• Kris

Roasted sweet potato and mushroom chili

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Deep flavor of roasted sweet potatoes and meatiness of mushrooms makes this chili one of a kind. Vegan, gluten free and oil free.

You know, I just love this time of the year! Chilly nights are here on the stage. NFL matches keeping our excitements bubbling! The food I most think of around this time is a steaming bowl of hearty chili. It warms you up from inside out and makes watching the games even more fun!

I always wanted to come up with a chili recipe that tastes above the notch. But it has to be easy enough so that you can make it even in a week night. Wholesome at the same time with a ton of veggies? Yes please! On top of that, it’s oil free. How awesome is that?

A little bit of tweaking in the cooking technique and a few special ingredients are at play here. Roasting the sweet potatoes with warm spices imparts a deep caramelized flavor. Using chocolate and liquid smoke takes the complexity of the taste to another level. This is literally sweet, spicy and smoky all partying in a bowl!

Here comes the recipe. You ready?

About the dish :

Course – Entrée

Serves – 4

Difficulty level – Easy

Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free, oil free.

Does it keep – It keeps in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Can be frozen in air tight containers or zip top bags and kept for up to 2 months.

What you need :

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed.

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon apple cider or red wine vinegar

Pinch of coarse ground black pepper

1 medium red onion

3 celery stalks

1 medium bell pepper

5 large or 6-8 medium Baby bella mushroom.

1 medium tomato

Scant 2 cups cooked kidney beans (See here how to cook dry beans) or 1 can (15 oz)

1.5 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons chili powder (blend)

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons vegan, gluten free dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Toppings (optional):

Sliced Fresno chilies or jalapeno

Vegan cheddar shreds

Minced cilantro

What you do :

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas mark 6 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with vinegar, garlic powder and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.

4. While the potatoes are roasting, chop onion, celery and tomato. Seed and cube the bell pepper. Cut the mushrooms into medium sized pieces.

5. Put a large skillet pan on the stove and turn it on to medium heat.

Now, I’m gonna tell you how to cook it without oil. If you like to use oil or oil spray, just go with that instead of water and cook like you always do. You will not need to follow these particular sautéing instructions. Just look for when the veggies soften.

If going for my oil free version, add a couple of tablespoons of water in the skillet and wait until it starts to sizzle.

6. Add your onions and celeries. Do not stir yet. This is one thing about cooking without oil. You have to let the pan do its job. Don’t get impatient okay? Trust me; you can achieve the same taste as cooking with oil. Just a little extra time is worth it.

7. When the water is almost evaporated, add a couple of tablespoon more and stir. It’s okay if they stick just a little bit to the bottom of the pan. It will ensure browning of them. Keep repeating this process until the veggies soften and turn a little brown on the edges.

8. Now, add your bell pepper and mushroom. Season with a pinch of salt at this point. You will also require keeping adding water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time whenever the skillet starts to look dry.

9. When all the veggies are softened, add the tomatoes and stir again. Your sweet potatoes should be done by now. Take them out of the oven and keep aside.

10. When the tomatoes are almost melted, add the cooked kidney beans. Season again with salt and pepper. Adding salt in layers like this makes sure that the whole dish is seasoned uniformly.

11. Now it’s time to add the other spices. Garlic powder, paprika, cayenne and chili powder. Put them in the pan one by one and stir well to mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the raw smells of the spices are gone. Then add 1/3 cup of water and stir again. We will be adding a little bit of water like this every now and then to keep it from sticking at the bottom. You know, when there is no oil, it sometimes tend to stick! Don’t worry, I’ll tell you when. You don’t need to play the guessing game!

12. Add your ketchup and hot sauce now. Mix well, cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the nutritional yeast. This magical ingredient gives the dish a cheese like taste. It’s a good source of protein too! Add ¼ cup of water now. Taste to check for the seasonings and adjust according to your taste.

13. It’s time to bring the special players in! Add the chocolate chips and liquid smoke at this point. And then add the roasted sweet potatoes in the pan. Now add 1.5 cups of water and mix well.

14. Put the lid on. When it starts to bubble, lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 15-20 min. Or until the sauce thickens.

15. Top with vegan shredded cheddar, cilantro and Fresno/ jalapeno slices and serve piping hot!

Nutritional info (Per serving) without the toppings :

Calories – 228 Cal

Carbohydrate – 36 g

Protein – 11 g

Fat – 2 g

Saturated fat – 1 g

Sugar – 12 g

Sodium – 233 mg

Dietary fiber – 14 g

Modifications you can make :

  • Substitute black beans or adzuki beans for kidney beans.

  • Use white button mushrooms or any mushroom of your choice.

  • Use vegetable stock for sautéing instead of water.

  • Instead of chocolate chips use chopped dark chocolate.

  • Lower spice level according to your preference by using less or no hot sauce and cayenne pepper.

  • Use smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke.

Other toppings that go well with it :

  • Sliced avocado

  • Vegan sour cream

  • Chopped green onion. Chopped red onions work too.

  • Fried tortilla strips.

Serving suggestions :

  • It goes perfectly fabulous with corn bread [I will soon post a recipe of my favorite vegan corn bread here. I give you my word!]

  • Add a scoop of rice in the bowl and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

  • Serve as a snack with corn tortilla chips on the side.

  • I even poured it over boiled penne pasta once. Weird? Dang Yes! Delicious? Surprisingly, yes to that too!

So, there is your delectable bowl of hot, spicy, smoky and sweet chili. Now put your favorite PJs on, put the feet up and relish it on this cold wintry night. Life is meant to be savored after all!

Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you've made it? I'd surely like to know! Feel free to comment below.

Comments :

Piu says

1/16/2020, at 12:25 AM

Fabulous, adding chocolate chips is an interesting and tempting twist ❤

Kris says

1/19/2020, at 7.44 AM

You bet !! Glad you like it!

Debroy says

1/18/2020, at 10:13 PM

If I don't want chocolate flavor what will I use instead?

Kris says

1/19/2020, at 7.47 AM

You won't taste the chocolate in the final dish. It only adds a depth of flavor. If you're still skeptic about chocolate, just skip it. Your chili will still taste great!


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