Game Day Lentil and Chocolate Chili

game day chili with side dish

Game Day Lentil and Chocolate Chili

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bell pepper or pasilla chile
  • 2  carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 2/3 cups lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce, low or no salt if possible
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, low or no salt if possible
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 limes, one juiced and one sliced for a garnish
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion or 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • hot sauce
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped, optional


  1. With the metal blade inserted and the motor running, drop enough cloves of garlic down the feed chute of a food processor to make about 3 tablespoons minced garlic. Chop the onion, pepper, carrots and celery into chunks and add to the food processor. Turn on to chop the vegetables. Scrape the sides of the bowl of the food processor and turn on briefly. Add the vegetables to a large soup pot, pressure cooker, or an Instant Pot.
  2. Add all other ingredients to your pot except the limes, cilantro, remaining onion and optional avocado. Cook in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes, or simmer in a soup pot about 90 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
  3. Juice one of  the limes and stir the juice into the chili. Serve with the lime slices, cilantro, and onion as garnishes. Season with hot sauce, to taste.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Nutrition information per serving: 304 calories, 1 gram fat, 403 mg sodium (362 mg from chili powder and tomato sauce), 55 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams fiber, 19 grams protein, 9 grams sugars, 93% Vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, 6% calcium, 32% iron.