Camping Food Need Not Be Dull: Sweet Potato Chili


This last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Yosemite with some good friends.  We camped in Crane Flat, a campsite that is about a 30 minute drive from the valley floor and, until recently, was closed due to the Rim Fire.  I was put in charge of food, which was a delight to me!  I love camping food.  It is comforting, hearty, and warm.  After a long day of hiking – which we definitely had – you need a hot meal to revive your body and inspire your spirit.  Camping food can be simple or complex.  It can be cooked over the fire, or on a stove.  I purchased a cast iron skillet – an item that has been on my wishlist for a long time – just to take camping this weekend.  I even used the cast iron to make a pizza over the fire the first night.  Sadly, the pizza was consumed before I thought to take a picture of it!


You can’t forget about gearing up for your hike in the morning.  Carbs and good protein are essential for energy; it doesn’t hurt if it’s delicious as well.  The first morning of our trip, I made a wonderful breakfast bake, very similar the hash that I made a few weeks ago.  For convenience, I used frozen hash browns, and it turned out wonderfully!  It was delicious, especially with some freshly brewed camp coffee.  The second morning, we had some nice pancakes and scrambled eggs with goat cheese!


On Saturday, after our skillet breakfast, my friends and I hiked to the top of Vernal Falls, and beyond.  After this 5-mile hike, which had a total elevation gain of 1,600 feet, chili was the perfect meal to eat back at camp.  Best yet, I had prepped the chili at home, and after we wearily made our way back to camp, all I had to do was heat the chili on the stove and take out my bag of pre-baked corn muffins.  Of course, you can cook at camp, but I found this much easier.

Sweet Potato Chili

2 tbsp. olive oil

one onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bell pepper (I used an orange one from my garden), chopped

3 c. diced sweet potatoes (1/2″ dice)

15 oz. can kidney beans

15 oz. can black beans

22 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 c. vegetable broth

3 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven, adding the olive oil.  Saute the onions, garlic, and bell pepper until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients (make sure to drain the cans of beans) and bring to a boil.  Lower your heat and simmer the chili for at least 30 minutes.  I simmered mine longer and it turned out thick and tasty!

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2 Responses to Camping Food Need Not Be Dull: Sweet Potato Chili

  1. Katharine says:

    Finally got around to making this chili — so delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe.

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