Sweet Potato Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

The transition from winter to spring around here tends to be a lot like riding a prop plane through a wind storm. It's abrupt, uncomfortable, and jerks you from one degree to another before you have time to catch your breath. I came home this evening a bit late, really cold, and in need of something delicious for dinner. The farm share delivery this week included sweet potatoes and kale. With a bit of creativity, and a little research, we whipped up this delicious pressure cooker meal.


If you've never used a pressure cooker before, it can be a bit intimidating. However, the reward far outweighs any concern you can dream up. I vividly recall the days of pressure canning with mom when we were children. It was basically terrifying. Rattling on the stove, "stay back, girls!", she would warn. Ah! So when my MIL got me this pressure cooker for Valentine's Day, I was equally intrigued and fighting flashbacks. Fortunately, these new things are well equipped with a mess of safety features. Pressure cooking is also quite different than pressure canning and shouldn't be confused. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a good resource for that topic.


This delightful meal took about 20 minutes from start to finish. It was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, making for a lovely punctuation to a very cold day.

20 Minute Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Three Bean Chili


  1. 1 Sweet potato, diced into chunks
  2. 3-4 Kale leaves, gently torn into small pieces
  3. 2 cans of tri-blend beans, we used Simple Truth Organic—drained and rinsed
  4. 1 can of black beans, same brand—drained and rinsed
  5. 2 cans of no-salt diced tomatoes, same brand—drained and rinsed
  6. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne more or less depending on your spice desires
  9. 1 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  11. 1 tablespoon dried cilantro I prefer fresh if it's in season
  12. 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  13. 1 tablespoon unfiltered olive oil
  14. 1/2 cup water


  • Add onions and sweet potatoes, along with 1 tablespoon of unfiltered olive oil to the pressure cooker. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion is translucent
  • Add all spices, beans, and tomatoes and stir to combine
  • Add 1/2 cup water, or a bit more if it appears too thick (do not exceed max cooker capacity)
  • Set your lid to locked
  • Turn pressure knob to pressure mode
  • Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes*
  • When timer goes off and your machine indicates to do so, release the pressure. DO NOT turn the pressure release valve with your fingers, use a long spoon or other tool.
  • When all pressure is released and the red valve has dropped, remove the lid.
  • Stir in the kale and serve with blue corn chips, cornbread, or other toppings of your choice.

*This recipe is based on the understanding of Cuisinart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker instructions may vary and it is your responsibility to understand how to operate your machine safely and effectively.