Cocoa-Infused Three Bean Chili

I might not be a sports fan, but this year I will celebrate the big game the same way as millions of football fans…

With a big bowl of steaming chili topped with diced avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt!

Before those of you who know me gasp at the thought of me cheering on the Giants and Patriots, let me explain.  This year the super bowl happened to coincide with a big snowstorm in Denver.

SNOW + Super Bowl= Great excuse for a good pot of Chili

Cocoa-infused Three Bean Chili


  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 cups water or tomato juice
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced (I used 1 serrano and 1 jalapeno)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped ripe avocados for garnish (optional, but delicious)
  • non-fat plain Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
  • Other optional toppings include grated sharp cheddar, cooked plain macaroni noodles, corn, cilantro, chopped tomato


Place a large stock pot over medium-low heat.  Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring frequently. 

note: I know you’ll want to add oil with the onions, but trust me that they will cook fine in the dry pot– I promise!  Just stir every few minutes and keep the heat low.

While the onions are cooking, chop the rest of the veggies and drain and rinse the beans.

After the onions have become translucent, add the remaining vegetables, the seasonings and the liquids.  Hold off on adding the water– you can add that later if the chili is too thick for your tastes.

Cover pot and bring soup to a boil.  Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes to 2 hrs, testing it after a half hour or so and adjusting the seasonings as needed.  Also adjust to desired thickness at this point by adding water or tomato juice.

(the longer you let the soup cook, the more the flavors will meld together)

Garnish with toppings and serve hot with tortillas or corn bread (a good beer doesn’t hurt either)!

Based on Nava Atlas’ chili recipe from her cook book, Vegan Holiday Kitchen


2 Comments to “Cocoa-Infused Three Bean Chili”

  1. This looks so yummy, I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Holy Mole! It was delicioso! Thanks for the recipe. I made it for a chilly-evening chili dinner party and it got rave reviews!

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