Chipotle Chocolate Chili

Okay, for any of you who have been reading for awhile, you’ll know that I have uber-picky eaters at my house, namely my husband and my son. So imagine my surprise when I made this Chipotle Chocolate Chili for the first time last year and both of them ate it up. Willingly. And then they had more. And then my husband told me that this was THE chili recipe he’d been longing for the whole time we’d been married. So imagine his surprise when I told him that this was no ordinary chili–there’s a rather unusual ingredient that you’d think would be gross, but it adds a depth and complexity to the flavor of the chili that makes it taste as though it’s been simmering all day. Luckily for you, it’s more like 30-40 minutes. Which is totally doable. The super-secret ingredient? Unsweetened chocolate. Wait! Come back! Have we led you astray yet? I didn’t think so. Hear me out…

 The bones of this recipe come from Cooking Light. However, the consensus of the online reviews were that there was waaaay too much chocolate in the chili–they felt it tasted muddy and bitter. So when I made it, I kept that in mind. And then I started tasting and adding and simmering and adding some more. Until I got it right. And it’s so, so right.
I’m betting there are some chili cook offs in your future, so give this twist on an old classic a shot! And don’t be afraid to change things according to your personal tastes–that’s part of the magic of chili!

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and ground turkey until meat is cooked through.

Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Add the tomatoes, beans,

and beef broth.

Add all of the chipotle sauce from a small can of chipotle chilies.
Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until thickened as desired (I like it about 30-40 minutes). If desired, add some chopped chipotle chilies. Add 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Chop or grate 1/2 ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate
 and add a little at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili. This is where you can play around a little with the flavors.
When thickened and seasoned as desired, serve with chopped onions or green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
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Chipotle Chocolate Chili

  • Author: kate jones
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14-.5 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chilies)
  • 1/2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, grated or chopped
  • 34 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Sour cream, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and ground turkey until meat is cooked through.

Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Add the tomatoes, beans, and beef broth.

Add all of the chipotle sauce from a small can of chipotle chilies. Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until thickened as desired (I like it about 30-40 minutes). If desired, add some chopped chipotle chilies. Add 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Chop or grate 1/2 ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate and add a little at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili. This is where you can play around a little with the flavors.
When thickened and seasoned as desired, serve with chopped onions or green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 244kcal
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Sodium: 1188mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

68 comments

  1. Yes, I also could not find Chipotle Chilis and didn't know that you could use the sauce from chipotle peppers until I came home and read the comments to this recipe. I live in Utah and went to FIVE stores before I found a small can of chipotle sauce (at Smiths). I am excited to make this tonight!!

  2. I'll admit, I was skeptical…Chocolate? Chipotle?And I was proven wrong. This recipe was so amazing, I don't know what else to say, other than YES! YES! Perfect. Can't wait to have the one and only cup of leftover chili for lunch tomorrow!

  3. Oh My Gosh!! Delicious! I would definitely make this for a cook off. I used ground beef (because that's what I had on hand.) I also couldn't find same chipotle salsa showed in photo. I used chipotle in adobe sauce. It was pretty thick but I got as much sauce as I could to come out. Everyone loved it. I served it in bread bowls and a green salad on the side! My only complaint is that I didn't make a double batch!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! for this site.

  4. So i made this halloween night for dinner and i so dont know what i did wrong but mine came out way spicy hot. our mouths were on fire. any suggestions? also the only change i made is switchin out the ground turkey for ground beef instead. and i also was only able to get the chipotles in adobo. (do you think that did it?) Thanks!!

  5. I went looking for the Chipotle salsa you pictured here and only could find Chipotle peppers in Adobo. I'm guessing this is not the same thing. What aisle are you finding your sauce on? I looked in the Mexican Food section.

  6. Just made this tonight and it was really good! My husband said it’s a keeper. It will definitely have to replace my usual chili recipe. Thanks!

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