Three-Bean Chili


Deliciously smoky and spicy, this is the perfect bowl of comfort for a cold, winter night. My secret ingredient is the cacao. This superfood brings a sweet depth and balances out the spice just right. Plus it adds a good dose of powerful antioxidants. Who says chocolate must be saved for dessert? You can opt out of the veggie crumbles or trade in for ground turkey or beef. To each their own! They would all work well in this recipe. 

Three-Bean Chili

{Yield: 8-10}

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

sea salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chipotle powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp smoked black pepper

1 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp tomato paste

splash red wine

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 (28-oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilis

1 package veggie protein crumbles (I like Smart Ground brand)

1-2 cups vegetable broth

Optional toppings: dairy-free sour cream, cheddar, avocado slices, fresh cilantro


Heat a few tablespoons olive oil with a pinch of red pepper flakes on medium heat in a big heavy pot. Add onion, peppers and garlic, season with salt and sauté until translucent.

Add spices and cacao, season with a little more salt. Stir in the tomato paste. Once ingredients start to stick, add a good splash of wine to deglaze the pan, scraping down all of the bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in the veggie crumbles and mix well.

You may have to add in a bit of liquid here. If necessary, add 1-2 cups water or vegetable stock to the pot until it looks like the consistency you like your chili. Simmer for an hour or so and season with more spice and salt to taste, if necessary.

Serve with dairy-free sour cream and fresh cilantro!

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