Chocolate Chip Week: Vegetarian Chocolate Chili


Welcome to Chocolate Chip Week!

(Before I begin, thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes yesterday! I had a fantastic birthday with plenty of chocolate 🙂 .)

If you recall, during an Ingredient Week I feature a single ingredient used in wildly different ways. This week’s suggestion comes from Samantha (thanks!). Since I’m starting halfway through the week, I’ll throw in a bonus chocolate chip recipe next week.

Previous Ingredient Weeks:
Ricotta cheese

Chocolate chips present a unique challenge. Compared to ricotta and pumpkin, savory dishes with chocolate chips don’t jump out at me and scream “MAKE ME!”. Seriously. The pumpkin scared the bejeezus out of me when it did that. As I promised to include both sweet and savory recipes for each ingredient, well — I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE!!

The chocolate chips of choice:

Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips, bought in bulk from Costco. Unlike with Pumpkin Week, I will not be showing you an empty container at the end of the week. That would be a lot of chocolate.

I wanted to kick off Chocolate Chip Week with a savory recipe, but I didn’t want to go with the ol’ standby recipe (a mole with chocolate in it). So …

Creamy Vegetarian Chocolate Chili:






The bittersweet chocolate chips add a wonderful layer of richness to this cold weather staple. I used the Santa Maria pinquito bean from Rancho Gordo for this recipe, which is a thick-skinned little bean with a lot of “bite”. I topped my chili portion with my favorite cheese: sage cheddar from Sugarbush Farm (almost out!).

Creamy Vegetarian Chocolate Chili

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 20 min (not including soak)

  Keywords: entree side soup/stew vegetarian vegan chocolate

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • 2-12 to 15 oz. cans or boxes crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz. small dried beans (such as navy or pinquito) or 2-15 oz. cans beans
  • 1.5 oz. chocolate chips


If using dried beans, cover with water and leave to soak overnight. One hour before cooking, heat beans and water to boiling (adding more water if needed) and boil for five minutes. Cover, set aside, and let stand for an hour.

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat and saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper for 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes, water, beans, and chocolate, and heat through. Add salt to taste.

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Q: What’s your favorite dish to make with chocolate?

P.S. By request, I’ve made yesterday’s post into a pinnable version.


  1. I’ve never had chili with chocolate in it, but being a chocolate lover I bet I’d love it!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog…I plan to explore yours, too. 🙂

  2. Hey – thanks for commenting on my blog so that I could find yours! This chili looks great – the flavors remind me of skyline chili which uses cocoa and cinnamon. It’s definitely a unique taste. I like it!

  3. Looks amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever used chocolate in a savory dish, unless Nesquik cereal counts as a savory dish. Maybe not. Anyway, I love chili, and chocolate chili must be even better 🙂

  4. Oh yum, I love it when cinnamon and chocolate go into savory dishes! It reminds me of my grandma, who was Italian, who used to add cinnamon to her lasagna. And then of course the chocolate reminds me of Cincinnati chili!My favorite.

  5. Thanks for cooking with our Pinquito beans. I love them and I think they work great in chili. Yours sounds super!

    1. That looks delicious! Eggplant and chocolate is not a combination I ever would have dreamed of.

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