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Red Bean Chili

This red bean chili is a fall favorite in my house. I love to make it once it starts getting cold out. Who doesn’t love a good chili recipe? It’s got a secret ingredient too…cocoa. Who’d a thought, but I’m telling you it works!

This recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  I did make some slight modifications, but other than that this recipe is golden.

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red bean chili

I. Love. Red Bean Chili. It’s like a heartier version of a taco without the shell and there’s so much that can go with it. If you’re into it, you can do the classic shredded cheese and sour cream. You can add some guac in there too. I like to add some extra onion, and avocado if I don’t have guac. 

If you’re looking for a healthier version, I like to throw in some cooked kale, spinach or mushrooms (or all three!) sometimes. Gotta have them greens. Don’t forget the bread too. There’s crusty buttery, garlic bread and warm cornbread. If you prefer to avoid bread, you can do rice. The options are literally endless. Let’s crack on!


Chili Ingredient Prep

First up is to gather all your ingredients. There aren’t too many, but this is what you need:

All you need to do to prep your ingredients before you start cooking is chop the onion up, mince the garlic and drain the kidney beans. For extra efficiency you can measure out all your spices too, so you can just throw it in when the time comes. 

red bean chili

Cook Chili

This is one of those easy throw it all into the pot type dishes. First off, brown your ground beef and turkey in a large deep dish skillet or pot. Break up the meat into pieces while it’s browning. You can even use a potato masher if you want, I do sometimes to make the pieces even smaller. 

After the meat is browned, you can add in the onion, then the garlic. After a few minutes of that cooking together, you throw in your beef broth, tomatoes, and all the spices. I cover it and let it simmer for a bit. 

Last step is to add the kidney beans, vinegar and some salt. Let that simmer another 10 minutes and you are all done! 

red bean chili

This is the best warm meal for those cold chilly days that are heading our way. It’s a great crowd pleaser too for family gatherings and parties. 

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red bean chili

Red Bean Chili

With Love, Melissa. Recipe modified from Smitten Kitchen.
This chili will warm you up from the inside out.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings


  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth
  • 2 Rounded Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 15oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 15oz Cans Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar


  • In a large skillet on medium heat, cook the ground beef and turkey until browned. Add in the chopped onion and cook until translucent, a couple minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add in the beef broth, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and cocoa. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  • Add in the drained kidney beans, salt and vinegar. Simmer another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust spices if needed. Serve with guacamole and cornbread.
Keyword Chili, Comfort Food

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