October 16, 2018

Beef and butternut squash chocolate chili

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest and our generous sponsors. I received free product from Divine Chocolate. As always, all opinions are my own.

Bowl of beef and butternut squash chocolate chili.

This chili combines beef, two kinds of beans, butternut squash, and is simmered in a sauce of warm spices and creamy chocolate for a delicious Halloween or autumn meal. 

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I was super excited to be able to work with Divine Chocolate on a post for #Choctoberfest! I've always enjoyed their products and the fact that they are a Fairtrade certified. Another thing about this company is that they are the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers! 

They also make some truly delicious chocolate and want their customers to #MakeSomethingDivine. Once I saw that I received one of their new 100% Unsweetened Baking Bars, I knew I wanted to make a savory chocolate recipe and more specifically a fall chili. Since the chocolate is unsweetened, it's really a great option for adding depth of rich flavor and creaminess to savory dishes. I used butternut squash to add some sweetness to the overall chili, as well as some autumn color (and an extra dose of vegetables). 

This recipe will serve about 4 people.

Serving beef and butternut squash chocolate chili topped with tortilla strips and sour cream.

Beef and butternut squash chocolate chili
1 lb. ground beef
1 small red onion, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (reserve and thinly slice the green tops)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1-2 teaspoons chili powder (to taste)*
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup**
1 can (14-15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
2 heaped cups peeled and diced butternut squash
1.5 oz. 100% unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Drain the fat and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the red onion, green onion (white portion only), and green pepper along with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the garlic through cinnamon and cook for another minute.

Stir in the Worcestershire, ketchup, tomatoes, beans, and butternut squash. Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender.

Stir in the chocolate until melted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (more salt, pepper, chili powder). Stir in the green portions of the green onion, reserving a few to garnish each bowl.

Serve hot topped with sour cream, tortilla strips/corn chips, reserved green onions, etc. as desired.

*I used a chipotle-based chili powder that has a bit of heat to it. Use your favorite brand and add less for a mild chili, or more for a hotter chili. You can always start with less and add more later when you are tasting.

**I like the spices and touch of sweetness a little ketchup adds.

Serving beef and butternut squash chocolate chili.


  1. Love the idea of adding chocolate in the chili! This looks warming, comforting and amazingly delicious, Amy.

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    1. This chili looks delicious, Amy. What a terrific fall supper!!

  3. Thanks so much for linking this to First Monday Favorites. I love the addition of chocolate in a chili, it's amazing how much depth of flavor it adds without being sweet and chocolaty.

  4. oooh a must try!!! So glad you linked up for our chocolate lovers link party at celebrate 365 blog party


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