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Black Bean Chili With Chocolate & Coconut

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A few weeks ago, I had the honor of judging my first chili cook-off with my friend Cassie (from Bake Your Day). And while it was a blast, I have one piece of advice for anyone who ever judges:

Take small bites! Oh my goodness.

I don’t know if I have ever been so full in my life. But at least the chili was fantastic! Amongst the many creative recipes that night was a vegetarian chili served with chocolate chips and toasted coconut. (You can also make this vegan with dark chocolate chips.)  I have always loved adding a little cocoa powder into my chili for depth, but the extra cocoa, chocolate chips and sweet coconut on top took this to a whole new level. Brilliant flavor combination, especially with some smoky chipotles mixed into the chili. Slightly sweet, but still oh-so-savory.

So here is my attempt to recreate it homemade! I thought it turned out pretty well. I opted to let mine cook on the stovetop for about 2 hours, but next time I think I will throw it in the slow cooker and save a step. Either way, this is a great one!

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Black Bean Chili with Chocolate and Coconut

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


A smoky black bean vegetarian (or vegan) chili, accented with sweet chocolate and coconut!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup good-quality chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (use dark chocolate cocoa for vegan version)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 13 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo, to taste
  • toppings: chocolate chips and additional toasted coconut flakes


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add in chili powder and cumin cook for an additional 3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the water, black beans, green chiles, coconut flakes, unsweetened cocoa powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer for about 2 hours or until the beans are mostly tender.
  2. Add in the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce by teaspoons until it reaches your desired taste. Season with salt and pepper, and add an additional 1/2 cup or more of water if needed. Then return to heat for a final 30 minutes or until the beans are fully-cooked. If you would like a smoother soup, feel free to use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree. Otherwise, serve as-is with toppings.


To make this in the slow cooker, just add all ingredients (minus the toppings) and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender.  Serve with toppings.



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36 comments on “Black Bean Chili With Chocolate & Coconut”

  1. What a unique chili idea! Love it!

  2. You guys must have had such a fun time judging a chili cook-off!

    I love that you recreated one of the dishes and this sounds really amazing, I love the addition of coconut. So interesting!

  3. This is totally unique! Great idea!

  4. LOVE it!! i think i will try it with dark chocolate. sounds insanely good!!!!

  5. This looks incredible. Thanks for the vegan tip, too! Going to try to make this soon!

  6. fascinating! it’s been a while since i’ve tried a unique chili. i’m not always a fan of sweet & savoury in a dish that’s ‘supposed to be’ savoury, but this one just sounds too intriguing not to try.

  7. What an interesting combination. How fun to be a judge :)


  8. I love the black bean twist on this. Well-done! And yes – small bites, definitely a must. :-)

  9. Interesting – I am up for trying any dinner that I can top with chocolate chips!

  10. Chocolate in chili?! Where do I sign up?!

  11. Chocolate and coconut chili… I am so intrigued! Gotta try this soon.

  12. This looks AMAZING! Might make it tonight. However, I wonder…if I have canned black beans, how many cans do I need, and would that reduce the simmer time? Let me know!

  13. What broth? Confused…..

  14. Hey I tried it. It was very tasty very good. Thanks

  15. Sorry, we did not like how this turned out. The chocolate and chile powder were a bad combo or just too much of each and nothing to make it even a little sweet.