This is a lovely alternative to traditional chile con carne. It's packed with good stuff so is a great choice for veggies and meat eaters alike.


  • Vary the types of beans you use in this recipe – it will change the flavor every time and keep things interesting.
  • Try swapping the peppers you use; substitute green for some hotter peppers to boost the heat.
  • This recipe freezes well so don’t be afraid to double the recipe and keep some for another day. I like to divide my leftovers into portions using plastic bags so can easily pull one out of the freezer if I’m in a rush – just remember to label and date them before you put them in the freezer so you know exactly what it is and when you made it. If you lay the bags out flat they take much less time to defrost which is always a bonus.


To prepare the chile

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks.
    Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin and cinnamon, drizzle with a lug of
    olive oil and scatter with a pinch of pepper; toss to coat then put them on a baking
  • Peel and roughly chop the onion. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers. Pick
    the coriander leaves and put aside, finely chop the stalks

To cook your chile

  • Deseed and finely chop the jalapenos or if you like it spicy, leave in some seeds.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Put the tray of sweet potato in the hot oven to cook for 40 minutes until soft and golden.
  • Put a large pan on a medium-high heat and add a couple a lug of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coriander stalks, chile peppers and spices and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the cans of beans, then tip them into the pan with the tinned tomatoes. Stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and leave to tick away for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and add a splash of water if it gets a bit thick.
  • Get the roasted sweet potato out of the oven and stir it through your chile with most of the coriander leaves. Taste and season with freshly ground black pepper, if needed. Scatter the remaining leaves over the top and serve with your favorite toppings.


Serving suggestions:

Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt, guacamole and Light and fluffy rice or tortillas and/or Everyday green chopped salad.

Tips from the dietitian:

You don’t need meat to complete your meal, the beans in this dish provide you with the protein you need. This vegetarian chili is full of goodness, lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you have any left over you could take some in a small container as packed lunch. Don’t forget to put it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. You can reduce the sodium by using low or no sodium added tomatoes and beans. They are becoming easier to find in grocery stores, but if you can’t see them ask the store manager if they’ll start to stock them.

Food safety:

Before you wash your vegetables in the sink, make sure it’s clean. It’s important to wash your vegetables before you cook them to ensure there is no grit or dirt getting into your food.

hServes 6

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
a bunch of fresh coriander
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
2 15-ounce cans beans – try kidney, chickpea, pinto, cannelloni, drained and rinsed
28-ounce can chopped tomatoes


Sharp knife
A peeler
Cutting board
Sheet pan
Measuring spoons
Can opener
Large pot
Large spoon