Holly's Famous Chocolate Chili

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“This is my own recipe and I have been asked so many times for it and I am a bit tired typing it out again and again that I am finally getting it posted here so all I have to do is share the link. I have never measured the ingredients in this, but I am getting good at estimating amounts. Make sure you taste yours at the end and adjust accordingly.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 medium carrots, small dice
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 1 medium onion, preferably sweet, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes (you can also use crushed or chopped tomatoes if you prefer that texture)
  • 14 12 ounces tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces black beans, with liquid (you can actually use any beans you like. I generally use black beans or sometimes a combo of black b)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef) (optional)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 -3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 -2 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1-2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 teaspoon cocoa, plus 1-2 teaspoons sugar)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Finely dice of chop carrots, celery, and onion. I use a little hand cranked food chopper/salsa maker for this job. Put the veggies and the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute until onions are translucent and getting limp.
  2. Add the tomatoes, bean, and tomato paste. Stir to combine well.
  3. Add the spices and chocolate (and sugar if using cocoa).
  4. Add the meat (the mixture should not be very hot yet. Just add these items one after the other). Stir to break up the meat. The more you stir, the finer the texture of the meat will be. If you want it a bit chunkier, don't stir as much. OR leave the meat out. This recipe makes a great vegetarian chili.
  5. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When you check the chili, make sure it is plenty hot and that the meat is cooked before tasting. Look at your chili and taste it. Adjust seasonings to your liking. If the mixture looks too "beany", I might add some more tomatoes, tomato sauce, or a bit of ketchup. If it looks too "tomatoey", I might add another can of beans or adjust the seasonings. You should not be able to taste the chocolate. The chocolate does add depth to the flavor, but without necessarily tasting like chocolate. So if you feel the flavor is not deep or complex enough, try adding a bit more. And of course -- cumin and chili powder if necessary. As I said -- I have never measured the ingredients for this, but it always turns out great.
  6. Let your chili cook more for better flavor, but if you are in a hurry, it's perfectly fine to eat it now. I usually take the lid off the pot and let it simmer down for another 20 minutes though so that it is a bit thicker.
  7. We eat this as is or with any number of toppings and sides such as; cornbread, corn chips, multigrain crackers, saltines, cheese, diced onion, avocado or guacamole, or sour cream -- perfect consistency for a chili dog too. Enjoy!

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