The smokiness of the bacon and liquid smoke complements the spiciness of the chorizo and sweetness of the chocolate in this chili. Just like any other chili, this is better the next day. Serve with a dollop of cilantro sour cream or some chocolate shavings.

Caroline McNabb


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown bacon in the hot pot until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and set bacon aside.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add chorizo; cook and stir until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Cook and stir ground sirloin in the same pot over medium-high heat until browned, crumbly, and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the grease. Add the bacon and chorizo. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, onions, and Italian seasoning. Stir in chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, liquid smoke, garlic juice, and cinnamon.

  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and add jalapenos, kidney beans, black beans, and chocolate. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors are well blended, about 2 hours. Serve.

Cook's Notes:

This recipe was tweaked from another recipe on this site and has taken (4) first place prizes in chili cook-offs. The sweetness and spice makes people wonder what is different, setting you apart from the rest.

You can use Great Northern beans instead of black beans.

Nutrition Facts

486 calories; 25.7 g total fat; 90 mg cholesterol; 1511 mg sodium. 34.1 g carbohydrates; 31.4 g protein; Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely delicious! I made a half recipe but then regretted not making the full amount! Wasn't sure about the "chorizo chopped" - I'm assuming it is supposed to be Mexican chorizo but that kind needs to be removed from the casing and cooked/crumbled in the pot so that's what I did. It can't really be "chopped" before cooking. I didn't have garlic juice on hand so I just used 3 garlic cloves minced. The only other changed I made was to add in the onions to the pot as the ground sirloin was almost done browning. The chorizo cinnamon and chocolate really make this chili so don't leave them out! So much depth to the flavors. I can see why this recipe one so many chili cook-offs! Looking forward to leftovers! Read More