This Sweet Potato Chicken Chili is full of veggies, tender chicken and a super flavorful broth. Healthy and delicious. Comes together in 30 minutes!
Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
I don’t love chili.
I know it’s engraved in our brains and bellies that chili is the be-all and end-all when it comes to inaugural fall foods and game day but honestly, I prefer a hot bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, some hearty Thai ramen or even just a simple bowl of five ingredient butternut squash bisque.
White versions of chili are much more my style since they’re typically packed with beans and veggies, some sort of poultry and are generally lighter. The flavors aren’t as pronounced and heavy as a typical chili, which leaves me plenty of room for seconds. And cornbread. Because chili can’t be consumed without cornbread. And honey butter. And flaky sea salt.
So admittedly maybe it’s not that I don’t like chili per se, it’s simply beef-based soups aren’t my number one choice when it comes to soup, and it’s why today’s Creamy Corn & Sweet Potato Chicken Chili is so up my alley.
Inspiration for Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
Here the heavy hand of corn is inspired by my trip with the Kansas Corn Tour (you can read my first post here), where we were fed an obscene amount of corn (In the best way possible), both figuratively and physically. While we learned that only 1% of corn harvested in the US is meant for human consumption, we still ate corn in some way, shape or form in almost every meal we shared.
I think these days sweet corn gets a bad rap when it comes to nutrition,but I found out it has the same amount of calories as an apple, and less than a quarter of the sugar. Also it’s loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin which aid in healthy vision – who knew?
The last night after we wrapped up our tour, we ate a wonderful meal at a farm-to-table restaurant where the starter was a show stopping corn chowder. It was super creamy, surprisingly light, and almost didn’t leave me enough room for my perfectly cooked filet that arrived shortly after. Almost.
The soup was the perfect starter, which obviously left me wanting to recreate it at home. Because my intentions were to serve this as a main course as opposed to an appetizer, I wanted my version to be a little bit more filling. I also wanted it feel light at the same time so a variation on white chicken chili was the perfect compromise.
Ingredients in Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
- diced onion and garlic. as most soups do.
- sweet potatoes
- spices: Cumin, dried oregano and plenty of salt. Crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t have picky kiddos. Cayenne pepper works also!
- canned white beans
- canned diced green chiles
- shredded chicken – we like to cook ours but you could use a rotisserie chicken
- chicken stock (low sodium!)
How to make Creamy Corn & Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
- Add olive oil to the bottom of a large dutch oven or stock pot. Heat over a medium flame. Throw in onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sweat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, sweet potato, another 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin and oregano. Sweat another 2-3 minutes until the sweet potatoes begin to soften.
- Mix in white beans, green chiles, shredded chicken, remaining salt and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until beans start to soften and butternut squash is fork-tender.
- Stir in cream cheese, stir until melted. I like to use a wooden spoon to break it up and help it melt faster.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Don’t forget the toppings!
Each bowl is served with a dollop of sour cream, plenty of shredded pepper jack cheese and chopped cilantro. You could also use shredded cheddar, or even mozzarella if you want to keep the fat low, but still have that cheesy factor. I also love to serve this with a side of cornbread! And obviously, corn chips or saltine crackers are perfect as well.
Totally my kind of chili. And hopefully yours as well.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Whenever I use white beans in a soup, I like to use a potato masher or fork to break them up a little bit before adding them in. Not only does it add an element of texture that I love, but it helps to thicken up the soup. Totally up to you though.
- Swap out your favorite beans for the white beans – black beans, red beans or pintos will work great.
- Use butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes
- Use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken
Other fall soups and stews
This is a little spicy, a little sweet and irresistibly delicious. Coconut Curry Wonton Soup.
This Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup is a favorite of ours and perfect when you want something classic and comforting. This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is packed with chicken, veggies and a creamy broth. Spicy and addictive!
Pretty things/Tools Used in Today’s Post
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 2 medium jalapeños, finely diced
- 2 medium bell peppers (any kind), chopped
- 2 cups diced sweet potato
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1- 14.5 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 oz canned diced green chiles
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 3 oz light cream cheese
- sour cream, pepperjack cheese and cilantro for serving
- Dutch oven
- Add pancetta to a large dutch oven or similar sturdy pot. Turn the heat on medium-high. Render the fat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta. Leave the fat.
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper, I typically use 1 teaspoon per pound of meat. Add the chicken to the pot with the pancetta fat, do not overcrowd the pan so the chicken can sear. If needed, work in two batches. Sear the chicken until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes on the first side, 2-3 on the other. The chicken tender should easily release from the pan when it is properly seared. Do not worry about cooking it through, it will finish cooking in the chili. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add onion, peppers, jalapenos and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sweat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, sweet potato, another 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Sweat another 2-3 minutes until the sweet potatoes begin to soften.
- Add white beans, green chiles, reserved pancetta, seared chicken (with accumulated juices), remaining salt, chicken stock, and corn. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until beans start to soften, sweet potatoes are fork-tender and chicken is cooked through. I like to simmer for another 20-25 minutes if time allows. Season with salt and pepper. Use two forks to find the chicken tenders and shred as much or as little as you want. I like it to be mostly shredded so the soup gets nice and thick.
- Turn the heat down to low and add cream cheese, stir until melted. I like to use a wooden spoon to break it up and help it melt faster. Season to taste with salt and pepper one last time. Serve with shredded pepper jack, sour cream and chopped cilantro.
Thank you so much to Kansas Corn for sponsoring this post!