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Vegetarian Chili Recipe with Sweet Potato Black Beans & Farro

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. This recipe uses faro to make a hearty vegetarian chili with plenty of protein and flavor!

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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 Chili

This 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!

Yield: 4

Sweet Potato Black Bean Farro Vegetarian Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Farro Vegetarian Chili
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small/medium onion (yellow or red), chopped fine
  • 1 large sweet potato (or two small/medium ones), cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • very scant 1/8 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 1/2 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


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • 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.
  • Open the can of tomatoes but don't drain it.
  • Add the chili powders, cumin, salt, and cinnamon, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant. This only takes about 30 seconds!
  • Quickly add the tomatoes with their liquid and stir to prevent the spices from burning.
  • Stir in beans, bell pepper, farro, and water.
  • Cover partially, turn heat to medium-high, and bring chili to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low, mostly cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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

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    { 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.

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