Secret Ingredient Chili

I think I’ve finally got adjusted to the new year! I’m back with my first recipe for 2020.  The weather is sooo cold which has me craving hearty, comforting food.  This chili always satisfies those cravings for me.  It’s thick, rich and meaty.  What more could you want in a chili recipe?

One of the ingredients in this chili is a little different than most  recipes you will see.  It’s cocoa!  Chocolate in chili???  I know it sounds crazy!  The cocoa is unsweetened so it just adds depth without adding any sweetness.  You don’t taste it and think, oh, it’s got cocoa in it.  It’s very subtle.  Just trust me on this one.

Besides the cocoa, this recipe is full of meat and beans.  It’s definitely a one pot meal.  This recipe also has a good amount of chili powder in it.  My family loves it.  I don’t think it’s too spicy.  I actually think the extra chili powder adds to the depth of flavor as well.  But by all means, if you feel like it’s too much, scale back.

I love to prep this recipe the night before.  I prep it all in a crockpot insert, put it in my refrigerator and just put it in my crockpot around lunchtime the next day.  Chili is definitely one of those dishes that gets better with time.

Everyone has their own way they like to top it at our house.  You can go traditional with just a little shredded cheese and crackers or you can go crazy and add some sour cream and fritos.  However you like to top your chili, give this recipe a try.  It’s the perfect meal to warm up in this cold weather and it would even be great to serve for the Super Bowl!

Secret Ingredient Chili

This rich, meaty chili will hit the spot!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 days
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 8


  • 2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 c water
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 30 oz Brooks Quick Chili mix
  • 15.5 oz. Brooks Chili Beans


  1. Brown and drain ground chuck, onions and garlic.

  2. Add drained ground beef mixture to a large dutch oven or crockpot.

  3. Mix dry seasonings, stir and add water.

  4. Add tomato sauce and beans.

  5. Turn crockpot on low for 4 hours or simmer on stove top 1-2 hours.

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