Chocolate really does make everything better – even chili. I realized this quite accidentally while on a road trip to Phoenix last month with my friend Libby. Since then, I’ve made this chili twice and, I am ashamed to say it, but I never shared the recipe. Terrible, I know… but the truth is this chili has gotten me through a very busy couple of months. My mom called me today to report she inherited a bag of quinoa from the neighbors (who doesn’t like quinoa?) and couldn’t find this recipe on the blog’s new recipe page. Well, now you know why. All I can say is good things come to those who wait… Nagging a little helps too, though.
If you’ve never put chocolate in your chili, I dare you to try. If your tastebuds are anything like mine -small and pink- they’ll never want chili any other way.
Adapted from two peas & their pod
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 butternut squash, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
- 2 bell peppers, you pick the colors
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons chili powder, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or 3-4 small squares unsweetened bakers chocolate, to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Topping ideas: avocado slices, cheese, Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and tortilla chips
In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed (15-20 minutes) and set aside. (If you have a rice cooker, use that instead.) In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, cooking for 5 minutes. Next, add the onion and bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño and zucchini. Cook 5 more minutes (~15 minutes total) until vegetables are tender. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder/bakers chocolate, salt, and black pepper. Heat through and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Freeze leftovers for a quick, healthy & delicious meal on a busy night.
This is fantastic. It’s hands down my fav veggie chili/stew. I’ve given up on frozen butternut squash and find the fresh too hard to fuss with, so I’ve subbed sweet potatoes. Still perfect. I also found a ’round’ of Taza chipotle chocolate and used it with wonderful results.
Thank you for sharing this!
So happy you like it! Sweet potatoes are a great sub for butternut squash. I often use them when I don’t have the time or patience for squash either.
What’s up mates, how is everything, and what you wish for to say about this article,
in my view its truly awesome for me.
would this be good in the slow cooker?
Sounds delicious. But at what point do you add the bell peppers listed among the ingredients?
I’d personally throw them in with the onion. (that’s normally what I do with other recipes.) Can’t wait to try this recipe.
With the onion, like @disqus_k:disqus I’ll update the recipe – thanks for catching that!
Oh my goodness!!!! This is the second one of your recipes I have tried. When I first told my wife about it, she had plenty of reservations. “Quinoa? Chocolate? Blech!” she said. Tonight, however, she couldn’t stop raving about how hearty, life-giving, and delicious this dish is. Thank you so much for sharing such goodness. I look forward to continuing to read your recipes.
My babysister made these quark chilipepper brownies last week and it tased way better than I’d expected. So I’ll definitialy try this recipy as well! Hot and chocolate is just so briljantly tastefull!
Mmmm! Love chocolate in chili, also you should give coffee a try! My last batch had chocolate, chili powder and coffee and it was awesome, the flavours got even better over a few days of leftovers.
I’m going to have to take your word for it about adding chocolate to chili! haha I actually on recently started eating it, and it’s such a nice comfort food :) I guess, in that regard, it would make sense for chocolate and chili to go together!
Not a big fan of the “sweeter” veggies like butternut squash. Just replace it with another veggie of my choosing or some ground turkey, right? I MUST try this. Just made chili the other night too!
I LOVE quinoa chili but have never actually tried chocolate in a main course recipe before! This is an awesome idea :)
This looks SO good. My boyfriend is a chili addict, but I have to avoid it because of beans + digestive issues. This seems like a great alternative…. looking forward to trying it :)
I love chocolate and I love quinoa. I MUST try this out. Thanks for sharing!
Love your blog, Anna! Subscribing to it now :) Thanks for saying hi!
Chocolate is such an interesting twist on a regular chili recipe. I would have never thought to do this. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I loooove this!! I love the use of chocolate in savory dishes. Ok, let’s face it, I just like an excuse to add chocolate to any meal. ;)
OH.MY!!! I am soooo making this! I think we’ve got at least 2 more months of “soup/chili weather” ahead.
This recipe is definitely going on my “to cook” list. I’ve been meaning to try adding cocoa powder to chili because I’ve heard great things.
Two Peas & Their Pod inspired me to put quinoa in my chili too :) My favorite secret ingredient to put in my chili is usually beer, but chocolate sounds waaaay more fun!