Since starting Whole30
at the beginning of the year we have found many new favorites that are compliant (dairy, sugar, legume, grain, soy and alcohol free). One of the first to go into the Whole30 hall of fame in our household is Melissa Joulwan’s Chocolate Chili recipe. I couldn’t imagine reinventing the wheel with this one so I’m sharing hers. Her cookbooks Well Fed
and Well Fed 2
are some of our favorite cookbooks for both Whole30 and Paleo diets. I haven’t made a recipe in them that we haven’t completely went nuts over. The sunshine sauce and grilled chicken thighs are heavenly!
Now, back to the chili. When Melissa describes this dish as rich, mellow and deep she is not overexagerating one bit. It really does remind me of mole. I haven’t missed a bean yet with this chili! This was made with turkey but you can switch it and mix it up with any kind of ground meet you choose or have on hand. The spice factor isn’t too hot (unless you use the wrong kind of chili powder like my poor hubby did one time! oops) I would consider it a mild+ on the scale of mild to hot+. Our kids eat it with no issues.
We frequently make double batches so we can have it for a meal then eat off of it for the week. You can also freeze one batch or in single servings for ease. I also like to make the seasoning mix ahead of time in bags to make it even easier!
Prep 20 min | Cook 2-3 hours | Serves 6-8
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
1 cup water
1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.
2. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least two hours. Do not skimp on the simmer! Serve in deep bowls with big spoons.
Try a meat combo by mixing ground beef with ground turkey, pork, or bison.
Make a double batch and freeze half so you have chili-on-demand.
Top with sliced olives, diced onions, and/or avocado slices.