Chocolate chilli con carne

Chocolate and chilli are proven flavours that go really well together. Have you ever tried it in a chocolate bar? I fancied varying my normal chilli recipe and experimented with cocoa powder. It really works! It makes a main course seem such a treat and yet this recipe is fairly healthy I think. If you fancy a change to the usual chilli con carne, then why not try this? I’d be interested to hear if you like the combination.


Recipe (serves 4)

400g beef mince 5% fat or leanest available

1 onion peeled

1 pepper

1 carrot peeled

400g can kidney beans

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 tsp. hot chilli powder

1 tsp. paprika

400g passata

2 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 beef stock cube with 190ml water

2 tbsp. tomato purée

vegetable oil for frying


large wok or deep frying pan


  • Dice the onion, carrot and pepper. Fry these until tender in some vegetable oil.
  • Add the crushed garlic, nutmeg, chilli powder, paprika to the pan.
  • Next add the mince to the pan and brown off the meat.
  • Drain the kidney beans and wash them under cold water until the juices have rinsed off. Stir these into the beef mixture.
  • Mix the passata, sugar, cocoa powder, beef stock cube, water and tomato purée in a glass jug. Once this is blended, stir into the beef mixture.
  • Simmer gently on the hob for 10-20 minutes. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.

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My comments

  • You can serve this in wraps with cheese and sweetcorn, with rice, or how about in a sweet potato jacket? It is such a versatile dinner and I normally freeze half to eat another day for a quick home cooked comfort meal.
  • Why not put some water in the passata jar to shake around and get the last bit of tomato out of the jar?
  • Cocoa powder is such a delight in this and really takes it to another level. It makes a subtle background note to the food.
  • When I fry vegetables in a pan, I use a little oil and then add a bit of water. This helps to steam whatever is in the pan and not burn it. The result is delicious vegetables. A great tip for saving money on oil too!

I hope you enjoyed this post. It is a little hard to make this look pretty in photos but I think it tastes delicious so it is definitely a recipe I am going to make again and again. I love batch cooking when you can freeze future meals. So convenient in our busy lifestyles!

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