chili

Chili with beans and sweet potatoes
Bowl of chili with beans and sweet potatoes

we’re getting into the cooler months FINALLY here in virginia, and i’m getting super excited to start getting some soups and stews on the table. i haven’t made this chili for about a year and have made some tweaks and it’s finally ready to share. i love the sweetness from the sweet potatoes to counter the spiciness from the chilis and cayenne pepper, and you can really use any ground meat. it’s great with ground turkey as well if you’re going for a lower fat option, but i’ve been making an effort to try to eat traditionally and metabolically and that includes plenty of red meat and fats. hope you enjoy it as much as we do, especially served with a buttery slice of sourdough cornbread.


1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 15 oz can rotel tomatoes with chilis (mild or hot, your preference)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
s + p to taste
sugar to taste (i used just a sprinkle)


heat a dutch oven to medium heat, then saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, another minute. add the ground beef to the pan and brown it off, about 8-10 minutes breaking it apart as you go. season with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. if needed, drain some of the grease if it seems like too much. add the sweet potato, canned tomatoes, sauce, water, and tomato paste, as well as the spices. bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a low simmer and cook partially covered until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 25-30 minutes. taste and season with more salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sugar to taste. since we used canned tomatoes, i tend to like a little sugar to offset all the acidity and spiciness from the cayenne. enjoy with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, or any other favorite chili toppings. we love to serve ours with a skillet of cornbread.

sourdough skillet cornbread

Skillet of cornbread
Slice of cornbread with butter

the first time i attempted this cornbread i completely forgot the butter… a tragedy. still actually tasty though. hopefully you remember the butter and this recipe makes all your skillet cornbread dreams come true, complete with the probiotic benefits of fermented sourdough 🙂 it’s so moist it’s almost like a corn pudding and is amazing slathered with butter and served with a yummy bowl of chili.


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup active sourdough starter
8-10 tablespoons room temperature water
1/3 cup honey
8 oz creamed corn
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk


about 8-12 hours before you plan to make the cornbread, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sourdough starter, and water. the dough should be wet, but not soupy. cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours. you can do it overnight, or start it in the morning and bake it off in the evening. it should just about double in size. then preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and butter or oil a cast iron skillet. you can also bake this in a pie plate if you don’t have a skillet. once the ferment is complete , whisk together the honey, creamed corn, salt, baking soda, egg, and milk. add this to the ferment, whisk together until combined. pour it into the skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.