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Vegetarian Chilli With Chocolate

Flatlay photo of a bowl of chilli topped with sour cream and cheese and served with pitta and fresh coriander
Flatly photo of a bowl of chilli topped with sour cream and cheese and served with pitta and fresh coriander

Vegetarian chilli with chocolate? I hear you say! Yes chocolate! For years we have enjoyed chilli at home whether veggie or con carne but when I started adding chocolate it was a game changer! By adding dark chocolate it adds a richness and depth to the chilli you didn’t even realise was missing before. Once you go chocolate you will never go back and chilli will never be the same again!

45˚ photo of a bowl of chilli topped with sour cream and cheese and served with pitta and fresh coriander with a grey background

My relationship with chilli goes back a long way. It was my first introduction to spice when I was around 5 years of age. My parents had decided they needed a much needed break from the kids. So they decided to take off to Mexico! Sadly I was left behind with my twin and our loving grandparents but on their return laden with fresh Mexican spices, a cookbook and a Mexican sombrero we had the first of many chilli nights. And boy did it taste bueno!

Why You Will Love My Recipe For Vegetarian Chilli With Chocolate

It tastes incredible. It’s the chocolate. I’m telling you it’s the chocolate.The chocolate adds a deep intense flavour and enhances the taste of the chilli.

You can make it ahead. It freezes brilliantly so it can be planned ahead and it tastes even better the next day.

It’s versatile. You can add any vegetable you want. You have run out of carrots? Then add sweet potato instead!

It is full of goodness. Full of fresh antioxidant ingredients like chilli and cinnamon. It is also a great way to get your 5 a day veggie intake.

Flatlay photo of two bowls of chilli topped with sour cream and cheese and served with pitta and fresh coriander

Ingredients For Vegetarian Chilli With Chocolate

  • Chocolate. For me this is the ingredient that binds it all together. I use Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate but if you like a sweeter vegetarian chilli with chocolate then 70% is fine although use a little less.
  • Spices. Cumin adds an earthy slightly spicy flavour to the chilli and cinnamon adds a sweet aromatic flavour. Both are highly antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Fresh chilli. I prefer to use fresh chilli as it adds a natural fiery spiciness to the dish. It is also of superior quality to dried as some cheap versions of powdered chilli have additives in them. However you can use a good quality chilli powder instead if you can’t find fresh chillis.
  • I use hot paprika powder instead of chilli powder as it is made with pure chillies so it packs a punch. Chilli powder includes chillies, garlic powder, cumin and other additions.
  • Fresh garlic. This is a must and is much healthier than powdered garlic or garlic salt.
  • Fresh tomatoes. I use fresh tomatoes over tinned any day. They are so easy to chop in a food processor and don’t have that tinned aftertaste. Use ripened vine tomatoes or add a drop of honey if they aren’t ripe enough or if you prefer to use half tinned and half fresh at least you know you are getting a lot of goodness. Tomatoes are a great source of fibre, vitamin C and potassium and are one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet.
45˚ photo of a bowl of chilli topped with sour cream and cheese and served with pitta and fresh coriander with a grey background

Vegetarian Chilli With Chocolate

  • Author: The Gourmet Lens
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Vegetarian Chilli made with fresh veggies, aromatic spices and dark chocolate to bring your chilli to a new level



  • 20g olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded & diced
  • 100g sweet red peppers, sliced
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 200g carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 300g vegetable stock
  • 100g corn
  • 200g black beans, cooked
  • 200g red kidney beans, cooked
  • 40g bitter chocolate, 90 to 100% cocoa
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, leaves only chopped

To serve: 

  • Lime juice
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh coriander
  • Red chilli or jalapeños, sliced


Heat the olive oil and sweat the onion and garlic covered on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the red chilli and sweat for a further 3 minutes.

Add the red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring continuously.

Add the spices and cook for 1 minute until they become aromatic. Add the carrots to coat in the spice mixture then add the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute stirring continuously.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes stirring at intervals before adding the vegetable stock. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the carrots are just cooked.

Add the corn and beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted into the sauce. 

Season to taste, add some fresh coriander and serve with brown rice or nan bread. Top with sour cream, avocado, grated cheese and extra chilli slices. Enjoy!




Add any vegetable of your choice including sweet potato, pumpkin, green peppers and courgette.

Keywords: Vegetarian Chilli With Chocolate

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