New Year, New Chili


It has been a while since my last post. I could blame the holidays, a busy work schedule and bouts of traveling. But instead, I’ll start with a the year with a blank slate and share this delicious chili with you.

I think that everyone should have a good chili recipe in their back pocket. When the weather gets cold, life gets busy or you’re craving comfort food, chili will never fail you; it lasts forever in the fridge, fills you up, and takes you to a happy place. I like vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties, but a recipe I just landed on from Real Simple tops my list. It includes all of my favorite things: sweet potatoes, black beans, cumin–and, as an added bonus, cocoa powder. I did a double-take when I saw that ingredient in the recipe, but don’t be alarmed; the chili doesn’t end up tasting like chocolate, and the cocoa just adds another level of flavor and creates something akin to mole sauce.

I made this recipe in a slow cooker and I ended up having enough servings for a couple lunches and dinners.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, especially on a cold winter night when all you want to do is curl up with something warm and comforting.

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili (from Real Simple)

Serves 4


1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
kosher salt and black pepper
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes for serving


In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be pain au chocolat, enchiladas, and Neapolitan pizza.
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