Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili


Using beer in chili adds incredible flavor to an underrated summer menu item. Bring a big ol' thermos of this to a picnic or other warm-weather cookout, and it will make a great side to those grilled burgers and dogs. Just have some insulated cups around — and maybe some hot sauce — and you'll be in business. But no matter what season it is, I hope you give this beef, bean, and beer chili a try soon.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 20 mins


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer

  • 2 cups water, or as needed

  • 1 cup tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 2 (12 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well

  • cup diced poblano pepper


  1. Place a large pot over high heat; drizzle in oil. Cook and stir ground beef, onion, and salt in hot oil until beef is crumbly and browned and any released liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add chile powder, garlic, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook and stir until mixture begins to darken, 3 to 4 minutes.

  2. Pour in beer. Add water, tomato purée, cocoa powder, oregano, and cayenne; stir well. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes.

  3. Stir in beans and poblano pepper. Simmer until peppers are tender and flavors have blended, about 30 minutes; add more water if chili becomes too thick.

    close up view of Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili garnished with sour cream and fresh herbs in a white bowl
    Chef John

Chef's Notes:

I used ancho chile powder, but any high-quality ground chile pepper will work.

I used poblano pepper, but a combination of jalapeño and green bell pepper also works great.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

649 Calories
44g Fat
27g Carbs
33g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 649
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 1388mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 19mg 96%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 928mg 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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