Spicy Beef & Beer Chili

My Spicy Beef & Beer Chili is a hearty one-pot chili that’s rich and spicy and perfect for chilly nights.

My Spicy Beef & Beer Chili is a hearty one-pot chili that’s rich and spicy and perfect for chilly nights.

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There’s something I find so warm and comforting about a bowl of chili and I find myself craving it weekly when it’s chilly outside. I’ve been making this chili, with a few modifications here and there, since college.

The first year or so of making this chili, I always started with a packet of chili seasoning from the grocery store. Super simple, and inexpensive for the most part. But one night, I was desperate to make this easy dinner, but I realized I had everything on hand but the seasoning packet. So, I rummaged through our spice cabinet and came up with my own spice blend – amping up my favorite flavors like cumin and oregano, and giving it a hearty dash of cayenne for lots of heat.

I seasoned as I went and kept adding here and there until it tasted just right. And, truth be told, that’s how I’ve made it for years and years, but I kept getting requests for the recipe. So, today I actually measured everything out and wrote down my recipe for spicy beef & beer chili, which I’m going to dub “Erin’s Spicy Beef & Beer Chili.”

My Spicy Beef & Beer Chili is a hearty one-pot chili that’s rich and spicy and perfect for chilly nights.

Which Beer Is Best for Chili?

Now, you may be wondering about the beer… I say, add whatever you have on hand with one exception – Skip the IPA. I’ve tried it a couple times, with a couple different brands, and I find that the extreme hoppiness just overpowers all the chili seasonings. But I have used dark porters, mexican lagers and brown ales all with great success. If you’re anti-alcohol, you could also swap in some chicken or beef stock, or just leave it out entirely.

This chili may be a bit more thin than you’re used to. Like, say, this wouldn’t make the best topping for a hot dog because it’d be all over the place. But, I made it this way for a reason, and you’ll have to tell me if this is odd, or if this is how you eat your chili too – I like to serve it over rice.

Growing up, whenever my Nana LaMancuso made chili, she’d always serve it up with a pot of rice. We’d ladle the spicy chili over top, fix it up with our toppings and then eat it all up with a spoon. Ever since then, I’ve eaten it the same way, and I like my chili to be a bit soupy.

So, to keep it that way, I not only add in the beer, but I also throw in a can of chopped tomatoes and kidney beans, both undrained. Their cooking liquids really help to blend all the flavors together and the bean “broth” gives it a silky texture. I prefer to use petite diced tomatoes because they break down so nicely while the chili simmers.

I topped these bowls with just a bit of sour cream and some sliced jalapenos, but feel free to dress your spicy beef & beer chili up any way you like it – Cheddar cheese seems to be a crowd favorite too.

Can You Freeze Chili?

Yes, absolutely if you have leftovers, this chili freezes perfectly.  I like to portion it into freezer bags in individual serving sizes and place them on a cookie sheet to freeze.  Once frozen, I stack them in the freezer making for an easy individual lunch!

If you loved this Spicy Beef & Beer Chili I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

My Spicy Beef & Beer Chili is a hearty one-pot chili that’s rich and spicy and perfect for chilly nights.

Spicy Beef & Beer Chili

My Spicy Beef & Beer Chili is a hearty one-pot chili that’s rich and spicy and perfect for chilly nights.
4.39 from 13 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (dark or light)
  • 1-15 oz. can kidney beans (undrained)
  • 1-14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • Sour cream (for topping (optional))
  • Jalapeno pepper (for topping (optional))
  • Rice (for serving (if desired))

Instructions

  • Cook ground beef and onion in a large pot on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until browned (about 4 minutes). Drain fat.
  • Stir in seasonings, beer, beans and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over rice, topped with sour cream and sliced jalapenos, if desired.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 660IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Wine Pairings for Chili:

  • Zinfandel makes a perfect match with chili with its dark fruit aromas, hints of smokiness and just the right amount of tannins.

More Chili Recipes:

10 comments

  1. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    5 stars
    Erin. this chili looks so warm and comforting! What a great dish to make during these stormy days in the PNW.

    Reply

  2. Rachel Lloyd

    Little known fact- I LOVE chili. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I make it often! My husband and I both really love spicy chili so this recipe might have to be tested in our kitchen! If we make it- I’ll send you a pic 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’d love to see how yours turns out Rachel!

      Reply

  3. Jessie

    5 stars
    I love spicy dishes. I have nothing to say while beef comes with chili, I mean I don’t late to taste. Thanks a lot, Erin.

    Reply

  4. Cameron Dahlin

    1 star
    Hi, did you even make this? I followed the ingredients exactly and this was awful. I should’ve known by looking at the ingredients. It was like beef with water and no flavor… No garlic..? It wasn’t even spicy. It was bland and watery. I had to add a tin of tomato paste, garlic, and some smoked paprika to attempt to salvage this. This was horrible.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Cameron – As I mentioned in my post:

      “… truth be told, that’s how I’ve made it for years and years, but I kept getting requests for the recipe.”

      Obviously I’ve made this many times and I think that many would disagree with your rating of this recipe. I’m sorry you didn’t like it but I guess there are many different variations on chili. This is personally MY favorite recipe.

      Reply

    2. Marian

      I just made this chili and it was SO good, I added a cup of my fav salsa though

      Reply

  5. John Owen

    5 stars
    Erin your chili is very good. There will always be people that blame their inability to cook on someone else. Cheers.

    Reply

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