Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate

Friday night. Elsa is sleeping. Finally time to write that post we prepared earlier this week. I’ve been looking forward to share this recipe, as I am pretty certain that many of you will like it. This bean chili (or chili sin carne, as David calls it) is not only warm, comforting and spicy. It also has the most wonderful flavor from dark chocolate, coffee, red wine and crunchy walnuts. I seriously can’t think of a more perfect recipe to embrace autumn with.

I am dedicating this recipe to my brand new bike. Or to be more exact, to my brand new bike that got stolen three days ago. Aaaargh!!! I got to play with you for exactly 28 days. Thanks a lot.

And while I am on that subject. Let me tell you a short story about something stupid (but actually quite funny, a few days later): Remember that we were going to attend a wedding in Copenhagen. We had bought a really nice juice machine as a wedding gift. Elsa and I travelled ahead, so David was supposed to bring it with him when he flew down from Stockholm. He is a pretty distracted guy, so I emailed, called and texted him to make sure he wouldn’t forget it. As he arrived in Denmark he had actually remembered it! We met up at this restaurant (which was good, btw), and – my oh my – he also remembered to bring it with him as we left from there. When we arrived at the apartment he still carried the juice machine with him. I was wildly impressed by how he had been carrying a rather big and heavy juice machine with him that whole day. At the day of the wedding I asked him where he had put the wedding gift. He looked at me. Then looked around the apartment. Then looked at me again. “Damn, I left it on the street outside our door” …

Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate
Serves 6-8

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, ghee or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1  fresh chili, minced (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bell pepper, red & yellow, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
2 large stalks of celery with top greens, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup (150 g) raw walnuts, very finely chopped
5 cups (800 g) cooked mixed beans (adzuki, kidney, black eye, borlotti)
2 x 400 g cans whole plum tomatoes
1 cup (240 ml) water
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup coffee (optional)
2 ounces (60 g) 80% dark chocolate, broken in pieces

For serving
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) plain yogurt
1 lime, quartered
4 corn tortillas, toasted

Start by preparing all vegetables. Heat oil in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili, paprika and oregano, and let fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smells fragrant. Be careful so they don’t burn. Add bell pepper, carrot, parsnip and celery, let cook for another couple of minutes. Add walnuts, beans, tomatoes, water and salt and let cook for 30 minutes more. Now add red wine, coffee and chocolate, stir around carefully and let cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt, fresh cilantro, lime and toasted corn tortilla.


  • Made this on Thursday. What a unique idea to pair typical chili ingredients with wine, chocolate, coffee, and walnuts. It was like dessert, dinner, and drink all in one dish! The chili had a fabulously rich flavor. Oh, and it made lots too (8 servings for me instead of the 4-6 suggested).
  • Rikke
    Just made it! It's got so much flavour!! Love it!! It is creamy and heavy though - so just know what you bargain for - perfect winter meal (and so easy to make too)!!
  • I have a pot of your chili on the stove as we speak and it smells amazing! Can't wait to tuck into it later on for dinner. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. :)
  • Good luck with your cookery book:-)!
  • Rosalind Dibley
    looks truly delicious and just as nice in those lovely days of spring we are having at the moment on the other side of the world in Aotearoa. Been thinking I need to do a chilli recipe to use up the capsicums in the chest freezer before we start collecting them again.
  • Kelsey
    This looks amazing, was wondering if this freezes well? Also do you think I could follow the same instructions with a crock pot? Thanks!!
    • Hi Kelsey! Thanks, yes it freezes very well. You can easily use a crock pot and follow the same instructions. Happy cooking! Luise
  • Läste om er blogg i Elle mat och vin men hittade inte hit förens nu! Så fin och fräsch! Jag kommer garanterat att titta in här för inspiration!
  • It must be due to the weather in Sweden or something but I've been in the mood for chili all week. I love having both chocolate and espresso in mine but have never tried it with walnuts as well. Sounds divine! I love the food at BioMio and it has become my favorite place to grab a bit in Copenhagen. :)
  • Cristine
    Thank you for this recipe. I made it yesterday, it's wonderful! The walnuts give it a lovely texture, and the chocolate makes it really dark and autumny. I had it with guacamole, very nice! Thanks again!
  • This looks yummy and easy. Thanks for sharing.
  • Chocolate makes a chili sooo much more flavourful! I always add some good dark cacao powder to my chili, plus a good measure of red wine.. oh gosh! i havent tried adding walnuts though, sounds really interesting and will try next time!
  • Dear you guys: thank you so much for this recipe, and for everything! Your food and thoughts are so lovely, and I laughed loudly about the "chili sin carne" - perhaps, I embarrassed myself a little. Visiting your site makes me so happy and inspired. Whenever I feel bored with my cooking I see what you all are up to, and you never disappoint. Much love!
  • I've never tried chocolate chili, but now I can't resist! And I've been exploring exotic beans all week so it must be fate. Many thanks for sharing the recipe!
  • Sini
    Wow! This seems like an incredible recipe. Perfect for the colder getting days. I'm so sorry for your loss, Luise. I know how it is to loose a bike pal... :( And the thing with the juicer... Dammit. But kind of funny nevertheless. Will come back and tell you how I liked the chili!
  • TFB
    I would never have thought of that combination, it looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it out! Thanks xx
  • Lyle
    Thank you for this amazing tasting chili. I was looking for a recipe to share with friends (one who is vegetarian) and this one appeared with perfect timing. I modified it a bit using hazelnuts, fresh tomatoes, and Ghirardelli 86% chocolate (45g instead of 70g). Compliment it with a glass of Zinfandel and freshly made cornbread and it's an awesome dinner!
  • Liz B
    I don't think I've ever bean more excited to try one of your recipes!!! And i have pretty much all the ingredients in, fate! Soo sorry about your bike, how rubbish! xx
  • This sounds perfect. I love the richness of the chocolate and the addition of the walnuts too.
  • Oh my Lord..this looks sinfully amazing! I am always looking for healthy energy packed recipes, as well as meals that will satisfy the carnivore that I am married to and our carno-veggie kids. :) This will be a hit. Thanks for sharing this idea. I also blog about recipes and the healthy vegetarian lifestyles at if you are interested. Thanks again!
  • Poor David. That sounds like something I would do. I'm a meat lover, and can't imagine chili without meat- but your pot of chili looks amazing and I will have to give it a go!

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