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Classic American Chili
over baked sweet potato

Active: 35 Total: 55
With beef and beans and a blend of spices, this really is a classic chili recipe. Serve it over sweet potatoes with sour cream and green onions on top. It's a warm-you-up meal you'll return to all winter long.
Smarts #1: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.
Smarts #2: Like most chili recipes, this one is even better if made a day ahead so the flavors have time to develop in the fridge overnight.


Classic American Chili (enough for 2 nights):
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
  • Chili powder - 3 tsp
  • Paprika - 2 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Green onions - 3 stalks , chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Beans, red kidney (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Beef, ground and lean - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
  • Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
  • Sour cream - for serving (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
Baked Sweet Potato:
  • Sweet potatoes, medium - 4 , sliced in half lengthwise


  1. Sweet potatoes / Onions / Garlic - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Combine spices - Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, and salt. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Green onions - Chop green onions, combining green and white parts.
  4. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
  2. Rub halved sweet potatoes on all sides with some cooking oil. Place potatoes cut-side down on a sheet pan. Transfer to oven and roast until potatoes are fork-tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. While potatoes roast, heat a Dutch oven with oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until nearly soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. To onions, add ground beef and saute, breaking beef apart, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain off excess oil and return pan to heat.
  5. Add tomato paste, garlic, and spices to beef and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour stock, tomatoes (including liquid), and beans into pan. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low-medium. Put the lid on the chili, leaving it slightly ajar, and simmer for 20 minutes. (Watch the chili and give it a stir every 5 to 10 minutes. If too much liquid simmers off, add a bit more stock or water to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan.)
  7. When potatoes and chili are done, taste chili and season it with some salt and pepper. Add some hot sauce (not in ingredients list) if you’d like more heat.
  8. Set aside 1/3 of the chili (about 2 cups / 475 mL for 4 servings; adjust if customizing) for Wednesday.
  9. Place sweet potatoes, cut-side up, on serving plates. Gently mash them with a fork. Spoon chili over sweet potatoes and serve with sour cream and green onions on top. Enjoy!



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