Slow-Cooker Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

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This slow-cooker black bean, sweet potato, and quinoa chili is perfect for cold winter days. It also makes delicious leftovers!

Weekend Winter Lunches

The start of January really delivered in terms of winter and snow. My kids are ecstatic about this weekend’s snowstorm and I’m thankful that we didn’t have to be out on the roads…and instead could just stay in and cook! Still, you know how it typically is on weekends with kids. Busy, busy. It’s usually lunch that gets me–lunch? Seriously, who has time to plan and cook lunch on the weekends?

Therefore, our weekend lunch is often something simple, like sandwiches, grilled cheese, or leftover soup. Yesterday, we enjoyed leftovers of this slow-cooker black bean, sweet potato, and quinoa chili–complete with sliced avocado, cilantro, cheese, and a squeeze of lime juice. It really hit the spot.

(And as for dinner? I usually cook Sunday night and we go out on either Friday or Saturday…it’s always nice with a break from cooking–and cleaning up the kitchen!)

Slow Cooker Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili

This is a  variation on a recipe I have made many times. But because we all love slow cooker recipes I decided to adapt it to the slow cooker…and add some sweet potatoes because more veggies = more flavor and more nutrients. I love making this soup with barley too, but quinoa packs in more protein and makes it suitable for those who are gluten-free.

This recipe really couldn’t be easier to make. Just toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker and 4-8 hours later you have a healthy, delicious meal. You could add even more flavor by sauteing the onions and garlic before adding it to the slow-cooker, but I think it tastes pretty good without this step and if I’m using the slow-cooker, why not let it do all the work!


Slow Cooker Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili

This slow-cooker black bean, sweet potato, and quinoa chili is perfect for cold winter days. It also makes delicious leftovers!
No slow cooker? No problem, you can easily make this on the stove-top too.
Not a quinoa fan? You can sub another grain of your choice. I recommend barley as in my original recipe. You could also skip it and add another can of beans and then serve with rice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course dinner, Soup
Cuisine American


  • Slow-cooker


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½-1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped (use more or less depending on preference)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • cup quinoa or use barley if you prefer (not gluten-free)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, reduced sodium (or use 3 teaspoons vegetable bouillon + water)
  • ½ teaspoon salt more or less according to taste (will depend on type of stock/broth/bouillon used)


  • Put all ingredients except salt in slow cooker and cook on high for about 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  • Taste and season with salt and other seasonings as needed. Serve with toppings.


Topping ideas:
Lime wedges to squeeze on top
Hot sauce
Sliced avocado
Grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Cashew sour cream
Keyword chili, gluten-free, quinoa, slow-cooker, sweet potatoes, vegan, vegetarian

Images and text updated February 2021.


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