This Sweet Potato Chicken Stew with Black Beans is the ultimate healthy comfort food with so much flavor. This is an easy recipe that can feed a large family or makes amazing leftovers the next day after the flavors meld together.
This recipe was originally developed for Randall Beans, and I am so glad to share it with you here too! Ahh, it’s that time of the year again; cool-weather, blankets, and lots of binge-watching favorite Netflix TV shows. Nothing completes this type of scene more than a bowl of comforting, healthy Sweet Potato Chicken Stew with Black Beans.
What’s the Difference between Soup and Stew?
The main difference between soup and stew is all based on the cook time and amount of liquid.
- Soup mainly focuses on the broth. In fact, in soup, the liquid is very prominent, whether it’s creamy or puree. Just think of the chicken noodle soup grandma used to give you. It was prominently broth with minimal emphasis on chicken or noodles. Soups also cook faster.
- Stew focuses on more significant cuts of ingredients. You still use broth, but that is not the main focus. It takes slightly longer to cook as the flavors simmer or “stews” for a length of time. You can see more examples of stews in my Moroccan Pumpkin Chicken Stew and Ethiopian Chicken Stew recipes.
Healthy and Comforting Ingredients
This black bean sweet potato stew is both healthy and comforting with simple ingredients found in pretty much everywhere.
- Chicken Breast: A universal ingredient that is a lean but very high source of protein. By the way, this soup can also be made with leftover turkey breast too!
- Sweet Potatoes: The orange color of the sweet potato directly links to its rich content of beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A, an essential vitamin. If you love sweet potatoes, here are all my best Sweet Potato Recipes, and you might LOVE my Sweet Potato Chili.
- Black Beans: A healthy complex carbohydrate that is high in fiber. I'm a big fan of beans, here are a few favorite recipes with black beans:
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes: Cooked tomatoes tend to increase the availability of crucial nutrients and antioxidants. Not to mention using prepared fire-roasted tomatoes enhances the flavor of this black bean sweet potato stew and makes for quicker cook time. (These fire-roasted diced tomatoes are the best if you can get them!)
- Dried Spices: Using dried spices in this black bean sweet potato stew saves you time, but you still get amazing flavors (especially the day after)! This recipe uses garlic, cumin, paprika, and dried oregano. If you want to add some spice, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes in this stew!
- Tips for buying spices: Try to find spices that don't have any chemical preservatives added to them. And when buying dried oregano, look for oregano leaf, not dried "whole oregano" - you don't want all the ground up steps, you want just ground up leaves for the most flavor!
- Fresh Parsley: On the opposite end, the flavor benefits you get from adding fresh parsley at the end are incomparable. Fresh parsley takes a few extra seconds to rinse and chop up quickly. Plus, it’s cheaper than dried parsley.
Leftovers and Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
This chicken and black bean soup with sweet potatoes make significant enough portions to feed your family at dinner time and have leftovers for lunch the next day. (I’m telling you it’s even better a day or two afterward!)
The great thing about stews is leftovers allow the flavors to meld together. Here are some additional ways to serve this.
- Add Grains. Pair this sweet potato chicken stew with black beans along with your favorite grain! I adore buckwheat bowls because buckwheat is super quick to cook. So this would make the perfect lunch combination.
- Make a taco or wrap! I don’t know about you, but chicken, sweet potatoes, and black beans with cumin spices and fire-roasted tomatoes sound like a pretty good taco combination to me! Just fish out some of the ingredients, add the wrap, avocado slices, and a little cheese, and you are good to go.
- Eat as a “Taco Style” Stew. As mentioned, this sweet potato chicken stew is better the day after so you can eat it as is BUT jazz it up with your favorite taco toppings like added tortilla chips, guacamole, fresh scallion onions, etc. Feel free to get creative!
Looking for more healthy comfort food recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- Vegan sausage Zuppa Toscana
- Ethiopian Chicken Stew - spicy, warming, flavorful
- Sweet Potato Leek Soup - a healthier take on the classic Potato Leek Soup. Silky smooth, rich-tasting, healthy, and delicious
- Kale and White Bean Soup - a light and vegan soup full of good-for-you ingredients
- Sausage & Kidney Bean Soup with veggies
- Lentil Butternut Squash Soup with toasted garlicky pita wedges
- Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetarian Grits with Roasted Cajun Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, and Kale
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Sweet Potato Chicken Stew with Black Beans
- Large skillet
- 2 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika (or use chili powder or cayenne pepper for spice!)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 sweet potato chopped into ½ inch pieces (about 2-2.5 cups chopped sweet potato, from about 1 large (12 oz) sweet potato
- 2 14-oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely diced (from ½ - 1 bunch, flat leaf or curly parsley)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the chicken in the preheated
skillet, and allow to cook on high heat undisturbed for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip the chicken and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Move the chicken to one side of the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Add 1 more ablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion and celery. Sauté the onion and celery for about 3 minutes, or until they start to sweat.
- Add the garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, and dried oregano (½ teaspoon each), and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat. The chicken breasts will not be fully cooked yet, that's OK!
- Carefully transfer the chicken breasts, onion, and celery to a 4-5 quart soup pot. Add 3 cups of chicken stock and can of diced tomatoes (with the liquid). Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use tongs to carefully remove the chicken breasts onto a large plate or cutting board. Use forks to shred the chicken.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the pot. Add the diced sweet potato and drained black beans. Stir, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
- Stir in fresh parsley, season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and remove from heat. Serve hot with fresh bread for dipping.