Pinto and Black Bean Chili


It finally cooled down in Boulder to an appropriate December temperature.  To celebrate, I made a giant pot of this chili last night to warm us up.  Cocoa powder and molasses are not common ingredients in chili, but their unique flavor adds a deep richeness to this chili that you might not get otherwise.  Frying the spices is also essential to this chili-it makes them pop!

Pinto and Black Bean Chili

Serves 4


1 medium red onion, diced

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon chile powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon molasses

2 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes

1 15 ounce can unsalted black beans

1 15 ounce can unsalted kidney beans

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup frozen corn kernles

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Place a pot on medium heat on the stove and add oil when hot.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.

2.  Add spices, chile powder, paprika, cumin, and cocoa powder.  Fry spices in oil and onions.  When you can start to smell the spices, add the molasses and cocoa powder.

3.  Add remaining ingredients, tomatoes, beans, oregano,  corn, salt and pepper.  Fill one of the tomato cans with water and add it to the pot for a little more liquid.

4.  Bring pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for one hour, covered.



  • This chili can be made vegetarian/vegan if you omit the Worcestershire sauce or find vegetarian Worcestershire.
  • I made corn bread from the Baby Cakes cookbook to serve with mine.  Other options could be to serve it over rice or quinoa.

Have a good start to your week!


2 thoughts on “Pinto and Black Bean Chili

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