Chili With Cocoa Powder

February 25, 2024   68 Comments

What is the key to great tasting chili? (cocoa powder) Many would suggest that you put a lot of meat and sausage to make it delicious….

I was a believer in meat until I attended a chili cook-off at a friend’s house. Of course, I was sure I had made the winner, until I tried the host’s chili. Something was different about his recipe and I couldn’t figure out what.

His chili won (argh) and I was flummoxed. I kept after him (calling, knocking on his door, e-mailing) and he FINALLY told me the secret. Cocoa powder.

Yes, a depth of flavor was achieved by adding unsweetened cocoa powder that you find in the baking section of the supermarket. Cocoa powder gives the chili a richness that makes POUNDS of meat unnecessary.

Since my family is trying to save money and eat less meat (my daughter went vegetarian), I decided to cut the ground beef that I add to my chili in half and add more beans. I was shocked to find out that no one noticed!

A couple of my favorite vegetarian standards are my cauliflower potato curry and my vegetarian black bean soup recipe.

This chili includes thirty-four percent of your daily value of iron and 13% of your daily value of calcium. You can keep all the ingredients in your pantry except for the ground beef (which you can keep in your freezer).

This is my dinner that I will make at the end of the week after not having a moment to make it to the grocery store. It is cheap, fast, and delicious and great for a crowd.

We will eat it over rice, pasta, with tortillas or just plain. You can add fresh salsa, avocados, a spoonful of plain yogurt, or anything else you can think of to mix it up.

What is your favorite chili recipe addition?

Chile with Cocoa Powder Recipe

4.0 from
110 reviews

(serves 8)

Print  Pin


1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
3-15 ounce cans different beans (black, kidney, white, pinto, etc.), drained and rinsed
1-28 ounce can plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons good quality chili powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cumin
salt to taste
hot sauce (optional)


Brown ground beef in large sauce pan over medium high heat. When meat is brown, drain off the fat. Pour in tomatoes with their juices, beans and add spices. Heat to a simmer and taste for salt. Cook for about 10 minutes at a low simmer and serve!

Nutrition Facts

For one serving (about 1 cup): 228 calories, 4.4 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 21.2 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g sugar, 24.2 g protein, 7.4 g fiber, 400 mg sodium, 2 Blue, 2 Purple, 3 Green SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

Other posts you might like:


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart