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WhiteVegetarian White Bean Chili with Chocolate in a white bowl on a blue tablecloth

White Bean Chili with Chocolate

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This unique, vegetarian chili recipe from Amy Reiley's aphrodisiac cookbook Romancing the Stove, combines classic chili ingredients with the earthy notes of cocoa powder and chocolate and the sweet tang of acai fruit. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Tex-Mex
Dish Type chili
Cooking Style Vegetarian
Diet and Health healthy-ish, low fat
Seasonal autumn, winter
Ingredient chocolate, white beans
Servings 4 - 6
Author Amy Reiley


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 12 oz soy ground meat substitute*
  • 2 tsp-1 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz can white beans
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 c pure acai juice or fruit purée (optional)**
  • 1 oz darj=k chocolate grated (or chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste


  • Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot.
  • Sauté onions and celery until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  • Add ground soy, chile powder, cumin and cayenne and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes, white beans vegetable broth, oregano, bay leaf and acai juice or fruit purée. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If chili gets too thick, stir in water 1/2 cup at a time until chili reaches desired thickness.
  • Remove bay leaf and stir in chocolate and cinnamon. Turn off heat and season with salt to taste before serving.


*You can use ground beef or turkey or a combination of the two if you prefer but you will get the optimal flavor and texture using the meat substitute. It makes superior chili, I swear! ** Acai juice can be found in the refrigerated section of health food grocers, or sold with the frozen foods as a pure fruit puree. If you can’t find the ingredient, you can leave it out, but we think it is the key to this delicious stew.