Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili - Pinch of Yum

You know those times where stuff just works?

This is one of those times. I did not really know where I was headed when I started making this chili other than that I had a vision of something semi-spicy that could compliment that bag of blue corn + flax tortilla chips burning a hole in my cupboard. Just another example of the finer things that inspire greatness for me.

By the way, blue corn + flax tortilla chips? I think you want these. I’m putting a link –> right here. You can’t buy them online, but you can go find them at a Target and then be forced into making this healthy jalapeño sweet potato chicken chili as a BFF for your chippers.

And just FYI. If you think you don’t want these, you should know that non-flax-eater Bjork had no idea what “those little crunchy things” were that made the chips taste so good and gobbled them down like a true flax loving health nut. Except in a tortilla chip health nut sort of way. So you want these. End of story.

To make this chili, you’re going to have to let it simmer for a while. Like 45 minutes or more – enough time to do something like get outside and go for a run, which by some miracle I did. And if you can simmer it in what appears to be a miniature camping pot, all the better.

*sometimes I don’t even know*

Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili - Pinch of Yum

I don’t have step by step photos for this – after the light falling into the palak paneer episode, I’m waiting until we get a house that has kitchen windows to continue with those, and speaking of houses, we find out TODAY about the most recent offer that we put in! eeeee! – but I do need to tell you a few things about the step by step process. Let’s have a Q&A.

I don’t like spicy things. Should I leave out the jalapeño?

Maybe just take out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño – that’s what makes it spicy. I used one biiig jalapeno pepper and I left the seeds and ribs in when I chopped it up. It was The Perfect amount of spicy for us. Kind of like a light medium spicy, if we’re getting that specific. I had actually planned to put a chipotle pepepr in this as well, but the flavor of the jalapeño just sang to me and I didn’t feel like it needed anything else.

What’s the broth or base in this soup?

Well, good question. In my mind it was going to be tomato sauce. But then I found that, in fact, I did not have any tomato sauce.

That’s when the unexpected magic happened: instead of tomato sauce, I added a few cups of water and gave it all a stir. Oh, hey. Perfection. A few of the softer sweet potatoes sort of melted into the liquid, and some of the flavor seeped out of the other ingredients, creating this yummy + spicy sweet potato creaminess as the base of the soup.

Then I added some flaxmeal, to bring things full circle (remember the chips?) and to help keep it thick and give it a nice warm nutty flavor. I loved it.

Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili - Pinch of Yum

What kind of pot should I use to keep the soup from sticking?

Not the miniature camping pot pictured above, because when you cover it and let it simmer for 45 minutes, it’s going to end up getting stuck and burnt and crusted all over the bottom. Hello nightmare.

I used a large nonstick braiser that I just got from a company called Swiss Diamond. It worked perfectly. And if I wouldn’t have had that new braiser, I would have used my nonstick soup pot. Pleaze friendz. Use nonstick for this one! Or watch carefully, stir periodically, and add water as it simmers.

Can I add ______ ?

Yes! Yet another reason I love chili. Anything you want, like roasted corn, more or less beans beans, bell peppers, different meat, avocado slices on top, sour cream, cilantro, Cotija cheese, any cheese, more cheese, etc. Add it.

Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili - Pinch of Yum

It’s September, it’s a little chilly, and the chili is a-cookin on the stove. And so begins my favorite eating season of the year. ♥

4.9 from 18 reviews
Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
Serves: 6-8
  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 14 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
  • 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxmeal
  • cilantro and Cotija cheese for topping
  1. Poach the chicken: Bring the chicken broth to a rolling boil and add the raw chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken continue to cook in the broth for another 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, let cool, and shred with two forks. Reserve 2 cups of broth. Keep chicken in the fridge until ready to use (I did this a day in advance and just stored my chicken and broth together in the fridge).
  2. Saute the veggies: Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and saute until tender. Add the chili powder, salt, and sweet potatoes. Saute until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned.
  3. Let it cook: Add the fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken and reserved broth. Stir and cover with a tight fitting lid. Keep over medium heat for 45 minutes without stirring (see notes).
  4. Make it saucy: After 45 minutes, uncover and you'll see a bunch of chicken and veggies with hardly any liquid. Perfect. Add 2 cups of water (or less, as needed) and stir to combine. Add the flax and stir again - this helps it thicken up and gives it a warm, nutty flavor.
  5. Eat: Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with cilantro and Cotija cheese.
It works best to use a nonstick pot. If your pot is NOT nonstick, be sure to stir periodically and add some water to prevent sticking and burning.

The nutrition information is for 7 servings, which ended up being about a heaping cup full per serving.

Chili Nutrition
Healthy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chicken Chili |
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  1. Love these photos and the gorgeous blue bowl!! Oh and obviously, the chili!! Sweet potato chili is one of my favorite and spicy is aways a good thing in my mind!! YUM!

    Good luck with the house! Hope you guys work out something out!

  2. Completely falling apart right now.

  3. I just woke up to a dark, cold rainy day and wrapped myself in a blanket and turned on my computer. Then, I saw this. This would be perfect with these upcoming winter days! Yummmm!

  4. I really want to make this. I made something similar to this called ground nut stew. When I first heard of the ingredients I thought the combination sounded so strange, but after making it I am a believer. I try not to mention flaxseed being good – it just confuses my guest. :) Oh, and I so want a Swiss Diamond pot/skillet. I be checking out the chips.

  5. Just picked fresh jalapenos this weekend. Already planning my grocery list so I can hit the store on the way home and make this chili!

  6. Yum! I love a good bowl of chili. My husband (then boyfriend) and I had a craving for chili, so we thought, hey why not go to Chili’s? It was our first time and we didn’t realize that they didn’t have any chili at all! :) Lesson learned, check the online menu first. :)

  7. I am intrigued! What caught my eye were the words: sweet potato and chili! What a lovely combination…it is certainly one that I have to try. Looks wonderful!

  8. Yum, I love the addition of sweet potatoes in this chili. I am also so psyched that chili season is upon us as well – I even made turkey chili yesterday for the Redskins game! You rock, thanks for sharing!

  9. yum yum yum – i love chili with a kick and your version looks so gooood.

  10. I’m even more excited for the cool fall temps that are rolling in now! This looks delicious! Thanks for the jalapeno tips!! I like a moderate amount of spice, but for some reason jalapenos always intimidate me.

  11. This is such a pretty, pretty chili! And I love that you walk us through with a Q & A. Perfect!

  12. All I have to say is, YUM.

  13. September is just the perfect month all around – cooler weather means, break out the jeans!, and chilly days mean comfort food dinners. Chili will hit the spot, every time.

  14. This chili sounds wonderful. I love all of the ingredients. I was just thinking about it being time for chili again. This recipe would be great start.

  15. comfort in a bowl! Love this flavor and texture combo! Also love Target’s Simply balanced chips – there blue corn is so great and it’s gluten free :) Their yellow corn chips are pretty fantastic too! Thanks for this recipe!

    • I was so confused at first about the Simply Balanced brand but then I realized that it’s just Archer Farms rebranded and I’ve just been out of the country for too long to know what’s going on. :)

  16. Yum, I love chili! Especially love the idea of adding in some sweet potatoes. Can’t wait to try this out once it gets cooler in LA.

  17. I was just (!!!) talking about making sweet potato chili Lindsay! I have a good recipe I use, but now I’m kicking it to the curb because this sounds and looks 88495x better.

  18. Oh how lovely does that fall weather sound… and a bowl of this sweet/spicy chili? Perfection. Hope things work out with the house Lindsay!!!!

  19. What a perfectly comforting chili!

  20. I make black beans a lot – just about every week. I’ve never thought of that combination before with the sweet potatoes, chicken and jalapenos. Sounds great – my guys are gonna love it!

  21. Yummy! I love chili and this looks right up my alley! I can’t wait to make it!

  22. This look so, SO good! Definitely need to make this. The weather is just starting to cool down enough that this sounds like the perfect meal. Love all the photographs as well :)

    Good luck with the house stuff!!

  23. As soon as I read your post yesterday I got super inspired and made it for dinner last night! Followed the recipe exactly but my liquids did not reduce at all so the extra water at the end was not needed. (I used a dutch oven – maybe that’s why?) No worries though because once I added the flax, it thickened to sheer perfection!! Tasted wonderful and definitely will be my go-to for fall weekends with friends!! Thanks for the great recipe! p.s. To other readers, don’t leave out the flax! It added serious nutty goodness!

  24. I have never thought of adding flax meal to chili, but I can’t wait to try it!–I won’t tell my husband, but I bet he won’t even notice! :)

  25. Do you think this would be possible to make in a crockpot? My fiance is home early so he could turn off the heat so it didn’t overcook. I just don’t get home from work/gym on week nights until almost 7 so I try to do make ahead dinners as frequently as possible. That or have my fiance have all the prep ready for me as soon as I get home

    • Yep! I do. I would suggest putting the chicken, broth, onion, jalapeno, and tomatoes in in the morning. Then I would add the sweet potatoes with some liquid if needed about 2 hours before eating, and then then beans just an hour before. Kind of particular, I know, but I hate when everything turns to mush and you lose the texture. :) Good luck!

  26. Looks awesome, Lindsay! I found in my kitchen, those “i don’t know where I’m going with this but I’ll keep going” recipes end up being one of my “bestsellers”.

  27. I never would have thought to add flax to chili! Great way to boost the health benefits of it!

  28. omg, i must make this immediately!! it looks so comforting and looks like it could warm me up quickly!

  29. Hi there! In the beginning body of the recipe you said you didn’t use broth and just used water, but in the ingredients list you have 5 cups of chicken broth. Can you please clarify….thanks!

    • Yes, I used the broth to poach the chicken. So I just listed the broth in the ingredients as a liquid for poaching the chicken and then 2 cups of it is reserved and added to the soup pot when you add the chicken. So I guess technically there IS broth in it, but it’s not the base of the soup.

  30. This looks incredible! I want one bowl now…those pics are making me hungry :)

  31. This is my favorite eating season, too! It’s so great to welcome fall with warm stews and soups!

  32. Lindsay, I love everything about this! I could just curl up on the couch with 3 bowls of this!

  33. Oh my goodness one of my all time favorite fall chili’s! I made one last year with chipotle peppers in adobo and that was really tasty! I think your right about the heat of the jalapeño that it balances out the sweetness of the sweet potatoes! Yum!

  34. katrina Elliott says:

    Can you put this in a crock pot and do you have to use fire roasted tomatoes. We do not have the tomatoes here in Germany.

    • No, you don’t have to use the fire roasted ones. :) And yes, I think you could use a crockpot. Just be careful not to over cook the sweet potatoes and black beans – they get mushy once they’ve been sitting in there for a while.

  35. I’m planning on trying this tonight but with tempeh! We don’t eat meat or dairy products but this recipe sounds awesome for the cool fall day(week) we’re having right now in Virginia. I’ll be starting this in about 30 minutes. I can’t wait!

    I’ll be back to rate it once we try it!

  36. Love the Q & A portion of this post! It’s like you are reading my mind.

  37. Hmmmmmm. You had me a the title.

  38. I love a good, unique chili, especially on a cool fall evening… we are about to have a cold front come in here in Dallas… It’s finally going to be a brisk 80 degrees! Fall is in the air!

  39. I just made this for myself and my mum, and she couldn’t stop raving about it!
    My mum says it’s BRILLIANT (her emphasis) so thank you from chilly England.

    I liked tweaking to get the right amount of spice, and combined with the tomato and sweet potato it’s the perfect (but not too heavy) comfort dish.

  40. OH. MY. GOSH. I just made this and it is unbelievably good as in fantastic. Wow…is all I can say. I didn’t have the special tomatoes, used 2 cans of petite diced instead. Then I pulled out my black beans and they said “seasoned black beans”, so I figure it was a wash. It sure does taste great. This is a KEEPER! Thanks, Lindsay!

  41. I just made this yesterday, and loved it! I roasted the chicken vs. poaching it, and used store bought broth, which turned out well. I also added a couple drops of liquid smoke, which was nice, too. Great recipe!

  42. Looks AMAZING :) Can’t wait to try it!!! Thank you :)

  43. I walked by the blue corn tortilla chips few days ago at Fred Meyer store, but now you got me curious so I will have to give them a try with some of your chili :). Great photos as usual, I learned a lot from your site.

  44. Saw this the other day and knew I wanted to try it. Omgoodness this is SO tasty. I could eat this for days. This is my new go to chili. There may not be any left for my husband…lol. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe.

  45. Comforting bowls of steamy yumminess! We made this tonight and loved it. I actually omitted the chicken because we didn’t have any (used canned broth) and added some frozen mixed veggies at the same time as the beans. Next time I might even add one more can of beans or a cup of cooked quinoa to up the protein. It’d also be amazing with ground turkey, chorizo or beef!

  46. Any ideas about how to make this using a crockpot? I would like to try steps 3 and up in a crockpot.

    • SOups usually work well in crockpots but the only thing to be careful about is those sweet potatoes. You don’t want them to get too mushy so they totally disappear! Sorry I can’t give you more exact timing!

  47. How did you get the nutrition facts? It is a nice addition to any recipe post I think. Can’t wait to try this chili. Pinning it now :)

  48. Oh my! This looks delish! I have been hunting for a new chili recipe and I think I found it!

  49. hey! this looks amazing. i don’t have any flax meal in my pantry– could i substitute ground breadcrumbs?

  50. Tasha Mehne says:

    This was super delicious! And easy to prepare! I think I’ll add a little more heat to it next time (just a preference). I cooked more of the liquid out of it and put it on a bed of fluffy, brown rice. Delicious! Thank you!

  51. This looks delicious! I will definitely try it!

    How do you figure out the nutritional information for the recipe?

  52. This was absolutely the BEST chili I’ve ever made! I hardly tasted the jalapeño but that did not bother me. I will be keeping this one around for the coming season!

  53. This is without a doubt the best Chili ever!!! I maybe somewhat partial because I love sweet potatoes but still an incredible Chili! I left out the Flax seed just because I didn’t have any and it’s easy enough to adjust the spiciness for everyone’s palate. Def a 5 star from my husband and me!!!

  54. I found this recipe a while ago (on Pinterest, I think). I finally just made it tonight and am sorry I waited so long. It is wonderful – I had to have seconds!! 😉 I did a quick look around your site and am so glad I found you, it looks like you have tons of great recipes. I’m excited to try some more. Thanks so much for all your work with this blog!

  55. I loved this recipe. We make chili every Sunday during our cold, snowy winters here in Wisconsin. I added a little cinnamon and some corn. This was awesome! Thank you!!

  56. Can’t get the chips – surprise.
    Do I need the flax?
    Can’t get ‘hot’ tomatoes in sauce.
    See how bad my situation is?

  57. We made this for dinner last night and it turned out wonderful! I added 2 jalapeños and it had no spice to us so the only thing we would do differently is a lot more jalapeño other than that it was perfect <3 so glad Pinterest brought me to your blog.

  58. Hey Lindsay nice to meet you and find your blog. This chili looks fantastic, well done! It’s always good to have nutritional information too as a lot of people like having that info.

    Keep up the good work


  59. Just thought you’d appreciate knowing that I made a slightly modified version of your recipe and entered it in a chili contest at my workplace, and out of 8 different chilis, it took first place! :) An award winning chili if there ever was one!

  60. I just made this chili last night (followed the recipe exactly, except for the addition of one yellow bell pepper!) Wow, delicious!! I’ve made probably three or four of your recipes since discovering your blog, and after this one, I will be exploring and making many, many more!

  61. I don’t have a pot large enough to fit this recipe! I do have a crockpot though. Do you know how I would alter the cooking time based on the slow-cooking method?

  62. Rachelle Lasquite says:

    Hi Lindsay, My friend gave high praise for this recipe so I thought I would try it out. It’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing a delicious and healthier alternative for chili!

  63. SO yummy. Made this last night. I went to 4 different supermarkets and couldn’t find fire roasted tomatoes so I ended up just buying crushed tomatoes instead. I think because of this, mine ended up a bit more liquid-y. I added 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa to this that instantly helped make this less liquidy. I also followed someone else’s suggestion of adding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce which was an amazing addition.
    I was worried that poached chicken wouldn’t be tender enough, but once it was cooking in the sauce for a while, it was incredibly flavorful. Next time, (if I have time), I would use pulled chicken from the crockpot, only because I’m lazy and it’s way easier to shred!
    Thanks :)

  64. I’ve made this recipe SO many times–and it’s awesome! However, you’re missing one terribly vital ingredient that I think truly makes it perfect–cumin! Adding cumin elevated it from very good to excellent!

    Next time you make it, throw in some cumin. You won’t regret it!

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