Vegan Sweet Potato and 2-Bean Chili With Hominy Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

A vegan black bean and sweet potato chili packed with rich, complex chili flavor.

Note: Masa harina is a dried corn flour used to make tortillas and other corn-based Mexican dishes. It can be found under the brand name Maseca.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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  • 3 whole sweet dried chilies like Costeño, New Mexico, or Choricero, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 small hot dried chilies like Arbol or Cascabel, stems and seeds removed (optional)
  • 3 whole rich fruity dried chilies like Ancho, Mulatto, Negro, or Pasilla, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 quart water or hearty vegan stock
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup orange juice (or 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate)
  • 2 whole chipotle chilies in adobo sauce with 2 tablespoons sauce from can
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon marmite or vegemite (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons corn masa harina (see note)


  1. Place dried chilies in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast, stirring and flipping the chilies occasionally, until pliable, lightly puffed, and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add stock, raisins, and orange juice, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chilies are fully hydrated and tender, about 15 minutes. Drain chilies and raisins, reserving water separately. Transfer chilies to a blender or hand blender cup. Add chipotles and their sauce. Blend until completely smooth.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and poblanos and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and dried oregano and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add puréed chilies, soy sauce, and marmite, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved chili soaking liquid, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, hominy, and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste.

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to lowest heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are fully tender and flavor has developed, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary if chili threatens to scorch.

  4. When cooked, add vodka or bourbon and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and whisk in masa in a slow steady stream until desired thickness is reached. For best results, allow chili to cool and refrigerate for at least one night and up to a week. Reheat to serve.

  5. Serve, garnished with cilantro, chopped onions, scallions, avocado, lime wedges, and warm tortillas as desired.

Special equipment

Blender or hand blender

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