Vegetarian Chocolate Chili

Vegetarian Chocolate Chili

  • Prep:
  • Cook Time:
  • Total:
  • Serving: Makes 6 servings

Make this vegetarian chocolate chili recipe when you need a hearty and flavorful vegetarian dish. Even meat eaters will think this is delicious.


  • 2 medium dried ancho chiles, rinsed, patted dry, split lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, rinsed, patted dry, split lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 zucchini and/or yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cubed
  • 3/4 pound kale, stems, ribs discarded, leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, shaved or grated
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained, rinsed


  1. Cook chile peppers flat in a skillet on both sides over medium heat until just tender, about 30 seconds. Cut into small pieces. (Be sure to turn the fan on over the stove and don’t breathe the vapors rising up from the skillet.)
  2. Combine chile peppers and cumin seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and process until finely ground. A mortar and pestle can be used as well. Combine chile mixture with oregano, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot and saute onions unto softened. Mix in garlic and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chile mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add zucchini or squash and kale and cook 5 minutes, covered. Stir in orange zest, sugar, chocolate, tomatoes and juice, and water.
  4. Place lid on pot and cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring chili often. When vegetables are cooked through, add beans and cook another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, if needed. Serve warm.


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