Sweet Potato Lentil Chili with Cinnamon Sour Cream by Chef Michael Smith

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total time: 40 Minutes

Servings: 6

This chili is packed full of so much meaty flavour and complementary vegetable protein that you’ll never notice it doesn’t actually contain any meat! It does contain lots of hearty, bright southwestern flavour and it will easily become one of your favourites.

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Recipe by

Chef Michael Smith

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    For the Chili

    A big splash (30 mL) of vegetable oil

    1 large onion, chopped

    1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and chopped

    8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) of chili powder

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) of cumin seeds

    1 tsp (15 mL) of dried oregano

    1 28-oz can (796 mL) of whole tomatoes

    2 19-oz cans (540 mL) of lentils, drained and rinsed or 2 cups (500 mL) of cooked green lentils

    1 chipotle pepper, packed in adobo sauce, minced

    1 sweet potato, peeled and finely diced

    ½ tsp (2 mL) of salt

    2 cups (500 mL) of fresh or frozen edamame (optional)

    2 green onions, thinly sliced

    A handful of tender cilantro sprigs

    For the Topping

    ½ cup (125 mL) of sour cream

    1 tsp (5 mL) or so of cinnamon


  1. Splash the oil into your soup pot over medium-high heat. Toss in onions, pepper, and garlic and sauté, stirring and jumping frequently, five minutes or so. Stir in chili powder, cumin seeds, and oregano. Continue cooking and stirring until the spices heat through and become fragrant, just a minute or two. Stir in the lentils and tomatoes, taking a moment to break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add sweet potatoes, chipotle pepper, and salt. Bring the works to a boil then reduce the heat, adjusting so the liquid is just barely simmering. Continue cooking and simmering, stirring frequently, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili thickens, about 15 minutes.
  2. Top with a large dollop of the sour cream topping, a tangle of cilantro and a sprinkling of green onions.

© Chef Michael Smith