Simple Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Squash Recipe

Reader Contribution by Jill Nussinow
article image

The timing for this dish depends upon the type of rice you use and how long it takes for the other ingredients to cook and their size. If you have an 8-quart or larger pressure cooker, this will work best. If you have a 6 quart, put in what you can. The arrangement of containers matters too. I am happiest when I can fit in a whole smaller squash, some sweet potatoes and some regular potatoes. If the sweet potatoes are very large, cut them into smaller pieces. You will have plenty of food at the end of cooking.

Adapted from a recipe in The New Fast Food

Beans and Rice

Cooking time: 10 minutes at pressure

Pressure release: natural drop


• 1 cup diced onion
• 1 cup long grain red rice or other rice that takes 10 minutes at pressure
• 1-1/2 cups water or broth
• 1-1/2 cups dry cranberry, pinto, black or kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
• 1 cup water
• 1 3-inch piece of kombu seaweed, optional
• 1 small winter squash, such as delicata, carnival or sweet dumpling
• 1 to 2 medium sweet potatoes
• 2 to 3 small to medium Yukon gold potatoes


1. Sauté the onion in the pressure cooker.

2. Add the rice and the 1-1/2 cups liquid.

3. Put in a rack. On top of the rack, add another heat-proof container.

4. Add the beans, the water and kombu.

5. Put the squash on top of the beans and add the sweet, and regular, potatoes on top and around.

6. Lock the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. When the pressure has released, open the lid, carefully turning it away from you.

7. Carefully remove all the contents with long tongs.

Use the cooked beans in the following chili and serve over the cooked rice.

Simple Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Squash

Since you have already cooked most of the ingredients for the chili, this takes only 2 minutes at pressure with a quick release. Remember that when you use a pressure cooker, it’s a good idea to increase the spices and herbs. Use what you like and leave out what you don’t.

Yield 6 servings.

Cook 2 minutes high pressure with quick pressure release.


• 2 tsp oil, optional
• 1 cup diced onion
• 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 to 1 hot pepper, minced, optional
• 1 to 2 tbsp chili powder, mild or hotter
• 2 to 3 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle chile powder
• 3/4 cup water
• cooked beans from beans and rice recipe which equals 3-1/2 to 4 cups cooked beans
• 1 to 2 cups diced sweet potato and/or squash
• 1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes, of your choice
• salt, if desired
• chopped green onion and cilantro, for garnish


1. Add the oil to the cooker if using. Sauté the onion in the pressure cooker for 1 minute. Add the garlic, hot pepper and spices and sauté 1 more minute. Add the water and stir well so that nothing is stuck on the bottom of the cooker.

2. Add the beans and stir.

3. Add the sweet potato and squash and tomatoes. Do not stir.

4. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure for 2 minutes.

5. When time is up, quick release the pressure.

6. Open the lid, carefully turning it away from you. Give the chili a good stir, adding salt, if desired.

7. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Jill Nussinow, aka The Veggie Queen, is a cooking teacher, registered dietitian and author of three cookbooks: The New Fast Food, Nutrition CHAMPS and The Veggie Queen. Her fourth book, Vegan Under Pressure, is due out at the end of 2015. Nussinow has been teaching people about eating and cooking fresh food for more than 25 years. 

Photo by Fotolia/Fotogal

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Best Blogging Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.

Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368