In many traditional chili recipes, cocoa powder is added as a secret ingredient of sorts. It doesn’t dominate the senses – it actually may go undetectable – and is instead there to offer an earthy, rounded flavor to a dish that is made to comfort, warm, and cuddle the senses. And this vegan chocolate chili recipe is the perfect comfort meal, serving as a bridge between you and pure, chocolatey bliss.
It’s not chocolate that we are adding to this recipe – it’s cocoa powder. So this chili is not going to turn out sweet like a chocolate chip cookie. But it does include sweet potato and corn, which will add sweetness to each bite. It also packs a good amount of zest and spice, so prepare your palate for a multifaceted experience.
This chocolate chili is vegan and relies on an abundance of sweet potato and vegetables to fill in for ground meat. The result is a meal that’ll lift the spirits and soothe the soul. Enjoy!
Vegan Chocolate Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 cups thawed corn kernels
- 5 cups diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces cooked red kidney beans
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Juice of one lime
- Avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish
In a pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, cumin, and coriander. Stir and cook for about one minute, or until it emits aroma. Add in the onions and salt. Cook the mixture until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook while stirring for another minute.
Add in the cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle, black pepper, cloves, cayenne, and oregano. Stir until well combined. Then, add in the remaining ingredients, except for the maple syrup and lime. Stir well.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook on medium-low for 20-25 minutes, or until the sweet potato cubes are tender. Pour in both the maple syrup and lime. Stir once again.
Serve the chocolate chili in bowls and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley and a few slices of avocado.