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. Made this last night to use up some chipotles I had opened. My husband was incredibly skeptical when I told him I was using a “new” chili recipe because he regularly requests my “regular” chili. As soon as he took a couple of bites he said this should be my new “regular” chili recipe. Delish & thanks!

  2. This is Cincinnati Style Chili! I live in Cincinnati, so I can get it on every corner – i’m sure it’s slightly different than what you’ve made here but here you either love Skyline or Goldstar – one has chocolate, the other has cinnamon! DEE-LISH!!

  3. I decided to try this chili a couple of weeks ago and I thought it came out great. But the best compliment I got on it was just when my sister — who normally hates chili — told me she kept thinking about how good it was and asked if I would make it again!

    1. Jamie, I tweaked it so much that I don’t think the original CL nutritional info will be relevant at all. There are lots of sites that calculate nutrtional info, though–try googling spark people recipes.

  4. Does anyone know how big a can of diced tomatoes to use? I only have giant cans in my grocery store, but the pic doesn't look that big.

  5. Made this last night (minus the chipotle sauce) and ohhmygoodness!!! I normally stay away from ANYTHING with ANY kind of bean… but this was absolutely incredible!!! Best comfort food ever!!

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