Gluten Free Chili aka Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili

gluten free chili

This gluten free chili also goes by the name of “Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili” in my house.  Both my husband and I went to the University of Texas at Austin and every year they have the Annual Texas Chili Showdown.  We went to the one in 2015 and I was very sad to find out that most of the chili recipes had gluten in them, in the form of beer, soy sauce and flour.  I have been on a quest ever since to perfect my chili recipe.  There was one chili that I voted for, 1) because it was one of two that were actually gluten free and 2) because it had an amazingly different flavor, which I learned was cocoa powder.  I then modified my recipe with cocoa powder too, hence how “Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili” got it’s name.

Now if you’re freaking out right now because I said there is cocoa powder in my recipe, calm down….you don’t taste chocolate, it just adds a richer full-bodied flavor to the chili that enhances the other spices and ingredients.  I do put beans in my chili, so this wouldn’t qualify as Texas chili which doesn’t have beans and I use Lysander’s Original Chili Seasoning (link below) as a shortcut.  I like to make this on a Sunday and have meals ready to heat up for lunch or dinner during the week.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Catch my latest YouTube Video too:


gluten free chili
gluten free chili
Browning the stew meat
gluten free chili
Just before the pinto beans are added.
gluten free chili
All ingredients added, now simmer for 1 hour.
gluten free chili
A little garnish never hurt anyone.

Claire's Cocoa Loco Chili

Claire Bahn


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 pound grass fed stew meat cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp lysanders original chili seasoning
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
  • Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans undrained
  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15- ounce tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream shredded cheese and cilantro


  • In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the oil wait to the oil smokes then add stew meat and cook until browned on all sides, then add the ground beef until browned. Next, add the onions, spice mix and stir together. Add the cocoa, garlic and jalapeños, mix together and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the pinto beans and cook for another minute. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese and cilantro if desired.

What I used in this post/ video:


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