For a slow-cooker chili that's out of the ordinary, pair sweet potatoes with black-eyed peas

For a smoky flavor profile, we added country-style pork ribs, which become meltingly tender in the slow cooker

By America's Test Kitchen

Published January 16, 2021 4:30PM (EST)

 (America's Test Kitchen)
(America's Test Kitchen)

For a slow-cooker chili that was out of the ordinary, we looked for a way to pair sweet potatoes with a Southern staple: earthy black-eyed peas. A spicy, smoky flavor profile seemed like a natural fit for these ingredients, and we added country-style pork ribs, which are lean and become meltingly tender in the slow cooker. A hefty dose of bold aromatics, including chili powder and chipotle chile, ensured that this chili made a statement. And to preserve the bright color and flavor of the chunks of sweet potato, we wrapped them in an insulating foil packet. We stirred in the cilantro at the last minute to maintain its color and fresh flavor. Serve with your favorite chili garnishes.


Recipe: Spicy Pork Chili with Black-Eyed Peas

Serves 6 

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high

Slow cooker size: 4 to 7 quarts


  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1. Combine onions, garlic, chili powder, tomato paste, oil, and chipotle in bowl and microwave, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

2. Process one-third of peas and 1 cup broth in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds; transfer to slow cooker. Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining peas, and remaining 2 cups broth into slow cooker, then stir in pork. Wrap potatoes in foil packet; place packet on top of stew. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.

3. Transfer foil packet to plate. Carefully open packet (watch for steam) and stir potatoes with any accumulated juice into chili. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

America's Test Kitchen

We help curious cooks become confident cooks. (Est. 1993)

MORE FROM America's Test Kitchen

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

America's Test Kitchen Black-eyed Peas Chili Food Game Day Pork Recipe Soups Super Bowl