This award-winning Spicy Chocolate Chili is going to become your new favorite chili recipe!
Any time I hear the word “chocolate,” my ears perk up. My tastebuds stand alert. I can almost smell the chocolate, just by thinking about it.
But chocolate in chili? That sounds a little absurd, right? Not so, my friends. Not so.
When we talk about chocolate in chili, we are not talking about throwing a sweet candy bar into the pot. We’re talking about using unsweetened cocoa powder. What this does is make your chili flavors deep, rich, and complex. Kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch. (Don’t you just love his voice?) So yeah–you could call this the Benedict Cumberbatch Chili Recipe.
I like a little spice in my chili, so this recipe also uses chipotle sauce. If you’ve never tried chipoltle sauce, now is your chance! You’ll need to buy a can of chipoltle in adobo sauce. It’s spicy and smoky and imparts a wonderful flavor you can’t get any other way. You can find it in the section of the grocery store with the Mexican food items.
This chili won a chili cookoff at my church, so you know it’s fantastic. Because church chili cookoffs are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to judging chili.
You can use any type of meat you like. Ground hamburger or turkey, chicken or pork. In the pictures here you can see that I used some cubed pork that I cut up from a pork roast. Or you can leave the meat out and go vegetarian.
As the weather gets cooler, you’re going to want this recipe in your wheelhouse. It is perfectly warm, rich, and spicy, with just a hint of sweetness. Add some of these super yummy Black Pepper Biscuits or some cornbread on the side with honey, and you will be in heaven. Only one thing would make this scenario better. Watching Benedict Cumberbatch in Dr. Strange. (It’s on Netflix! You can totally watch it while you’re eating dinner :))
This recipe adapted from Chipoltle Chocolate Chili from the book Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen. Click on the link or picture to order from Amazon.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground turkey, beef, or pork. Or one pound cooked, cubed chicken, pork, or beef.
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups beef broth
- Chipoltle sauce (from a 7 oz. can of chipoltle chilis)
- 3-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Extra water to thin if desired
- If your meat needs to be cooked, then heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the ground beef, turkey, or pork. (If using ground beef, you don't need to use the olive oil, as the beef has enough fat on its own).
- Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute with the meat. (If using pre-cooked meat, just saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper by themselves in the olive oil).
- Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, beans, and beef broth. Add all the sauce from the can of chipoltle chilis.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened. (About 30-40 minutes). Add more water if desired.
- Stir in 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar. Taste the chili and add more vinegar if desired.
- Serve with chopped green onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream if desired.