Cocoa Black Bean Chili with Roasted Potatoes

Cocoa Black Bean Chili with Roasted Potatoes

Today I am combining 2 of my favorite things....cocoa and chili. I'm sure most ofย  you have seen chili with chocolate in it before, I know I have. I have always wanted to make my own version and I finally got around to it. This is super easy and of course, just 8 ingredients. When I'm not stuffing my face with this Mexican Chili, this is a wonderful variation of chili.

I chose to go with black beans in the chili instead of traditional red beans, because I figured the black beans would enhance the cocoa and vice versa. Kind of like the whole black bean brownie craze, but in chili form.

Since sweetness compliments bitter flavors, corn is added to compliment the cocoa. This chili is incredibly easy, just basic ingredients and the whole meal comes together in less than 1 hour.

To take this chili to the next level and set it apart from traditional chili recipes, I added roasted potatoes on top. This chili has it all. It is healthy, hearty, nearly fat-free and lots of good protein. You know, because people never think there is protein in plant-based foods, which is crazy. There is nearly 19 g protein in a serving of this chili!

Oh yeah baby. You may have noticed I like to do that a lot in my soup recipes. There is just something about having something roasted and crispy on top of smooth soups/chilis that make them irresistible. Also, you know by now that potatoes are my favorite food.

If you're wondering if you can taste the cocoa, no you can't. It makes the chili more flavorful and have a richer flavor, but you can't technically taste the cocoa. My hubby had no clue it was in there, he just LOVED the chili.

Then, of course, you have to add chopped avocado and red pepper flakes, am I right?

I'll be anxiously awaiting to hear what you think of this cocoa black bean chili. Drop me a line below after you make it, I truly love hearing the feedback! You can also tag me on Instagram at #thevegan8, without that tag I will likely miss it!

Serves 5

Cocoa Black Bean Chili with Roasted Potatoes

One of the best chilis I've had and yet it is so simple with only 8 ingredients. This cocoa chili has a wonderful deep flavor, without you knowing that it is the actual cocoa. Serve this to your family and they will love it! It is healthy, hearty, filling and nearly fat-free.

15 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

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  • 8 small red potatoes (560 g) chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the chili
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped white onion (200 g, 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (mine was huge, so use 2 if yours are small)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt (you may need more if your tomato sauce has no salt)
  • 1 cup tomato puree/sauce (mine has salt added)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (increase to 2 for really spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (for a smoky flavor if desired)
  • 3 15 oz cans salt-free black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (135 g, I used frozen)
  • Optional toppings: chopped avocado, red pepper flakes, tomatoes


  1. Preheat an oven to 415 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Chop your potatoes and spread out on the pan evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until very golden brown.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the chili. Add the onion, bell pepper, water and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to medium-high and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cocoa powder and smoked paprika (if using) and turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the drained beans and corn, raise the heat back to medium and cook another 5 minutes. Taste and add any salt/spices if necessary.
  6. Garnish with avocado, red pepper flakes or anything you like. Serve immediately.


  1. Oooh, this looks lovely! Been proper into Mexican food as of late and love to include chocolate in some form in basically any meal, being an addict, so I reckon this dish is right up my street:D Plus I’ve got tonnes of dry black beans kicking around that really need soacking and using up. Anything you’d sub for the corn if you had to? It’s the only ingredient here I tend never to really buy.


      Hi Shonalika! I’m a chocolate addict too, haha! I would just add another red bell pepper or even a green bell pepper. The corn is sweet, which goes really well in the chili, so an extra bell pepper would be the best choice since they get sweeter when cooked! Let me know if you try it!

  2. Love the corn, love the paprika, love the black bean, love the avocado. We made chili last weekend when it snowed here and had it for three days. I so wished that I’d had some ripe avocados for it. What a gorgeous, healthy dinner and aren’t red pepper flakes such a perfect spice? We buy big bags of whole peppers and grind them in the blender. They just make my stomach sing!


      Thank you Angela! I could live off of chili, really! I love peppers too girl!

  3. This recipe looks good… I was looking at the nutrition information, and it say’s 54 grams of fat… I think this an error… I hope… lol


      Hi Chuck! Oh, no it says .54 g fat….haha! It has the period before the 54. Yes, 54 g fat would be scary huh?!

  4. Looks SO good, Brandi! Especially with those roasted taters on top – what a yummy combo!


      Thanks so much sweet Annie!

  5. Jen

    Get in my belly!!! I love cocoa in chili. The addition of the corn and roasted potato look seriously amazing. Pretty soon I’m going to need a Pinterest board dedicated to your recipes! Pinning and planning on making this this weekend!


      Jen-thank you so much! Please let me know if you try it! Did you ever try the fudge?? You said you were going to try it, so I was curious!

  6. Really delicious chili, adding chocolate gives such a rich deep flavor. I also agree about adding a garnish, it does take to a whole new level. Beautifully done Brandi.


      Thank you so much Suzanne for your kind words!

  7. Made this on a dreary rainy day- and it came out wonderful. Super easy and great flavor. Loved the potato on top! Thanks for sharing!


      Wonderful Gina! I appreciate the feedback so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Brandi, I was intrigued with the idea of Cocoa in this chili, I had to try it! This recipe is truly easy! I loved the flavors and the ease of preparation. Another winner recipe, Brandi!!!!


      Thank you so much Paula! I’m so happy you loved it, I saw your wonderful feedback and photo on Instagram as well, thank you so much for making it and leaving feedback!

  9. Thank you thank you Brandi! I’ve been sick this weekend and needed a recipe that is full of flavor yet easy to do and uses basic ingredients as I couldn’t go to a grocery store. I had to sub the topping potatoes to pearled spelt and the avocado to cherry toms but it worked and the taste was incredible! Next time I have to make sure I have the potatoes because I can imagine they would make the chili even more perfect! Anyways I loved the chili so delicious – the cocoa in it is genious! I will definetely use this as a base for mexican soups!YUM!


      Thank you so much Milla! I’m so happy you loved the chili so much! So sorry you are sick, but I’m happy this soup was easy to make for you and you enjoyed it so much!

  10. This chili looks SO delicious and FLAVORFUL, Brandi! The roasted potatoes are absolutely genius. I LOVE the flavor of roasted anything in soups. And I love the hot pepper flakes you have sprinkled on top – it looks so pretty in contrast with the avocado! YUM!


      Aww thanks Ceara! You KNOW my obsession with potatoes, lol! I do this a lot with soups, adding crispy potatoes as “croutons” on top of my soups, several of my recipes have them, but this was my first time doing it with chili and OH BOY, we all were in heaven. Even my little 3 year old devoured her whole bowl!

  11. You and I are twins when it comes to the crispy and soft combo!! I love all my food that way and totally do this with soups too!! Love that you used potatoes as croutons!! Looks delicious and if it weren’t 90 degrees and I wasn’t 10 months preggo this would be my go to dinner! LOL! Great recipe! Crispy lovers unite!


      Omg girl I just saw this message! Thank you so much! Crispy potatoes make every soup and chili better I tell ya!!

  12. This sounds so good Brandi! I love black bean chili, and the addition of cocoa and potatoes is so intriguing. It reminds me of the book In the Age of Love and Chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚


      Thank you so much Linda! I haven’t heard of that book before, but it sounds amazing!

  13. It’s me again! I do have to say, that your blog has been one of the best things to hit my eyes!! I am LOVING everything that I have cooked… including this cocoa chili! I have made your other chili before, and this one is just as amazing but offers a little extra somethin’ to it! For some reason, the potatoes took almost 30 minutes to brown up for me, but I didn’t mind. I am have shared many of your recipes, including this one, with friends and I’m sure they will find each dish just as lovely as I did!


      Awww you are so sweet and truly made my day Reagan!! Thank you! I’m thrilled you are enjoying so many of my recipes and thank you for your support and spreading the word! Ovens can vary and you may have just simply cut your potatoes slightly larger than mine, which would take them a bit longer to cook, the smaller the faster they cook, but no biggie, since they eventually cooked, haha! Thanks again for the feedback, I really truly appreciate it.

  14. Omg your a genius! ! I made this three times already this week and we all gobbled it down! Scrumptious! !!


      I’m so happy to hear that Tiff! Thank you so much for letting me know!!

  15. I just made this for dinner tonight and it is fantastic! Thank you for another excellent recipe!


      That’s so awesome to hear, thank you so much Chauncey for letting me know! It is one of my favorite recipes!

  16. […] out of 8 ingredients or less. It’s all perfectly possible! You get to eat dishes like this: cacao black bean chili. I wouldn’t say no to that! I have been looking forward to making and having chili so it was […]

  17. I rarely use the same recipe more than once as there are hundreds of recipes I want to try.. BUT! This one is a keeper – so delicious and full of flavor!! And the potatoes add the perfect final touch yum! I am in love with this recipe, thank you Brandi โ™ฅ


      Oh Milla, that makes me super happy to hear that! I’m so thrilled that one of my recipes is one that you wanted to make more than once! Thank you so much and for sharing your photo on IG! xx

  18. Yes, it is just the beginning of fall and I am already making this delicious chili! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can’t go wrong with beans, corn, and chocolate. We tried it the first time with the potatoes and it was lovely. I just finished making a batch of your corn hush puppies ( I use a small cookie scoop so the balls are the perfect size for chili.) so they’re going in to change it up. Thanks again for such amazing recipes, Brandi!!


      I LOVE this chili and will be making it again soon myself! What a fantastic idea to make smaller hush puppies and put them in this soup! Amazing idea Colleen! SO happy you are loving the recipes!! Thank you for the feedback, it really does mean so much to me to hear!

  19. It was DELICIOUS with the crunch of the hush puppies! I also added a full can of corn and I used dark cocoa to give it extra richness. Soooooo satisfying!!


      Oh gosh, I need to try that!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. BEST RECIPE EVERRR! And I love how it’s so easy to make as well ( my kind of recipe, lol). It was my first time making it and I can honestly say this is so far my favorite chili and will be my go-to on a cold, rainy day. Even my bf approved, and he’s superrr picky! Lol… Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


      Awww thanks so much Hilda for such great feedback! I’m so happy to hear how much you loved this chili! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  21. This is the only chili recipe I can get my 5 year-old to eat! Of course, I love it as well!


      So glad to hear, thank you so much Silvana! 5 year old approved, that is awesome!

  22. We made this tonight and it was fabulous. Was a snowy evening and this just hit the spot. Now we are looking forward to leftovers. Thank you Brandi for sharing all your hard work with all of us.


      Thank you so much Laurie for your wonderful feedback, I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know! I’m jealous of your snow too, haha!

  23. I’m making this recipe tomorrow for a potluck. I’d like to use my 6qt crock pot to throw it all together and transport it. How many quarts does this recipe make, and how do you recommend I adapt it for the crock?


      Hi Jessica! I have only tested it cooking it the way I’ve noted in the directions, so I’m not exactly sure. I don’t use a crock pot very often, so I am not sure if you would need more or less water, etc. So sorry! It’s a really fast soup to make so my best suggestion is to cook it in a pot and then transfer it to your crockpot to take with you. Otherwise, my guess would be just to add all the ingredients and cook until the potatoes are tender. Since I don’t use a crockpot often, I’m not sure how long it would take. It makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Thanks! It turned out really well. I took your advice and only used the crock pot to transfer. It was a hit!


          Yay, so happy to hear that Jessica! Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

  24. Hi there. I’m super interested in making this dish for a large party. How many servings does one batch make?


      Hi Erin, this would serve about 4, so you would definitely need to double it or more. Just keep in mind that sometimes doubling or even tripling soup recipes, for some reason, may need adjustment on seasonings, so taste as you go!

  25. I just made the chili but I didn’t have chili powder ..only chili seeds I ground chili is tooo hot. Is chili powder less spicey. How can I tame the heat?


      Hi Linda! Oh yeah, standard chili powder is typically a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne powder, paprika, etc. There is other types of chili powders made from habanero chilis or ground up chilie seeds like you did, but that’s not the basic version sold in the stores. It’s more of a deep warmth flavor, rather than spicy. The best way to try to tone down heat is to add some lemon juice and a touch more maple syrup…sweetness and acidity always will help.

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