Secret ingredient to amazing chili

Submitted 8 days ago
Created by
UV Eats

Can you guess?

We've had quite a few rainy and blustery days lately. This time of year, folks lean towards soups and stews, something warming.

There's nothing like a pot of chili simmering away all day. But what's the best way to get that rich, deep flavor of an excellent chili? I'll tell you. 

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further down. I know, I am so mean. But hear me out and check out this recipe and all will be revealed.

What you need:

  • 29 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 28 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound center cut bacon, sliced into strips or chopped into small pieces
  • 1 lb. spicy sausage, cut up or removed and crumbled from casing. (Spicy Italian sausage will work or try Chorizo)
  • 1-2 lbs ground beef
  • 30 oz of beans- usually kidney but you could mix black, cannellini, and pinto if you prefer
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (Can use regular paprika if smoked is too spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 square of unsweetened bakers chocolate (yep, you read that right)

What to do:

  1. Grab a large pot or dutch oven. I have used my lobster pot when doubling or tripling this recipe.
  2. Prep all your veggies and your bacon. 
  3. In the large pot, heat the pan over medium heat. Add a couple teaspoons of oil when hot.
  4. Add onion and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt.
  5. Cook slowly for 5-8 minutes, until nice and brown. Add green pepper and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the meat: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, barbecue sauce, spices, molasses, and chocolate. Stir.
  7. In a separate skillet or pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, rendering the fat slowly. Drain. Add to pot.
  8. Cook the sausage. Drain and add to the pot.
  9. Cook the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain and add to the pot.
  10. Stir and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours. You can use a slow cooker, or two, if you have it and the volume will fit!
  11. Top with your favorite chili toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion, sliced scallions, olives, or hot sauce!


So why the chocolate? It lends a deep, rich flavor to the chili and cuts back on some of the sweetness. Just be sure to get unsweetened chocolate from the baking supply aisle. Try experimenting by adding half a square more.

Looking to lighten this up? Try turkey bacon; ground lean turkey, chicken, or 93% lean ground beef; and turkey sausage. Substitute the sugary BBQ sauce with some tomato sauce, apple sauce, liquid smoke, a heavy splash of apple cider vinegar, a squirt of mustard, and a few shakes of hot sauce. 

Don't have unsweetened chocolate? Try substituting a few Tbsp of espresso powder, instant coffee, or about 1/2 cup of leftover coffee. 

What's your favorite chili ingredient?

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