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Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili

Rated as 4.65 out of 5 Stars

"Hot chili is a very underrated summer menu item. Bring a big ol' thermos of this to a picnic or other warm weather cookout, and it makes a great side to those grilled burgers and dogs. Just have some insulated cups around, and maybe some hot sauce, and you're in business. But no matter what season it is, I hope you give this beef, bean, and beer chili a try soon."
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1 h 20 m servings 649 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Place a pot over high heat. Drizzle in vegetable oil. Add diced onion, ground beef, and salt. Break up meat with wooden spoon into small pieces as it browns. After meat browns and releases its juices, continue stirring until the released liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add garlic, chile powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook and stir until mixture begins to darken, 3 or 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in beer. Add cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne, water, and tomato puree; stir well. Bring to a simmer; adjust heat to medium-low. Simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in diced green pepper and pinto beans. If mixture becomes too thick, add a bit more water. Simmer until peppers are tender and flavors have blended, about 30 more minutes.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • I used ancho chile powder, but any high-quality ground chili pepper will work here. Also, I used a poblano pepper, but a combo of jalapeno and green bell pepper works great too.
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 649 calories; 43.9 g fat; 27.3 g carbohydrates; 32.5 g protein; 129 mg cholesterol; 1430 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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  1. 106 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This was wonderful! My husband just kept raving about it over and over. I did make some changes, (only because I was going to be gone all day), I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb Italian sausag...

Most helpful critical review

We recently had a chili competition at work and I love Chef John's recipes so I decided to make this. The cinnamon was SO overpowering! Hard to believe just 1/8 t would be that strong. And wi...

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This was wonderful! My husband just kept raving about it over and over. I did make some changes, (only because I was going to be gone all day), I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb Italian sausag...

I will definitely be making this chili again. Made this last night and loved it. My hubby also said that this is definitely a "keeper" to make again. The only changes I made was do to a lack ...

Absolutely fantastic! You don't even need to top it with anything! I made it exactly as written ( except I used venison) and it turned out perfect! Chef John rocks!!

I made just a few changes based on what I had in my kitchen: 1.I used regular Chili Powder instead of Ancho Chilie Powder 2.I didn't measure out the Poblano Pepper, I just used the whole thing ...

I have made this nearly a dozen times, but a few important tips. 1st. Using thin tomato puree (liquidy rather then pasty) works best, if that isn't possible go VERY easy on tomato (less then re...

Definitely a keeper! Chef John is always spot on! I put this on the stove for my family to eat while I ran errands. I came home to an almost empty pot (I had doubled the recipe too- I really wan...

I liked it very much. I don't particularly care for the Ancho Chili, so I just used ordinary chili powder and a bit of chipotle. Very good. I served it with "Sweet Cornbread Cake" recipe by m...

Made this many times favorite! A few minor variations/notes: 1) I use petite sirloin steaks, minced, instead of buying ground beef 2) cut down the cayenne by 1/3 to 1/2 if your fami...

Made as written. Very good flavor. We didn't cut back on the heat, and liked it. This chili might be to hot and spicy for some people so give that some thought if feeding those who only enjoy m...