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Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili

46 Reviews

This #chili is my husband's favorite, but there are two secret ingredients that really make it delicious! Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili ohsweetbasil.com

MMMMM Chili… In fact, Dr Pepper and chocolate Chili!! Every day my husband calls me from work, (sometimes a few times) just to say hello, I love you, how’s your day going, etc. One day he called and I insisted that he decide on dinner. I love to cook, but sometimes I would rather scrub a toilet than figure out what to make for dinner. It just gets old thinking about what will taste good. Anyway, I asked what he wanted for dinner, and he replied, “eh, whatever you feel like.” I quickly responded with, “NO! Sorry Love, not happening. YOU pick. I’ll make anything, but don’t make me decide!!”

He said Chili. I got right on it.

This #chili is my husband's favorite, but there are two secret ingredients that really make it delicious! Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili ohsweetbasil.com

This is hands down, the best chili I’ve made to date. It has a yummy little kick and those special ingredients.

Ok, so here’s what happened. I was going to use beef broth, but then decided to do a turkey chili so that would be weird. Then, I was going for chicken stock, but I knew the flavor would be so light, and I really wanted something with a deeper flavor. I opened the fridge, and front and center was a Dr Pepper. I don’t buy pop. Yup, I’m a crazy mom that thinks it’s not an every day beverage, but a good friend knows my hubby prefers Dr Pepper over all other pops and dropped one off. So, I dumped it in. I could feel it in my bones that it was going to be good. And then I thought, “Well, if we are going crazy, and I’ve had plenty of savory dishes with a secret ingredient of chocolate, so let’s throw that in too!” I can seriously taste this baby now. It’s got a great little kick to it (I was shocked that my little girls ate it), but the flavor is also rich, hearty and amazing.

This #chili is my husband's favorite, but there are two secret ingredients that really make it delicious! Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili ohsweetbasil.com

My hubby got home, sat down for dinner, and said, “oh, grab me that dp.” Yeah, about that. It’s gone. He truly thought I had given it away or dumped it. Poor guy just looked at me like, “You gave my precious dp away”. I quickly said, um it’s how I made the chilli. Let’s just say he was more than excited to dive in. And, he was more than pleased by the outcome. LOVED IT. Not just loved it. LOVED IT. As will you…

This #chili is my husband's favorite, but there are two secret ingredients that really make it delicious! Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili ohsweetbasil.com

What Beans Do You Use For Chili?

Pinto beans are usually the beans used for chili.

You can buy canned chili beans, canned pinto beans or soak dry pinto beans to make chili.

Is Ground Turkey Better Than Ground Beef?

This all depends on your lean meat to fatty meat ratio.

A leaner ground beef would be more healthy than ground turkey with a higher fat content.

But, generally speaking, turkey is leaner than beef.

What Kind Of Beans Can You Substitute For Pinto Beans?

Navy beans are a good substitute for pinto beans.

You could also use Great Northern beans.

Here are some more CHILI RECIPES that you’ll love:

Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili

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This #chili is my husband's favorite, but there are two secret ingredients that really make it delicious! Check out the #recipe to try it for yourself ohsweetbasil.com

Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili

4.31 from 46 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8 -10 bowls
This is hands down, the best chili I've made to date. It has a yummy little kick and those special ingredients.


Recipe by me

  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 2 Bell Peppers 1 of each color - red and yellow, minced
  • 1 Lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin heaping
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne or more to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 12 Oz Dr Pepper
  • 1 Tub Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock * see note
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans drained
  • 1 Can Tomatoes for Chili or if you can't find those you could use Mexican style tomatoes


  • In a heavy bottomed pot, add the oil and heat over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 min.
  • Add the garlic, stirring everything together to not burn the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the minced bell peppers and saute for another 2-4 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
  • Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook through until almost cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Dump all of the spices over the meat and quickly stir it all in.
  • Let the spices cook onto the meat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the dr pepper, tomato paste, and knorr stock * .
  • Stir until the tub of stock and paste have dissolved.
  • Add the pinto beans, and tomatoes and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 30-all day. The longer it simmers the better the flavor. Mine simmered for 2 hours on a very low heat.
  • Serve with cool sour cream, grated cheese, green onions, and chips.


* You can use any condensed broth starter from the jar, the paste kind is better than the cubes. We love Better than Bouillon for this. Use 3.5 teaspoons of BtB.
Chili will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to 6 months
Nutrition Facts
Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 167mg7%
Potassium 448mg13%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1485IU30%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This was delicious and very spicy! I followed the recipe except for using 3.5 teaspoons of Better than Bouillon concentrate since the Knorr product was discontinued, and adding two cans of Rotel tomatoes instead of the “tomatoes for chili” in the ingredients since I’ve never seen those in stores here. Definitely a chili I’ll be making again!

    • Reply
  • This sounds too good to pass up, but Knorr said on Twitter that they no longer make their tubs of homestyle chicken stock. I’ve never even heard of them so have no idea how big they were, but you say in the notes that any condensed broth starter can be used. I have a jar of Better Than Bouillon roasted chicken base — would that do, and if so, how much should I use?

    • Reply
    • I finally managed to figure out how much Better than Bouillon to use by finding an old picture on Walmart’s site of the discontinued Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock, calculating how much each tub weighed and how much broth it made and comparing it to the same with Better than Bouillon (3.5 teaspoons). It might be helpful to put a new measurement on the recipe here so people don’t have to go through all that work ;-).

      • Reply
      • You’re the best Helen! Your resourcefulness impresses me! Thank you!

  • Best chili I’ve ever made! My young family loved it. I actually put chicken broth in because I thought the recipe called for the korr’s tub to be made into broth. I realized it was too watery and got rid of the excess liquid. I added garlic salt but kept everything else the same. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it Jana! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!

      • Reply
  • slow cooker alternative please

    • Reply
    • Follow all the steps as listed, but at step 11, put everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • This is my family’s VERY favorite chili recipe! I triple the recipe so we can have leftovers for a second night. Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Thank you for the feedback Kristen!

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  • All I can say is WOW!!  The Dr. Pepper was the ticket!!  I’ve made lots of different kinds of chili and this is not the first one I’ve made that has chocolate in it, but certainly the first to call for Dr. Pepper!  The combination was spectacular!  We absolutely loved it!!  So much so that I’m making it again tomorrow to take to someone else.  I should say that I used ground beef and beef bouillon.  I will have to leave out the cayenne pepper and perhaps a little of the chili powder since one of them can not tolerate ‘spicy’ food.  I think it will still be a great tasting chili.  Thanks for the recipe.  I would’ve never thought to add the ‘special’ ingredient.

    • Reply
    • Yay Cindy! Thank you for the great feedback and so happy you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Your recipe says to see the note about the chicken stock pot but I am not seeing a note anywhere, am I missing something? What can I use as an alternative since they don’t sell those near me.

    • Reply
    • sorry about that! Fixed it!

      • Reply
  • hey Carrian how are you? I have a question for you . I want to make this with ground beef. do you think is ok with the chocolate and beef or am I going to get upset stomach?

    • Reply
    • Hi Peter, that would be fine.

      • Reply
  • I love this chili recipe. I’ve used it so many times for family and friends. You should totally enter this chili contest! I think you have a good chance at winning (because I don’t want to steal your credit)!

    • Reply
    • thank you so much!

      • Reply
  • Thanks to your awesome recipe, I won a chili cook off tonight, beating out 17 other contestants!! Thanks for the great ideas! I only made a couple of minor changes (turkey–>beef, used less bell pepper, a little salt, and added a hint of habanero, red chili, and jalapeno . . . just enough to zip it a bit). One tip if you do use beef, there will be a lot of fat, which you do not want in the chili. So I browned it separately, then after draining, added the spices and half of the Dr pepper, the simmered just a minute or two.
    I named my variant the Dublin Doublecross 🙂 after the DP home town of Dublin, TX. Will definitely be making this one again!!

    • Reply
    • Oh I love that!! I’ll have to try your version now! Congrats!

      • Reply
  • I made this last night. I have a 3 year old and 4 1/2 year old as well as a picky husband. My whole family ate it! My 4 1/2 year old son had TWO bowls. This is a rare thing in my house. Thank you so much! We will be putting this in the regular meal rotation list.

    • Reply
    • Rare, but amazing when it happens and I’m so thrilled it was one of our recipes! Thanks!

      • Reply
  • Just made this chili, how could I not with that ingredient list! My very, very, very picky child loved it, and I’m entering the chili in a chili cook-off tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it places……I made no changes to the recipe.

    • Reply
    • Oh I hope it wins!! It won ours a few years back!

      • Reply
    • How did it place??

      • Reply
  • I made this chili last night and we loved it. I’ve tried many different types of chili to find our family’s “go-to” chili and I think this is it! I did use a combination of sweet and spicy turkey sausage out of the casings and a cherry coke because that was what we had and it was really great. I will double the recipe next time!

    • Reply
    • YAY!! Thank you so much Kacey!

      • Reply
  • I came across this recipe via Pintrest. We tried it last night night – it’s fantastic!
    I did have to make a couple changes based on what we had in the fridge/pantry- I swapped the regular Dr Pepper with Dr Pepper- Cherry, as that was all we had. We also didn’t have the Knorr chicken stock tubs, so I mixed in 3/4pm tsp of the dry knorr chicken soup base. I know your comment said to omit it if we didn’t have the tub, but I really like the seasonings in chicken stock and didn’t want to miss out on them. We also substituted ground chicken instead of ground turkey.

    The cherry flavour did come through the chili, even after simmering for four hours. But with the slow simmer it turned to a more sweet smoky flavour – definitely wouldn’t have guessed it was pop as the base! I can’t wait to try the recipe properly at a later date when we have all the correct ingredients. In the meantime; this has quickly earned a place in my 5 star recipes that I can’t wait to share with friends and family.

    • Reply
    • Thanks so much Liz! How awesome to try the cherry! I’ll have to experiment myself.

      • Reply
    • Deonna, thank you so much!! I can’t wait to check it out!

      • Reply
  • How many bell peppers are used in total? I can’t tell if it’s red, yellow, and green, or just red, and yellow.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
  • I always hate it when people take a recipe and totally change up how they cook it. By necessity I changed this one, but for the most part followed with delight. We have venison that needed to be cooked so I substituted the venison for turkey. Omitted the allspice, my preference. Added some smoked paprika and salt. Could not find the Knorr so I added to beef boulion cubes. Also could not find any tomatoes with chilies, which could be the same as Ro-Tel in my book. I use a very small town grocery and the stock is limited. I used a can of diced tomatoes and one of Ro-Tel. All other ingredients I followed and now it is simmer on my stove. From sample tasting tastes very good.

    • Reply
    • I hope it turned out awesome. And we have venison that needs to be used too so maybe I’ll do the same!

      • Reply
  • Hi I just found this recipe via Pinterest. Im curious, could you make it with ground beef? My husband hates ground turkey, but Id like to try this. Thanks!!

    • Reply
    • I just made it tonight with ground beef and it’s delicious. I have made it with ground chicken and turkey and in my opinion you can’t taste that it isn’t beef.

      • Reply
  • I was excited to find this recipe as I love to use Dr. Pepper and chocolate in many Tex Mex dishes, including pork barbacoa. Cincinnati chili is a Halloween tradition around our home. I used a tablespoon of Better Than Broth base in lieu of the tub of chicken stock and I added an additional can of black beans as well as 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce after it had simmered for a few hours. (I just like the added boost that the latter adds to all the favors but that’s a matter of taste. The chocolate does a lot to add a smooth complexity overall.) I thought this was a great recipe. I am looking forward to making the chili and cheese pockets that led me to it in the first place. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
    • Thanks AMy, and I totally can’t wait to try chili with Worcestershire. I’ve never thought of that!

      • Reply
  • I would also like to know what a tub of chicken stock means. I have a 32oz box of chicken stock. Is that an equivelent measurement?

    • Reply
  • If some one needs to be updated with most up-to-date technologies after that he must be pay
    a quick visit this web site and be up to date daily.

    • Reply
  • Oooh, this reminds of Cincinnati chili, but better. And I love Cincinnati chili. Can wait to try this one out.

    • Reply
    • ooooohhh, what’s Cincinnati chili?!

      • Reply
  • I simply want to mention I’m beginner to blogging and site-building and certainly liked your blog site. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You certainly come with wonderful articles. Cheers for sharing your blog site.

    • Reply
  • Could you please say what a tub of Knorr means? I looked at all the options today & I am still not sure what to use.
    Is there another equivalent option?

    • Reply
  • Whaaaaa? That sounds so interesting. I would have never thought to put those two ingredients into Chili!

    • Reply
  • Looks amazing! And it would be perfect for the Super Bowl!

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  • This looks good! I love chocolate or cocoa in chili- gives a rich flavor. I never heard of Dr. Pepper in it, though. I can relate to the frustration sometimes trying to figure out what to make with no help/ideas from the hubby. Anyways, just found you and am now following. Looking forward to seeing more good food!

    • Reply
  • Wow! I am just speechless! My three favorite foods combined into one!! Great job!

    • Reply
  • great content

    • Reply
  • This sounds amazing and unexpected!!

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!