This Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans is simple, hearty, healthy, and cheap. It tastes amazing, and is one of the highest rated recipes on Bowl of Delicious! It’s simply seasoned to allow the main ingredients to be the stars. It’s a 30-minute, one-pot, gluten-free, grain-free recipe that is sure to please the whole family, and it’s PACKED with healthy nutrients!
In fact, this chicken stew recipe is so packed with healthy, nutritious ingredients that you can easily omit either the beans or the chicken to make it paleo/whole30 compliant or vegetarian/vegan.
The secret ingredient that makes this taste so good is smoked paprika. It gives the soup a slightly smoky flavor (which goes insanely well with the sweetness of the potatoes) and makes it taste like it’s been cooking for hours.
The stew isn’t spicy, but you can add some cayenne pepper to it if you want. Besides a bit of fresh parsley thrown in at the end, there aren’t any other spices besides salt and pepper, making the taste of the chicken, sweet potatoes, and black beans really shine through.
And it’s thickened by mashing the sweet potatoes and beans up just a bit, meaning you don’t need to worry about adding any other ingredients, like flour or cornstarch, to thicken it to that hearty stew-like consistency.
What makes this chicken stew so healthy?
Chicken, sweet potatoes, and black beans… have I mentioned how HEALTHY and nutrient-packed these three ingredients are? Let’s take a look:
- Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, all of the B vitamins, and has a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Did you know just a 4 oz. portion of chicken breast is 70% of your daily value in protein? There are also so many options- a skinless breast has the least amount of fat, but is pricier, whereas a skin-on thigh has the most, but is cheaper.
- Sweet potatoes are ridiculously high in vitamin A with 214% of your daily value per a 1-cup serving, which is great for bone growth, eyesight, reproductive health, and immune system health. Their orange color makes them high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, similarly to carrots, which is absorbed better when sweet potatoes are eaten simultaneously with fat (the olive oil in this recipe alone is enough for this benefit). And let’s not forget- their sweetness and texture makes them absolutely DELICIOUS!
- Black beans are high in folate and fiber, and provide key support for your digestive health. They’re also a high source of plant protein and iron, which makes them key in any plant-based diet. Plus, they’re SO inexpensive!
How to make Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
Just sauté some onions in oil in a large pot, then add stock, tomatoes, black beans, and sweet potatoes, mash up a bit, and add some cooked chicken! It’s SO easy.
- First, sauté some diced onions in olive oil. If you want, you can add some garlic, but I like this particular recipe without it. I sometimes use butter or even chicken fat for this part instead of olive oil. You want to soften the onions and let them brown just a bit- this is best to do over medium-high heat for a few minutes.
- Then, add some chicken stock (homemade chicken stock is the best!). Or, if you’re making a vegan/vegetarian sweet potato and black bean stew, add some vegetable stock.
- Add some tomatoes, black beans, and smoked paprika and bring to a boil. I like using diced, fire-roasted tomatoes (they’re super flavorful). And make sure you drain and rinse your canned black beans.
- Next, add the sweet potatoes and simmer. I usually peel them, but you can leave the peels on if you want even more nutrition and fiber. I recommend cutting them into approximately 1″ pieces, but the bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook. If you want to cut down on cooking time, dice them smaller.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, mash the stew up a bit to thicken it. Don’t go crazy- you want it to be thick, but you also want some of the beans and sweet potatoes to be intact. I used a potato masher for this, but you can use an immersion blender to give it a few quick pulses if you prefer.
- Then, just stir some cooked chicken and fresh parsley in and let it heat up a bit! You’re done!
Can I use raw chicken instead of cooked?
Absolutely! I love using leftover cooked chicken, such as from a rotisserie from the grocery store, from roasting a whole chicken in my dutch oven, poached chicken breasts, or from leftover roasted chicken thighs.
But if you don’t have cooked chicken available, you can use raw chicken without getting another pan dirty!
Just add about 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or boneless, skinless thighs, for a cheaper option) to the stew when you add the sweet potatoes. Allow it to cook for about 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are cooked AND the chicken is completely cooked through.
Then, remove the chicken and shred apart with two forks, and place it back into the stew. Easy peasy!
How to make it in your slow cooker
It’s easy to make this chicken stew in your slow cooker. Just add everything EXCEPT the beans, chicken, and parsley to your crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Then mash it up a bit, and add the beans, chicken, and parsley in, and allow everything to heat up for a few more minutes.
Other tips and tricks
- This chicken stew freezes beautifully in an airtight container or bag for up to 6 months. When defrosting and reheating, you may want to add a little bit of water or some more chicken broth since it will be extra thick.
- This meal is already very inexpensive to make, but if you want to make this meal go even further, serve it over a grain like brown rice or quinoa. This is also great if you’re making it for a crowd.
Other recipes with chicken stews and soups
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
- Green Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
Other black bean and sweet potato recipes
- Quick and Easy Black Beans and Rice
- Spicy Quinoa and Black Beans
- Maple and Rosemary Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- Smoky Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Blue Cheese
Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
- Large pot
- Potato Masher
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cups chicken stock/broth
- 15 oz. canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 15 oz. canned black beans or 1.5 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 sweet potatoes diced into 1" pieces (about 4 cups total)
- 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken such as rotisserie
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
- Saute the onion in olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a large pot over medium high heat until soft (2-3 minutes)
- Add the chicken broth (4 cups), canned tomatoes (15 oz.), drained/rinsed black beans (15 oz.), smoked paprika (1 teaspoon), salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and add the sweet potatoes. Simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes (depending on how small you cut them).
- Turn the heat off and add the chicken (2 cups) and parsley (2 tablespoons). Stir and allow to sit for a minute or so to make sure the chicken gets warmed through.
- Serve hot garnished with extra fresh parsley.
- To make this Paleo/whole30 compliant, omit the beans.
- To make this vegetarian/vegan, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
- For a little spiciness, add a little bit of cayenne pepper with the smoked paprika.
- Freeze in an airtight container or bag for up to 6 months.
- If you don't already have cooked chicken, poach raw chicken with the sweet potatoes in the soup for about 20 minutes, until completely cooked. Remove and shred with two forks and add back to the stew.
- Money saving tip: To make this meal go even further, serve it over a grain like brown rice or quinoa.
- Slow cooker instructions: add everything except the black beans, chicken, and parsley, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. Then mash, and add the drained and rinsed beans and chicken and parsley, and let it heat up for a few minutes until all ingredients are warmed through.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
This post first appeared on Bowl of Delicious in September, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and more relevant information, along with improved recipe directions.