Nightshade Free Sweet Potato + White Bean Chili

I remember the last time I had chili vividly. The Steelers were playing in Super Bowl XLIII. We were at a friends for the feast game.

I had been munching on spicy red pepper hummus. Devouring fresh bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. And eating more than my fair share of potato chips. And had a heaping bowl of a spicy vegetarian chili. I also remember ending the night flat on my back and in tears due to the most intense back pain I have ever experienced. And having yet another migraine flare-up.

I only found out later that the pain (back and head) was triggered by the food I had eaten. And that they all happened to be in the nightshade family (white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika…).

That was the last time I had chili.

But I still thought about chili. Particularly when it got cold. And wanted to be able to enjoy it again. But, how? The main ingredients were all things that I couldn’t eat.

It was time to do a little research. Time to get creative. And, frankly, time to put chili back on the menu.

We served ours with a side of savory corn bread a la Fran Costigan and the More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts.


Sweet Potato + White Bean Chili (Nightshade Free)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Emily Levenson |


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2-3 carrots chopped
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 can northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannelloni beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a medium to large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in carrots and sweet potatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in oregano, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir in beans and broth; bring to a simmer.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  7. Serve.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, and Corn Free.

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Written by

Emily Levenson is learning to trust her gut all over again. She is committed to listening to AND following the nuggets of wisdom her gut has been dishing out for decades. You can follow Emily's journey here on the blog, through the Nourish + Flourish podcast, and through her posts on Instagram.

20 comments / Add your comment below

  1. just came across your blog! you have some great insight on your posts! i can’t wait to see what you come up with next! that looks so great!

  2. Emily, so sorry you felt awful — I would freak out if I couldn’t tolerate eggplant (i love it!). This alternative chili sounds wonderful though! Good job altering it around your food allergies; that must be tough.

  3. This was excellent. Just made it for lunch today. I was wondering where you added the flour? I put it in when you added the spices. Just curious as I noticed it was mentioned in the directions. Thanks for sharing and thanks to my wonderful for pointing me to your blog!

  4. I have to say, your blog has been a God Send! I’ve had to cut nightshades, yeast, diary and gluten from my diet. The yeast and the nightshades are the hardest, as I was already gluten and dairy free for years. What touched me most in this entry was your description of the effects of the nightshades on you. I suffered from flair ups off and on for years before they set in and would not let up. Most days I couldn’t turn my head to look left or right. I used to race my bike on an amateur level, but even short works outs would lay me out for week and I could no longer ride. For over a year I suffered trying PT, MRI’s, chiro, massage, steroid patches. While they offered short temporary relief, nothing would rid my body of the inflammation that had set up camp. It wasn’t until I did an elimination diet and cut out nightshades and yeast along with a big yeast cleanse that it all started to settle down. I miss so many foods, but the effects are just not worth the pain of the flare ups. I too have been missing chili. I can’t wait to give this one a try! Thank you!

    1. What an inspiring story! And kudos to you for figuring out what was going on. It can be a frustrating and lonely journey, but it sounds to me like you’ve come out on the other side.

      Hope you enjoy the chili. 🙂

    1. As someone who has personally dealt with a sensitivity to Nightshades (and tested others for food sensitivities), I have done extensive research on what is included in this food group and what is not.

      And cumin is not.

      If you want a list of foods that ARE considered to be part of the Nightshade family, here is a good resource from LIVESTRONG.

    1. Jan – because this is a nightshade free “chili” there are no chili peppers or chili powder (both are part of the nightshade family). All of the other spices and ingredients are consistent with other nightshade laden white chilis.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Megan: just realized I never responded to your question. I would think freezing it would be just fine. The potatoes may not taste as fresh, but we have frozen other chilis with a lot of success.

  5. My boyfriend is allergic to nightshades so I am always on the lookout for good nightshade free recipes. If you have more I would love to know!

  6. Thanks for the great inspiration! My husband has recently discovered a sensitivity to nightshades and I’m on the hunt for new recipes. I increased the soup for my family of 7 – used a 2 lb bag of white beans, which I soaked and cooked, a butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes (because I had it on hand), and added some cooked chicken. Everyone loved it!

  7. I love this recipe, passed it along to a friend who also loves it and cooks it regularly. I have started adding parsnips and kale and have also added cooked chicken in the past. The parsnips add a really nice flavor. I love that it’s so easy to tweak it a little. Am also really grateful for your allergy-filtered recipes, as someone with Graves disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism) and is gluten-free and avoids nightshades as much as possible.

  8. I’m having a hard time finding any broth that is nightshade free, they all list spices as an ingredient. Can you help me?

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