- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 medium bell peppers (any color combination), chopped
- 2–3 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2–3 bay leaves
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot with lid on medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent but not brown. Add celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add bell peppers and garlic. Stir in salt and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and coat vegetables. Add ground beef and cook until the beef is browned, 5 minutes.
- Add paprika, chili powder, crushed red pepper, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Slowly add 1 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck bits of meat or vegetables. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, beans and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for at least 1 hour.
- In the last 20-25 minutes of simmering, stir in cocoa powder.
- Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and serve with toppings of choice