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Healthy Green Kitchen Black Bean Chili with Chocolate
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I’ve been making Black Bean Chili With Chocolate for years, but for some reason, I never got around to posting it here on the blog.

I personally don’t give a hoot about football, but I know lots of you out there feel differently; I figured I’d post the chili now because if you’re planning your game day festivities and you’re looking for a vegetarian dish, you might want to add this to your menu.

black bean chili

In the past, I’ve made a similar vegetarian chili in my slow cooker, and that recipe is great if you like to get dinner started in the morning and have it ready without any additional fuss later in the day. The chili you see here relies on pantry staples and not much else, however, and can be ready in less than an hour if you make it in a pot on the stove, so I think I’ll keep making it this way from now on.

You can brown 1 pound of organic grass-fed turkey or beef and add it along with the beans, if you like, but my family prefers vegetarian chili, so I didn’t include the meat this time. The cocoa powder and the dark chocolate added at the end result in a rich and somewhat mysterious flavor that I really like; If you don’t fancy the idea of chili with chocolate, just leave it out.

One last note: I believe it is healthier to use soaked dried beans than it is to used canned ones, but I rarely seem to remember to soak mine the night before. If you’re on top of that sort of thing, please do use soaked and pre-cooked dried beans here.

black bean chili

Recipe for Black Bean Chili with Chocolate

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
*3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
*3 carrots, peeled and chopped
*3 stalks celery, chopped
*1 hot red or green chili pepper, minced
*two 25 oz. cans organic black beans (or use kidney beans), with liquid
*one 28 oz. can organic ground, peeled tomatoes
*3 tablespoons chili powder
*1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1 tablespoon organic, fair-trade, unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 tablespoons 60-70% dark chocolate, preferably organic and fair-trade, grated- optional


1. Heat olive oil over a medium flame in a large soup pot. Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic and sauté for another minute.

2. Add carrots, celery, and hot chile to the pot along with the beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir well, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat and mix in the cocoa powder and optional grated chocolate. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, before serving.

4. Serve as is, or topped with garnishes such as shredded cheddar cheese, minced green onions, minced cilantro, diced avocado, fresh salsa, and/or sour cream.

vegan black bean chili

More delicious looking chili recipes:

Chipotle Chocolate Vegetarian Chili from What Would Cathy Eat
Turkey Pumpkin Chili from Cara’s Cravings
Vegan Chili from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Everything Chili from Eclectic Recipes
Vegan Lentil Chili from Kalyn’s Kitchen


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  1. 1

    Cara — February 1, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Thanks for the link! Your chili looks fantastic, I just pinned it :) Ironically, I was actually searching for some unsweetened chocolate to add to my last batch of Turkey Pumpkin Chili, but I was all out!

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

      I bet chocolate would be awesome in yours, too!

  2. 2

    Cathy — February 1, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    YUM! I’ve been looking for a chili recipe that Dennis might eat, and this is just perfection. Thank you! Coming right up.

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

      Let me know if you make it, Cathy!

  3. 3

    Bev Weidner — February 1, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    Look. At. This.

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:35 pm


  4. 4

    foodwanderings — February 1, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Ooh with chocolate. I bet it gives it another diomension. love chili especially during the winter though you would never know it feels like spring in Dc right now.:)

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

      I know…yesterday and the days before were truly spring-like :)

  5. 5

    Kathryn — February 1, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    What a lovely dark, rich chilli.

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

      Thanks Kathryn :)

  6. 6

    Jessica @ How Sweet — February 1, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    I adore the sound of this.

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

      Aw, thanks Jessica!

  7. 7

    Anna @ the shady pine — February 1, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    I think I had something similar in a Brizillian restaurant some time ago and it was delicious and I would not have know where to start to make something like this. I love that it has chocolate in it :)

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      And the great thing is that no one can really tell it has chocolate in it…it just tastes really good.

  8. 8

    Cassie — February 1, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

    This is so perfect. I bet the chocolate is such a great compliment to the spice of the chili, can’t wait to try it!

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      Thanks so much Cassie, and for your tweet, as well!

  9. 9

    michelle — February 1, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    This chili sounds fantastic! I don’t give a hoot about the Super Bowl either but chili is the perfect treat for sitting with those who do!

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

      Haha you got it.

  10. 10

    El — February 2, 2012 @ 12:30 am

    I love the idea about introducing chocolate into the dish. Brilliant.

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

      Thank you. Blushing :)

  11. 11

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 2, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    I love the rich flavor that chocolate adds to chili… This sounds great!

    • Winnie replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

      Thanks Jen! Wish we could share a bowl :)

  12. 12

    Paula — February 2, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    Well! For me this is another first…chocolate in chili. I don’t watch football (I blog and tweet while my husband watches the games). He’ll be glued to the t.v. throughout the Superbowl this weekend. I know I’d score one amazing touch-down if I surprised him with this chili for dinner :)

  13. 13

    Cathy @ What Would Cathy Eat? — February 2, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. This is on my agenda for the weekend. Yay!

  14. 14

    wellness coach — February 3, 2012 @ 4:05 am

    This looks incredible!! I am a HUGE black bean fan, and all vegan chili is good in my opinion, but if you add chocolate…that takes things to another level!!

  15. 15

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  16. 16

    Jeanette — February 3, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    Winnie, this chili looks fantastic, such a rich deep flavored sounding vegetarian chili!

  17. 17

    Oui, Chef — February 4, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    This looks so rich and flavorful, adding chocolate is such a bold and great idea.

  18. 18

    Cathy — February 5, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    Lovely chili, super easy to pull together and deeply flavored. Thank you Winnie!

  19. 19

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    Rocky Shimaoka — July 8, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

    Vegetarianism can be adopted for different reasons. Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with the concept of animal rights. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic or economic.”*^*

    My own, personal blog

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