Overhead shot of chili topped with avocado

Spicy Poblano & Sweet Potato Chili

Print this recipe!
Serves 6 to 8

This smoky chili is so hearty, even the most die-hard carnivores won’t miss the meat! The addition of cocoa powder adds an unexpected depth of flavor that will make you want to whip up this chili all winter long.

Recipe from by CHLOE. Chef Contributor, Lauren Kretzer.


4 poblano peppers*

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½” dice (approximately 2 ½ cups)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, rinsed and drained

28 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp sea salt

3 cups vegetable stock

sliced avocado, sliced scallions, hot sauce for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat.


Place peppers on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, turning once, and then roast an additional 15 minutes, or until skins are blackened and bubbling. Carefully remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl tightly covered with foil for 15-20 minutes.

Once peppers have cooled enough to handle, peel and seed them (rinsing away excess seeds if necessary). Coarsely chop and set aside.

In a large pot, heat 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add diced sweet potatoes and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chopped peppers and cook 2 minutes more.  Add black beans, pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cocoa powder, sea salt, and vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sweet potatoes should be tender and liquid should be slightly reduced.



Serve hot, with sliced avocado, sliced scallions and hot sauce, or your favorite toppings!

*This chili is inherently spicy due to the poblano peppers – feel free to substitute bell peppers instead for a more mild chili.

This chili freezes well – let cool completely after cooking and transfer to airtight containers. Chili will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.