The secret is the cocoa, really! This spunky, chunky, spicy chili is a cool starter when topped with cold soy sour cream and fresh avocado slices. Adjust the heat to your liking by tweaking the ancho chile powder, cayenne and paprika.

Duration: 115 minutes

Cook Time: 105 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8 starter servings


  • 1/4 cup ancho chile powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on desired heat
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green, red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado, for serving
  • Soy sour cream, for serving
  • Multi-color tortilla chips, for serving
  • Fresh torn cilantro leaves, optional


1 Combine ancho chile, cayenne, paprika, cumin, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
2 Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground
beef and garlic. Cook and stir until meat is no longer pink, breaking up any large chunks, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the spice mixture. Cook and
stir until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
3 Stir in the bell peppers, tomato puree and water. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook about 1 hour. Stir in the
beans, and continue to simmer, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes more. Adjust seasoning to desired taste.
4 Serve hot with dollops of chilled guacamole and soy sour cream and a handful of chips.
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves if desired.

Originally Published 2/25/20114

Jamie Geller

Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do.

As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing”, Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (The New York Times), she’s the creative force behind

Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their six super kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen – quickly. Check out her new book, Brisket 101 and her new family meal plan “Fresh Families” at