Gigi’s Dark Chocolate Chili

"I love using unexpected ingredients in favorite recipes. I received dark chocolate as a present one Christmas, and decided to try adding some to chili I was making for a family get together. No one guessed my secret ingredient correctly, but everyone loved the dish!"

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

60 mins

Paired With

Main Protein



ground beef 1 lb, 1, 3, 1, 1 14 oz can, 1 15 oz can, 1 15 oz can, 2 cups, 1/4 cup, 2 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, to taste, 1 cup chopped, 2 tablespoons, optional garnish, optional garnish, optional garnish, optional garnish
1 large onion
garlic cloves
bell pepper
diced tomatoes
black beans
kidney beans
beef broth
tomato paste
chili powder
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
dark chocolate
olive oil
shredded cheese
sour cream
chopped green onions



  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped (70% cocoa or higher)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, cilantro


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until softened.

  2. Add ground beef to the pot, cook until browned. Drain excess fat if needed.

  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, kidney beans, and bell pepper.

  4. Pour in the broth and add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

  5. Bring the chili to a simmer and let it cook for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  6. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate, letting it melt into the chili. 

  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If you prefer a spicier chili, you can add more cayenne pepper.

  8. Allow the chili to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to ensure the chocolate is fully incorporated.

  9. Serve the dark chocolate chili hot, garnished with your choice of toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, or cilantro.