This Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili is not your typical chili. Although it includes many familiar chili ingredients, it also has some unique additions that make this chili stand out from the pack.
What Makes This Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili Unique
When I think of chili, I think of meat, beans, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. You’ll find all of those familiar ingredients in this Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili.
What sets this chili apart are some of the other ingredients. In addition to “traditional” chili ingredients, you’ll also find, sweet potato, chickpeas, and Guinness (if you choose to add it).
These additional ingredients add flavor, texture and nutritional benefits to this hearty, popular dish.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
For many popular chili recipes, the secret ingredient is something that adds a hint of sweetness – chocolate, brown sugar, and even peanut butter. Sweet potatoes are a really nutritious way to add a sweet dimension to chili.
The biggest health benefit of sweet potatoes is the amount of beta carotene they contain. Beta carotene helps reduce your risk of cancer and can help slow cognitive decline. Plus, it helps your vision!
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber. This is good news if you suffer from constipation and great news if you are worried about your cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
The choline found in sweet potatoes can help you sleep better. It also has positive effects on learning and memory.
Finally, several of the nutrients in sweet potatoes help you maintain a healthy weight. Personally, I love any food that tastes great and I can enjoy guilt-free.
Health Benefits of Beans
I know there are a lot of great beanless chilis out there. You just won’t find them on my site because I think they are too good for you to leave them out of recipes where they fit so well.
Chili is an obvious place to use beans and I never make it without them. I do, however, mix and match beans depending on what I have on hand and sometimes, just for variety.
Beans are not only a great source of protein and antioxidants, they also provide many of the same health benefits as sweet potatoes:
- Good for your heart
- Fight cancer
- Prevent diabetes
- Promote a healthy weight
- Good for digestion
When it comes to choosing which beans to use. I mix and match the following (usually choosing two different varieties for chili):
- Red kidney beans
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Great northern beans
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
All of the beans listed above have under 135 calories per 1/2 cup serving, 7 – 8 grams of protein, and 6 – 7.5 grams of fiber. See this Bean Comparison Chart for full nutritional information on these beans, plus several others.
Why (Or Why Not) to Add Guinness
You can absolutely make this chili without beer. Simply substitute an equal portion of vegetable broth and you’ll have a delicious, satisfying chili.
If you are worried about the alcohol in beer, you shouldn’t be (for this recipe). Even though the alcohol is “trapped” inside your pressure cooker and thus can’t evaporate away like it does in other cooking methods, it will become part of the vapor and most of that will be released when the pressure releases so you can safely remove the lid.
The reason you’ll want to use Guinness instead of broth or water is because of the rich, earthy flavor that works especially well in hearty dishes like chili. And though you don’t have to use Guinness specifically, you’ll want to stick with a dark stout.
Honestly, I’m not a beer drinker so it was forever before I tried adding it to chili. Once I tried it, I’ll never go back. It really does bring out the other flavors without overtaking the dish.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili Recipe
Are you ready to make this Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili? Here’s the recipe:
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chili
- 1 pound of ground meat we have used both beef and pork, both work well.
- 2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1.5 cups of cubed sweet potato about ¾ of an inch is ideal
- 1 14 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 14 oz cans of light kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 14 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups of Guinness beer or vegetable stock
- 2 cloves of garlic smashed
- 1/3 cup of your favorite taco seasoning
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- crispy bacon
- sour cream
- sharp cheddar cheese
- fresh tomato slices
- Select the sauté setting for your Instant Pot. When the display reads “hot” add the ground beef and cook until fully browned, breaking up the meat into small crumbles as it cooks. When the meat is fully browned, drain the fat and set the beef aside in a bowl.
- Return the liner to the Instant Pot and add ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Toss in the finely chopped onions and smashed garlic cloves. Cover with a standard pot lid until translucent and then lightly browned. This is where a ton of great flavor comes from so you won’t want to skip this step!
- Pour in all of the rest of the ingredients and stir until fully combined, making sure the meat is broken up into small bits and pieces.
- Double check the seal and twist on the locking lid then cancel the sauté setting and select manual mode, high pressure for 8 minutes.
- When the pot beeps and the pressurized cook time has ended, let everything natural pressure release for 2-4 minutes before carefully opening the release valve. If a lot of starch begins to spray, close the valve and wait a few more minutes before trying again.
- Stir the chili from the bottom to the top and let cool for a few minutes while you get your toppings around. Spoon into your favorite bowls, top and enjoy!