Cacao and Diet Coke Turkey Chili

There are plenty of low fat, low carbohydrate chili recipes around, but I have found that these have lacked a real ‘sauce’ and that the ingredients haven’t knitted together very well. It has been a challenge for me to make a chili that didn’t taste like a healthy imitation… until now! The unusual additions of cacao and diet coke add real depth and color to the recipe. The key here is to cook it long and slow!


Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 224kcal; 29.1g protein, 23g carbs, 1.4g fat


  • 50g red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tbsp ground cumin
  • 450g/16oz 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (approx 450g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 15g cacao powder (cocoa powder would also work)
  • ½ can (approximately 115ml) diet Coke
  • 3 tbsp Cholula chili and lime hot sauce (any hot sauce/tabasco would work)


  1. Place a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and cook the onion until soft, but still holding its shape.
  2. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is cooked through.
  3. Add in the chopped bell pepper, kidney beans, cayenne pepper, cumin and chopped tomatoes.
  4. Mix thoroughly and bring to the boil.
  5. Once the dish has reached the boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the cacao powder, diet Coke and hot sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Place a lid over the pan and reduce the heat further, so the chili is very slightly bubbling. Cook for an hour – two hours, making sure to check on it frequently (the diet Coke may cause your stove to get messy if you don’t stir it every 15 minutes or so!) Once the sauce has formed together to the lovely thick, dark and rich color, the chili is ready.

This makes for a great family dinner, and can be kept cooking over a very low heat for hours. It is equally as good for a Tupperware lunch. I have prepared mine this week with either white jasmine rice and lettuce, or gnocchi.

Benchpressingbaubles, x



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