November 29, 2008

Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes And Brussel Sprouts

by IsaChandra

The chipotle has got to be this decade’s sundried tomato. Barely glance a menu and you’ll catch it weaseling its way into soups, sauces, omelets, even desserts. But the chipotle’s pervasive stature is not unearned. Its smoky heat adds so much flavor to anything it touches you’d be hard pressed not to reach for it when you want to whip up something fast and tasty.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in Sheepshead Bay), you’ll know that a chipotle is a smoked jalapeno. You can find them dried (just like their tomato predecessors), but more commonly they come stewed in a can with adobo, a vinegary tomato based sauce. I usually remove the seeds before using, that way you can use more chipotles without adding too much heat.

This is another one of those clean out my cupboard and fridge recipes. I had plenty of sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts left over from my holiday festivities and this was a flavorful and filling way to use them up. And no matter how many recipes I write I know deep in my heart that people just want to cook a handful of dishes. Pesto, “meatballs”, mashed potatoes, but above all, chili.

Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes And Brussel Sprouts

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 chipotles, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (2 average sized), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
12 oz brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons new mexico chili powder (or other mild chili powder)
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 16 oz can pintos, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Fresh lime juice to taste (about one lime was good for me)

In a soup pot over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, coriander seeds, and oregano and saute a minute more. Add remaining ingredients (except for lime juice). Mix well. The sweet potatoes and brussel sprout will be peaking out of the tomato sauce, but don’t worry, they will cook down.

Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about half an hour, stirring often, until sweet potatoes and fork tender but not mushy. Squeeze in lime juice to taste and adjust any other seasonings. Let sit uncovered for at least 10 minutes before eating.

  • November 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm: AsstroGirl

    I never thought about taking the seeds out of a chipotle! Thanks for the tip, Isa.

  • November 29, 2008 at 6:30 pm: Anonymous

    This sound really good. I have everything except the chipotles…

  • November 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm: vwam

    oops, anonymous was me.

  • November 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm: ali

    This looks and I’m sure tastes terrific, but I have to throw out there that there is at least one person (me) who is in love with your recipes because you go beyond the typical chili/pesto etc cliches! So by all means keep at your innovations.

  • November 29, 2008 at 7:27 pm: marika @ madcapcupcake

    This looks so hearty and satisfying, and generally warm and fuzzy like good old-fashioned comfort food :) I always have such a hard time finding chipotle – I must try harder, clearly, as this just looks delicious.

  • November 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm: Shelby

    Oh wow, this is my kinda soup! Just right for a cold, windy say when I can never seem to get warm no matter how many layers I have on. I’m getting warmed up just thinking about it.

  • November 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm: Gina

    This sounds awesome. I will definitely be trying it!

  • November 30, 2008 at 12:29 am: JanScholl

    Yahoo. I get to eat something I like! this is sunday night supper for watching brothers and sisters.

  • November 30, 2008 at 12:52 am: GMoney

    sheepshead bay is a great neighborhood you douche bag

  • November 30, 2008 at 3:28 am: IsaChandra

    Yeah, GMoney, it truly is. It produces wonderful people like you and me and Andrew Dice Clay.

  • November 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm: JMitz

    Hey Isa,

    I’m usually a latecomer to well-loved hits like you, your show and your cookbooks. I’m really enjoying your website and this recipe looks great. I’ll definitely be trying it.

    Not to be dim or anything, but you don’t say when the lime juice should be added. Could you clarify that for us?

    Many, many thanks for sharing your creative cooking flair with us!

  • November 30, 2008 at 6:43 pm: IsaChandra

    I fixed it Jmitz, thanks.

  • November 30, 2008 at 7:27 pm: c

    This was a fully yum recipe for dinner last night, thanks! I confess, I didn’t trouble to seed the chipotles?tinned peppers in adobo sauce are awfully messy to manhandle?but it turned out just fine by me. I’d never have thought to make a Brussels-sprout-sweet potato chili, but that’s why we buy your books :)

  • November 30, 2008 at 8:19 pm: tresbienjen

    just made this today. really really awesome. at first i was cursing myself for putting in the coriander seeds, it was really overpowering when i first tasted it. but of course it ended up totally mellowing out and it’s perfect.

  • December 1, 2008 at 1:55 am: Harmony

    thanks for all the recipes posted lately!

  • December 1, 2008 at 3:45 am: mustardseed

    Awesome, Isa! Thanks a million, I love chili!

  • December 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm: jd

    yay, no cilantro!

  • December 5, 2008 at 1:15 pm: Jul

    chipotle sucks, its main stream taco bell abomination

  • December 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm: IsaChandra

    Wow, you youngins just get stupider and stupider.

  • December 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm: bryophyte

    Wow, yeah, Taco Bell should not be commended for apparently artificially selecting the originally domesticated chile pepper to bring us the shittyshiity jalapeno. And THEN Taco Bell made it worse by smoking the damn thing, all while putting it in a tangy sauce!

    How DARE they!

  • December 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm: supercarrot

    i had no clue taco bell was around in the 12th century.
    the things you learn on foodblogs.

  • December 5, 2008 at 6:37 pm: robordeo

    yeah and waz up wit putting brussel sproots in a bowl of chilli! LOL!

  • December 7, 2008 at 2:56 am: Emily

    Sorry Isa. I love your cooking and all, but I’ll take a lukewarm bean burrito without the cheese any day over one of these newfangled “chipotle” things… :)

  • December 8, 2008 at 1:09 pm: kimmykokonut

    What’s with all the chipotle hate? I enjoy the smoky flavor, but don’t tend to use it that often in my cooking. I’ll look forward to trying this recipe on a grey chilly day.

  • December 11, 2008 at 11:29 am: Teal Marie Chimblo

    OH…YUUUUUUUMMMM! Making this sooon! Thanks!

  • December 12, 2008 at 2:15 pm: urbanvegan

    I love the smokiness of chipotle. And you know, I love sun-dried tomatoes from the 90s, and balsamic from the 80s. I just can’t let go.

  • December 13, 2008 at 3:26 am: looseseal

    I’m with you, kimmykokonut. I don’t get the chipoltle hate. Anyway, I’ll be trying this recipe tomorrow. Yay.

  • December 14, 2008 at 12:56 am: Kevin

    Tried this tonight, I didn’t care for the coriander or oregano in it, but with some tweaking I can make this good for my taste. Thanks ;)

  • December 16, 2008 at 7:03 am: Melisser

    Did I mention this is so so so good? I’m making it for family on Sunday!

  • December 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm: Andi

    This was so good, I need to make another batch! :)

  • December 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm: Megan

    Totally making this tomorrow to bring to family’s Christmas gathering!

  • January 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm: Ali


    I love you. My mother loves you. My sister loves you too. We have all of your books, and we look at them almost every day for inspiration.

    *rant over*

    I made this tonight for my family and even my senile grandmother downed it, which is sayin’ something. My meat-loving dad enjoyed it as well.

    I’m going to make it for all of my friends when i get back to school.


  • January 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm: Emily

    It looks like the picture!

  • January 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm: Anonymous

    This was really good. I didn’t have all of the spices, and left out the chipotle. (See, it can be made without it for all you chipotle haters) But I think it came pretty close, and I liked it the way it came out.

  • February 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm: Broke Bettie

    This looks so delicious but I can’t live without my cilantro – I’ll throw some in mine!

  • March 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm: asciimo

    I think that Jul was not referring to the chipotle pepper, but to the Chipotle restaurant chain (, for which he or she should also be ridiculed.

  • December 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm: Allison

    I was a bit skeptical about the sweet potato and brussels sprouts combo, but they work together pretty well. I served this chili over top of some vegan corn bread and it was super tasty. Thanks for the different recipe, I will definitely make this again!

  • December 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm: Melissa

    I used two chipotles and left the seeds in, so my chili has a most excellent kick to it. What a creative and delicious recipe, it’s another for the permanent collection, thank you!

  • January 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm: Sarah

    This was excellent. When I visit home, I cook vegan for my omnivorous parents. They were dubious about a meat-less chili, but they’re both believers now. Thank you!!

  • February 5, 2011 at 2:30 am: Kiersten

    I am currently in love with chipotle…but not a big fan of sweet potatoes or brussel sprouts. I made a few changes to the recipe since I lacked some ingredients. I used two cans of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Chipotle Pepper diced tomatoes and one can of regular diced tomatoes instead of the fresh chipotle & 32 oz. crushed tomatoes. It WAS PERFECT!!! The sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts were even tasty! Thanks for the new Friday dinner recipe!

  • February 17, 2011 at 2:31 am: Cindy

    I made this yesterday. Any ideas for what to do with the leftover chipotle? I bought the can for this recipe and am unsure how to utilize the rest.

    • February 18, 2011 at 5:47 am: IsaChandra

      I always put mine in a plastic bag and freeze it, then use it for chilis or whatever in the next few months.

  • February 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm: Gina K

    I use the leftover chipotle in a tofu scramble and then make the stew agin a few days later ( it’s THAT good! )

  • March 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm: Dawn

    I used the whole can of chipotle. The coriander made a really unique depth to the flavor. My non-vegetarian children ate the whole damn pot! Brussell sprout chili…whodda thunk?! This was quite amazing and I am excited to spring it on extended family next time we have a soup get-together. We shall woo them to the healthy side with wonky meatless chili…bwahahahaha! Seriously, this was amazingly fantastic and officially has replaced my much-mourned round steak and ground beef filled chili recipe. That stuff was yummy: this is beyond imagination and an excellent food choice.

  • September 19, 2011 at 12:01 am: Patrick

    Isa – this is delicious! I was fascinated by this recipe a few weeks ago and am happy to welcome the fall weather with this scrumptious dish. On a side note, this website inspired me to buy Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction. I’ve been cooking through them for a week and am in love. I wish you all the best in your career and hope you can take this all to the next level at some point – you deserve a bigger presence in the food world.

  • October 4, 2011 at 2:19 am: Christina

    I’ve made this twice in two weeks (in half batches because I only have a small pot), once with cranberry beans and once with kidney beans. The cranberry beans were actually awesome. Also, just for yuks I used white-fleshed sweet potatoes and I added in some Field Roast Chipotle Sausage ( REALLY good, and really healthy–warm, spicy, comforting, and just what I want to sit down to at the end of a chilly Seattle day.

  • October 14, 2011 at 2:04 am: dusti ondryas

    Oh my goodness! This was SO good. I think I am starting to idol worship you! I made a couple of moderations, just because of what I had on hand – I omitted the chipotle peppers and added a can of chipotle pinto beans, I also omitted the coriander (simply because I didn’t have any on hand) – other than that, followed recipe exactly. Even if I wasn’t vegan (which i wasn’t until very recently), this is by far the best chili that I have ever made. Even my little kiddos devoured it (8 and 4 yrs old). We ate it with your cornbread. Perfect combination. Thanks again!!!!!

  • October 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm: Sasha

    I used Ancho and it was DANK.

  • January 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm: Allison

    Made this over the weekend and crumbled some cornbread on top. Delicious!

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm: juju

    I am excited to try this! Isa you rock. seriously. i can’t believe the retarded comments about Chipotle..but they were so ridiculous i at least laughed out loud. I hope i can find chipotle in brazil! (that’s where i am). thanks for making the vegan world rock..

  • January 29, 2012 at 12:05 am: Lesley

    I accidentally overcooked the veggies, but it still came out super delicious. Earthy and bright at the same time.

  • August 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm: Ellie

    Fall needs to be here now so I have an excuse to make this. I love sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and chipotles. I also love chili. I take this as a good omen, though I never would have thought to combine them–this is why I look to you, Isa!

  • November 30, 2012 at 2:30 am: Arjuna

    This is extraordinary! I quasi-caramelized the onions and spices. This gave a nice deep note for the rest of the dish–the balance of sweet, sulfurous, citric, earthy and peppery is exquisite. And it’s easy.

  • January 24, 2013 at 7:48 am: adorpheus

    I made this for dinner last night and it was completely incredible. No exaggeration, this is SERIOUSLY good. The only reason I decided to make it is because my roommate gave me some Brussels sprouts and I wanted to use them. I’m so so so grateful she did, because I got to try this new recipe! I’ve said this before on your blog, but I don’t even like sweet potato and I thought they tasted amazing in this. It was a toss up between making this and making the brussels sprouts hash from Appetite for Reduction – I chose this because sweet potatoes were cheaper than organic potatoes.

    I had to make a few small adjustments – I used only 1 TBSP of oil to lower the calories, kidney beans instead of pinto (they were cheaper), regular chilies instead of chipotles (you can’t get chipotles in adobo here in the UK unless you order them online… :( You can get the dried ones a little more easily, but I already had fresh chilies on hand), coriander powder instead of seeds since I had no seeds, and I added a dash of liquid smoke to make up for the lack of chipotle smoke. I’m going to make this again this week with the other bag of sprouts, that’s how great it was, and I MUST try it with actual chipotles next time. I can’t wait to make it for my family.

  • January 28, 2013 at 1:09 am: Mike F

    I made this for dinner with some Baja style tempeh taco’s. this with a light homebrewed lager made for an amazing dining experience. Thanks

  • February 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm: Kara

    Do you think this is Crock-Pot-able? Would be lovely to come home from work to this.

  • October 26, 2013 at 4:47 am: Pamela Rosinia

    Ooh, a Brussels sprouts recipe! This one also has many of my other favorite ingredients. I must give it a try. Meanwhile, thank you for your many recipes throughout the years. Glad I found you. I will add you to the RESOURCES section of my website,,

  • October 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm: steph

    i love this recipe. I’ve doubled it, and the leftovers freeze beautifully. I’ve also made this in a crock-pot, and I think I like the results even better than making it on the stove.

  • December 15, 2014 at 7:20 am: SarahP


    We have your book and love it. Today we were out shopping without the help of your book, so we grabbed a few recipes from your website. I loved the inclusion of sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts–so good!

    I have one question. We put in exactly 32 oz of crushed (organic) tomatoes, but we were somewhat displeased with the result: The chili came out with a lot of tomato sauce, somewhat resembling marinara consistency. It either needed less sauce or rice or something to soak it up. I was thinking of using less crushed tomatoes next time, but I would like to come up with another way to include tomatoes without it coming out like a pasta sauce. I like my chili to be hearty with a bit of chunky sauce to hold it together. Do you have any suggestions? (For the record, mine didn’t come out looking exactly like the picture-it had much more sauce!)

    Thanks for your help!

  • February 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm: Kiki

    I live in a cohousing community where we have group meals twice a week and everyone takes turns cooking. My husband and I are the only vegans. I made this last night and everyone loved it. They consistently love your recipes, and ask for the links. Thanks for being a crowd-pleaser!

  • May 19, 2016 at 10:23 am: xGreenling

    So, seven and change years later, what is This decade’s sundried tomato/chipotle?