Cocoa Bean Chili

February 2, 2018

Classic Chili with a kick from cocoa powder! While the cocoa powder won’t make your chili taste like chocolate, it does add awesome depth of flavor in this Cocoa Bean Chili.

Can you name the secret ingredient?

I’m crazy for just a hint of cocoa powder in my chili! I love what it does to the flavor profile and my kids fully embrace “chocolate cooking” in the kitchen – once they realized you can sneak a bit of cocoa or chocolate into savory recipes, they can’t stop themselves. This would actually be a really fun game to play with family at your dinner table…see if they can guess the secret ingredient without naming it.  

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop with Chili

I can’t seem to quit chili this winter! While it’s still a hard sell as “meal” for my husband Robby…I love a hearty chili with slightly sweet cornbread served on the side. My kids are bean lovers, so this is a great option for them as well. I snuck in some cocoa powder and cinnamon for a slightly different flavor profile – we’re already gearing up for a chocolate crazed Valentine’s Day celebration next week with this Cocoa Bean Chili on the menu!

Heart-y Cornbread

If you’re looking to really lean into the Valentine’s Day holiday, consider investing in a heart shaped baking pan to make these perfectly lovable cornbread companions to your chili dinner. I also use this same pan to make my conversation heart krispie treats. The sweet + savory options with a pan like this are endless. I’m excited to do quiche in it this weekend.


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Cocoa Bean Chili

  • Author: kelsey nixon
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth or stock
  • 3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed & drained


  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Sour cream


Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add coriander and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; breaking up with back of spoon, brown until no longer pink. Stir in chili powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt. Add tomatoes and stir in tomato sauce and beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)


Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with toppings.

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