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Black Bean Cocoa Chili

I love writing and creating in the kitchen, especially chili, curry, stews, fruit and vegetable purees, coffee beverages, and smoothies.


Delicious and Satisfying

On a cold winter night, you need a hot, comforting, and filling meal. This chili will light up your taste buds, nourish you, and warm you.

What makes this particular chili special is its smoky-sweet depth, accented with sweet red peppers, and flavored with cocoa and bourbon. The complexity of flavors in this chili will make it a hit with your guests. Also it is quick and easy to prepare, and it's a very forgiving recipe if you are new to cooking.

Basket of garlic cloves

Basket of garlic cloves

Sweet red bell peppers

Sweet red bell peppers

Fresh picked tomatoes

Fresh picked tomatoes


  • 2 lbs. ground beef pork or turkey
  • 1 Vidalia onion (or other low-sulfur sweet onion), chopped
  • 1 sweet bell red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. chipotle powder
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 oz. bourbon (I prefer Knob Creek Smoked Maple)
  • 1 (16-oz) can black beans (optional)
  • 16 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 oz. Louisiana hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco brand)
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  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add a drizzle of oil when the pot is hot.
  2. Saute the onion and red pepper until browned.
  3. Add the meat and stir it in.
  4. Stir in the minced garlic. Add the black beans, cocoa, and bourbon.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer until meat is thoroughly cooked, and onions and tomatoes are tender.
  6. Add spices and hot sauce. Stir in thoroughly and allow to simmer for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Notes:

I prefer to add the spices toward the end of cooking. This allows the flavors to blend, but keeps the spice flavors bright and vibrant.

Serving suggestion

Serve with a crusty, buttered bread, chunks of room-temperature sharp cheddar, and either a bitter pale ale or Shiraz

Loaves of fresh baked bread

Loaves of fresh baked bread

© 2019 David A Porter

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