Rainbow Chili – The Ultimate Veggie Chili

March 9, 2018 , In: Eat, Recipes , With: No Comments

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.

“She’s into football, she likes my chili.” -John Anderson

Spring is soon to be sprung and in DC, “spring” weather has begun. The weather here is a strange thing. In the last week, we had a few days in the mid 60’s, one in the mid 70’s, and a 2-day windstorm that knocked the temperature down to the low 40’s. It also knocked our power out for 65 hours. And now, as I’m writing this… it’s snowing. WTH!?

hour 36... things are getting chiliDealing with just about three full days of a cold house with no power was rough… Especially for someone who loves to cook! And one of the worst parts… if you’ve been following along, you shouldn’t be surprised that the fridge was full of four different mac and cheeses. With no way to warm them up during the power outage, I could not save them from the rising temperature of the fridge. But I was hungry!

The good news is I have a gas stovetop! Even without electricity, lighting the stove is possible and it truly saved my spirit. No power meant no hot water to shower in, so I went old school and heated a huge stockpot of water to make myself a bath. But between the hot bath, fire in the fireplace, and layers of clothing, it was still cold. I needed some chili to warm my soul.

look at all those veggies! #ultimate

The Cure for a “Chili” Soul

I’ve been making this chili for years. From football/Super Bowl parties, housewarmings, winter, and family dinners my Rainbow Chili is always a hit! I call it “Rainbow” chili because it has a little bit of (almost) every color in it.

  • Red: Bell Pepper and Tomatoes
  • Orange: Sweet Potato
  • Yellow: Bell Pepper and Corn
  • Green: Poblano Pepper and Avocado (optional)
  • Purple-ish: Black Beans and Kidney Beans

I know what you’re thinking… “Sweet Potatoes?! In chili??” Yes. 10000% YES! They are the perfect addition to this hearty chili. Personally, I’m a fan of chili that has a bit of a spicy kick. But the addition of sweet potatoes helps to mellow out the heat.

A Special Thin Blue Line Thank You

I want to send a special little shout-out to the wonderful men and women at the Boone Co. Sheriff’s Office. I made a huge pot of this chili last month but wasn’t going to be able to finish it before I went out of town. So I sent it to the office in hopes of warming their souls during a pretty cold winter. To my surprise, they sent back raving reviews. And, if you needed any more convincing on the sweet potatoes… There is one deputy who hates sweet potatoes, but after trying this chili he said it was now the only way he would eat them! After trying the chili, a few deputies even asked for the recipe, and so, here it is! And, because you don’t get it enough, “Thank you!” to all the LEOs out there.

Rainbow Chili

Yield: 10-12 servings

Rainbow Chili


  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like your chili)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2- 2 1/2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • diced avocado (for garnish/topping)


  1. In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, saute the chopped vegetables in one to two tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
  2. Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about two hours, stirring occasionally. Towards the end of the cooking time, add in the frozen corn and stir to combine. Continue to heat until the corn is warmed through.
  3. While it simmers for 2 hours the sweet potatoes will soften and the chili will thicken.
  4. Serve topped with diced avocado or your favorite chili toppings.
There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment.

Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

Sign up for a little extra inspiration to live your best life