Sweet Potato Chilli

I used to love my mums chilli con carne recipe. The combination of rich tomatoes, sweet sugar and fragrant spices, combined with the humble kidney beans and various other vegetables, served with warm tortillas… It became one of my favourite dishes.

When I became vegan though, I thought my chilli eating days were over (I mean, the second half of the recipe title is ‘con carne’…). Thinking about it as I write this post however, I realise how easy it actually is to ‘veganize’ the old chilli con carne. One of my foodie obsessions lately has been ‘textured vegetable protein’ (also known as TVP), which, once soaked in water/broth/sauce, replicates a sort of minced meat and takes on any flavours you add to it! I’ve been using it in spaghetti bolognese recipes, as a filling for burritos, and for Mexican rice dishes. So it’d definitely be great in a chilli recipe. (However I’m yet to try it in this recipe.)

When my chilli cravings grew strong, I decided to attempt a vegan version. The first time was a complete fail. The herbs and spices were all over the place (and way too spicy. Like, inedible spicy…) and it just wasn’t great. So I put that idea on the back burner for a while.

I then stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s vegetable chilli recipe and thought I’d make another attempt. Of course, it being a Jamie Oliver recipe, worked great. But of course, in typical Morgan style, I had to make a few adjustments. So here is my recipe for sweet potato chilli, and apologies that it’s taken so long to post. I think if you make this recipe, you might just forgive me. It’s that good.



  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 cloves (or 2 tbsp) garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 400g tins kidney beans
  • 2 400g tins diced tomatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, spreading out onto a baking tray.
  3. Place the sweet potatoes into the oven for 40 minutes or until soft and golden.
  4. Peel and chop the onion. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the capsicum and chilli. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Pick the coriander leaves, put aside and then finely chop the stalks.
  5. In a large pan, over a medium-high heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil. Then add the onion, capsicum and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the coriander stalks, chilli and spices. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until soft. Stir every few minutes.
  7. Drain the beans and add them to the pan with the diced tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat. Leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Stir through the roasted sweet potato and coriander leaves (leave a few to garnish). Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  9. Serve with rice, guacamole, coriander and soft tortillas.

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