≡ Menu

Vegetarian Chili Recipe with Sweet Potato Black Beans & Farro

This post may include affiliate links, which means I make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support! !

Farro is a favorite in our family! Even our toddler enjoys eating farro. It’s an ancient type of wheat  that’s been popular in Italy for centuries.

Farro has a complex, nutty flavor and, if you purchase the semiperlato or perlato variety, cooks up quickly. Combine it with sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and a few more traditional chili ingredients to create a hearty, protein and fiber-filled vegetarian chili that’s sure to please even the most enthusiastic meat eater.

sweet potato farro vegetarian chili recipeThis vegetarian chili is packed with protein!

When I say this vegetarian chili is protein-packed, I’m don’t mean “for something vegetarian.” One serving has 25 grams of protein! If you garnish your chili with cheese or Greek yogurt (which makes an amazing substitute for sour cream!), you’ll add even more protein.

To make this into a vegan chili, simply leave off the toppings! All of the actual sweet potato chili ingredients are vegan.

Vegatrian Faro ChiliThis chili also has plenty of fiber and leaves you feeling quite full! Plus the sweet potato contrasts amazingly with the (not overly) spicy base. It can also be made ahead or used as part of a meal prep plan…if you can keep from having seconds!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Potato Black Bean Farro Vegetarian Chili
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small/medium onion (yellow or red), chopped fine
  • 1 large sweet potato (or two small/medium ones), cut into ½" chunks
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • very scant ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes (or two smaller cans)
  • 2 15.5 oz cans reduced/no sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow) cut into ½ chunks
  • 1 cup semiperlato or perlato farro
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, plus more to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
Additional garnish ideas
  • Avocado
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Green onions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and sweet potatoes, stir to coat with oil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions start to become translucent and tender.
  3. Open the can of tomatoes but don't drain it.
  4. Add the chili powders, cumin, salt, and cinnamon, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant. This only takes about 30 seconds!
  5. Quickly add the tomatoes with their liquid and stir to prevent the spices from burning.
  6. Stir in beans, bell pepper, farro, and water.
  7. Cover partially, turn heat to medium-high, and bring chili to a simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to low, mostly cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Stir in the frozen corn and simmer, uncovered if needed, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. This should only take an additional 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve and enjoy!


Vegatrian Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Even though the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese we topped the chili with aren’t pictured, they’re an excellent addition to this dish. Avocado is another classic chili topper choice that goes well with this sweet potato and farro chili. They add a bit of fat, which is otherwise lacking, and dairy is soothing to the tongue, which makes it a great complement to spicy dishes. Though, honestly, this chili isn’t especially spicy!  When we keep things moderately tame, it’s easier to hand food over to LG. The only part of this chili I won’t feed her is the corn. She even loves onions! If you prefer really spicy chili, feel free to add more chili powder or cayenne.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Faro Vegetarian Chili

If you’re into vegetarian soups, you’ll probably also like this pinto bean and kale soup!What are your favorite chili garnishes? Have you ever used Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream? If you haven’t, you need to try it!

watercolor luna moth with crystals and the text "Natasha" of The Artisan Life


More Related Posts

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Val November 6, 2018, 11:56

    These recipes sound amazing! My husband would love them too. Great healthy comfort food.

    • Natasha November 7, 2018, 07:23

      Thank you! We certainly enjoy them. I frequently end up having to make a second batch of whatever I want to write about so there’s enough to actually photograph!

  • Julie November 1, 2015, 21:44

    Yums, this looks delicious…! Am going to try it this weekend…!

    • Natashalh November 2, 2015, 10:37

      Thank you! We are planning to make more soon now that this batch is gone.

  • Marieken October 31, 2015, 05:25

    Looks like the perfect dinner for a cold day. I mostly use Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream or creme fraiche. I can almost smell the spices, I need to go and pin this 🙂

    • Natashalh October 31, 2015, 06:17

      Using it instead of creme fraiche sounds like a tasty idea!
      My husband began asking for more chili as soon as he finished off the last of this batch!

  • Paige October 29, 2015, 03:29

    Two things. 🙂

    1. This looks delicious! I was just telling Nate that I wanted to find a new chili recipe, and boom! You post one.

    2. I want to vent about the “cutting carbs” trend because I know you’ll get where I’m coming from. A friend from high school started a fitness/healthy eating group on Facebook and I joined. She’s allllll about cutting carbs to lose weight without really exercising (ugh) and she posts her meal plans everyday. A real example: Eggs and bacon for breakfast, almonds and string cheese for lunch, chicken and broccoli casserole for dinner. And they’re ALL like that. Almost no produce and tons of fat, which, yes, is low carb, but it’s also not healthy. It’s so frustrating to see.

    • Natashalh October 29, 2015, 05:39

      To be fair, I’m always struggling to eat enough fat…but I doubt I would be if that were my meal plan! Yeah, cutting all carbs does lead to a quick, immediate weight loss, but it isn’t sustainable or good for energy levels. As you well know! I’ve actually then thinking about writing a post on the topic. Maybe I will!

  • Duni October 29, 2015, 03:02

    Yes! to carbs 🙂 I need and eat a lot of carbs every day. I get grumpy if I don’t!
    This recipe sounds and looks SO delicious! I have seen Farro here, although I’ve never cooked with it. Your recipe is the perfect incentive to do so 🙂

    • Natashalh October 29, 2015, 05:35

      I’d seen it before, too, but had never made it! It cooks up more quickly than brown rice (when you buy it pearled/semipearled) but has a sort of similar nuttiness. I hope you enjoy discovering a new tasty grain!

  • D. Renée Wilson October 27, 2015, 18:57

    My husband and I are active non-meat eaters in constant search of yummy recipes, so this recipe is getting Pinned!
    I know how you feel about the heat. FL rarely has chili weather, but we pretend. 😉

    • Natashalh October 27, 2015, 19:35

      Florida does get cooler than most of Hawaii, but it also gets hotter! I didn’t realize y’all don’t eat meat – Duni is vegetarian and posts some veg recipes from time to time.

  • Snoskred October 27, 2015, 14:58

    Just last weekend I ended up at the hospital after such an avocado pit incident. I managed to put a knife right through my index finger. Lucky for me, the tetanus shot they gave me hurts much worse than the cut does. 🙂

    Avocado can be wonderful but it can also be dangerous! It is off the menu for the time being here, I was eating one every 2 days.

    • Natashalh October 27, 2015, 16:26

      Oh, eek! That may top by last ridiculous food-related accident. I had to get stitches on my thumb, including through the nail, from a mishap while cutting cake last winter.

  • tasha's mom October 27, 2015, 06:34

    thanks for printing this! I’ll put it on my list for New Years’ – I need a good vegetarian chili for the annual chili party. Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Natashalh October 27, 2015, 16:27

      I’m eating a bowl for supper right now. =)

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.