No, this recipe absolutely did not come about after I accidentally dropped cookie batter ingredients into a bubbling pot of stick-to-your-ribs, spice-infused, vegetable-rich chili.

Never mind that I was definitely not supposed to be eating cookies at all whatsoever when I made this since it was the week before the marathon-that-wasn’t and I had every intention of keeping it clean and healthy until the Big Day.

Then Hurricane Sandy happened.


And, well, here’s the thing. Have you ever tried to get through a natural disaster without extreme beer and/or chocolate consumption?

I managed to hold out for about ten minutes when, after hearing the phrase “storm surge” for the thirtieth time, I found myself throwing blocks of Scharffenberger into my dinner and pouring a bottle of Guinness into my bread batter like a person possessed.

(Desperate times and all.)


Only to discover that double fisting bowls of stick-to-your-ribs-(but-not-to-your-thighs) chili and slices of cheesy beer bread is actually a pretty good replacement for shoving tequila shots and peanut butter cups down your throat with reckless abandon.

Minus the raging hangover the next morning. Which, really, I know is part of “the hurricane experience” and all…but I think we’ll probably be fine without it.  Just this once.


Bean Chili with Pecans and Chocolate
Serves 6, adapted from Green Kitchen Stories


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bell peppers, red and yellow, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 lb dried beans (adzuki, kidney, black-eyed peas, borlotti), soaked overnight and boiled until tender
  • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 70 g of 80% dark chocolate


  1. Prepare all of the veggies.
  2. Heat the oil in a large thick-bottomed pot or dutch oven.  Add the onion, garlic, cumin, jalapeno, paprika, and oregano.  Let fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally until the spices smell fragrant. Add the bell pepper, carrot, and parsnip.  Let cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the pecans, beans, tomatoes, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar and chocolate to the pot.  Stir around and let cook for 5 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cheesy Beer Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf, adapted from Cooking Light November 2008


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 13.5 oz all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 12 oz Guinness
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add the onion mixture, cheese, and beer to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tbsp butter over the batter. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Drizzle the remaining tbsp butter over the batter. Bake for an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays which is hosted by Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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70 Responses to Bean Chili with Pecans and Chocolate and Cheesy Beer Bread

  1. Rachel Cooks says:

    Oh my goodness gracious that bread looks divine.

  2. I tried soooo hard to eat healthy during the hurricane but when my building started to flood I threw that out the window for a week. Next time I’m staying with you:-)

  3. Simply Life says:

    oh wow- that bread looks amazing!

  4. Amy says:

    I’ll only consume beer if it’s in food. And we all know chocolate makes everything better, so why not? Sorry you didn’t get to run 🙁 But hey, at least the election is over and people can complain about something else. Although judging by my news feed, they’re still going to argue about it *cries* I think I need chocolate chili right now.

  5. So many flavors going on here! Bet it tasted fantastic!

  6. MM says:

    Pecans, chocolate, and beer…now that’s one damn fine hurricane party.

  7. Cheesy Bread with Guinness! On my “Pinned” list… BTW, do you have a Pinterest page???


  8. HA I was the same way during the hurricane! Impossible not to consume vast amounts of chocolate.

  9. So I’m pretty sure that these two recipes were MADE for me. Yep, I’m being selfish with this one. These are some of my absolute favorite ingredients!! 🙂

  10. The recipe sounds very unusual but I suppose 70 g chocolate to 1 lb dried beans is not too much choc, relatively speaking.

  11. Erica says:

    I love those two recipes! The chili looks delicious and sounds amazing with the addition of chocolate and pecans and the bread….Wow! Wonderful dishes!

  12. Mo 'Betta says:

    Cheese, beer, bread and chocolate…yep, this post covers all of my favorite things 😉

  13. I am imagining you hunkered down for the storm with the most delicious food in the fridge and in process. If I was stuck in NYC for any storm, I want to be in walking distance of you!

  14. Sarah says:

    whoa, what a great idea joanne!!

  15. Pam says:

    I would never have thought of adding pecans and chocolate to chili. It looks and sounds tasty.

  16. Hoping your part of NY fared ok in that storm, and the one coming 🙂

  17. Rachel says:

    I think it’s been scientifically proven that chocolate, beer, cheese, and the like improve natural disaster recovery times. Good to hear that you’re hangin in there!

  18. What an awesome chili, Joanne!! Chocolate, pecans and balsamic with beans? Oh my! Sometimes I find moles to be a bit too heavy and I can tire of it pretty quickly, but I like how this has so many components to it. 🙂

  19. Esi says:

    Yeah, you had me at “cheesy beer bread”

  20. The cheesy beer bread sounds amazing. And why not chocolate in chili? 😉

  21. Pam says:

    I know this has to be good! I add chocolate to my chili all the time. It gives it depth and richness for sure!

  22. Jessie says:

    We must be on the same wavelength because I just posted a chili recipe with chocolate in it! Your recipe is fantastic! I love all the veggies in it, and to accompany the chili with beer bread – perfection.

    I’m so sorry about the marathon 🙁 I’m glad you were still able to create in the kitchen, even if it gave you a hangover!

  23. Beth says:

    That’s the perfect kind of comfort food that we all need from time to time. It looks amazing!

  24. narf77 says:

    Not much effort and this could be made vegan! Looks like another heavenly recipe is about to make its debut on our Tasmanian kitchen table in the near future 🙂

  25. marie says:

    Oh that bread looks and sounds great. So I am noticing your definition of ‘finely’ is probably different than mine. Your veggies seem to be in small chunks, correct? And the pecans, are they ground to a flour consistency or just chopped really well? I guess it really doesn’t matter as I am sure it will come out just as delicious.

  26. Chocolate in chili? I am totally on board! I’ve never actually tried it myself but I’m so excited to make this! After all, every girl needs her daily chocolate intake, right?

  27. Holy heck, this combination of chocolate and beer in food is making me bonkers! LOVE!

  28. I would never have thought of adding dark chocolate to chili, although I do add cinnamon (a friend of mine from Mexico City taught me that “trick”). The spicy + chocolate combination reminds me of Mexican style hot chocolate which I LOVE.

    It’s not quite chilly enough here in Arizona for stews and chili, but I’ve printed out this recipe to hang on to for when the temperatures cool off a bit more. I think this would be an interesting, if unconventional, addition to my friends’ and my Thanksgiving or Christmas potlucks.

  29. Debbie says:

    You had me laughing when I read “shots of tequila and peanut butter cups!” I’ll take chocolate in anything…..

  30. Eileen says:

    Using chocolate in chili sounds like a perfect idea–almost like a mole! And of course, beer is always the answer. 🙂 Yay!

  31. Donna says:

    Chocolate is great in mole – so why not in chili? Brilliant~

  32. I think you had the right idea with the chocolate and Guinness with everything you’ve been through and now another storm?? Double up on those! Not a big Guiness fan but I loves my chocolate!

  33. Lora says:

    What a great combo both in the ingredients of the bean dish and together with the bread. Perfect (hurricane) comfort food.

  34. Wow, both recipes sound amazing! If I was ever in a storm, I hope to be stuck with you!! 🙂

  35. Gloria says:

    Joanne this recipe sounds really special and nice!

  36. Joanne says:

    I love the addition of pecans to your chili! Sounds delicious!

  37. Lori says:

    Chocolate and beer are required when facing a natural disaster. No exceptions. Regardless of what was good/bad/right/wrong with the marathon decision, having done training myself, I’m sure it had to be frustrating to work so hard without getting to a finish line. More chocolate and beer may be needed.

  38. teresa says:

    i pretty much kept myself sustained by buffalo flavored pretzel bites and diet coke that had gone warm in my fridge. i could have really used this. i love that it has chocolate in it!

  39. I love the sounds of this, Joanne. 🙂 Pure comfort food and definitely hearty enough fare to help you weather such ghastly scenes. XO So glad you’re safe and sound.

  40. I’ve had beer in bread but I haven’t tried chocolate in chili. I’m game! It sounds yummy. 🙂

  41. That Girl says:

    chocolate in chili isn’t such a new idea, but pecans certainly are!!!!

  42. Cathleen says:

    This sounds fantastic! This is a totally new combination of ingredients, I am very intrigued!

  43. Kari says:

    I really hope it’s acceptable to have this without a storm. Because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be having it, and right now, there’s no storm excuse 🙂

  44. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a yummy looking chilli Joanne. I heard today of people who rushed out ahead of the hurricane and shopped at Whole Foods and came home so well stocked only to lose power and have all their purchases perish. I know so many people who are still without power and one set of my friends have one of those 2-storied basement apartments and they lost everything on the basement level and are now staying with relatives in Brooklyn. What a mess! xx

  45. Nelly says:

    I don’t always eat bread. But when I do, I make it with as much beer as possible.

  46. Shannon says:

    oh wow, you certainly went a little crazy 😉 kidding, this sounds delicious!!

  47. daphne says:

    i recently had chicken with chocolate sauce in a mexican restaurant and it was pretty darn good so I can see why this will work 😛 And it is still clean chocolate- at least it is 80% dark :p and the beer is just icing on the cake.

  48. cquek says:

    Great recipe! I have to try them out one day, thanks for sharing. Mmmm…

  49. This is doubly-great! I can’t wait to try this bread, Jo…looks amazing!!!

  50. I’m all for chocolate in my chili!

  51. grace says:

    nuts in chili is definitely a first, though i have had chocolate in several batches and appreciate it very much. great idea!

  52. I’ve always been intrigued by adding chocolate to chili. Definitely going to try this!

  53. Reeni Pisano says:

    What a unique chili! Beer bread rocks! I would be totally comforted if I had this in my hands while a storm raged outside.

  54. You know I love this!
    I had to judge a chili contest here on cape cod once, and was blown away at some of the ingredients people used to give it “that edge”.

  55. Blond Duck says:

    Sweet wounded waffles. You read my mind.

  56. Hovkonditorn says:

    I have never used chocolate in savory dishes, but it sounds really delicious! Have a great day!

  57. Ruth Daniels says:

    Sounds crazy good! I do hope you’re recovering from Sandy and that life is getting back to normal.

  58. I’ve heard of putting cocoa powder in chili and beer in bread but never actual chocolate or a beer like Guinness – amazing!!

  59. Katie says:

    Interesting! And totally appropriate for the hurricane, I think. It was definitely those two things that got me through the storm as well. I’m curious how chocolate would taste in something like this!

  60. Tandy says:

    nothing cures a good hangover like a good chilli!

  61. Johanna GGG says:

    this almost makes me wish that I had a natural disaster – well not quite but I wouldn’t mind just this sort of disaster food – sounds delicious

  62. Johanna says:

    This looks amazing… can’t wait to try it!

  63. Laura says:

    I am in awe of your blogging prowess. I don’t know how you get so many wonderful looking posts done so fast! And beer and chocolate in chili? Perfect!

  64. What a coincident, we just talked here today about adding dark chocolate to savory dishes. Our Restaurant partner are from Alsace in France and it seems that it has become quite popular over there in restaurants to add chocolate to certain dishes such as Wild game etc. Interesting recipe joanne, I am looking forward to try it out for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  65. Such a unique chili. (I would have put the chocolate and pecans in it while stuffing them into my mouth with that kind of stress though.) 😉 Both the chili and the bread look amazing. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  66. Lynn says:

    Chocolate in chili. Sounds yummy!

  67. Chris says:

    Well that seems like a reasonable way to handle a storm!

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