Mom's Perfect Chili


Smoky tomato flavors lead the way in this comforting classic. This is the perfect chili recipe in my opinion--it's not so fancy that it's intimidating at all, but it's definitely a step above chili packet recipes and chili beans. Serve topped with desired garnishes, such as jalapeno, green or white white onion, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 medium poblano peppers, diced

  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, diced

  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup chili powder

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • ½ (28 ounce) can tomato puree

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced

  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from chipotle peppers

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a spoon until evenly browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Add remaining oil to the pot and return to medium-high heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add poblano, bell, and jalapeno peppers and garlic; cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and oregano; cook for 1 minute. Add beer and stir, scraping any small brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add crushed and fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce; stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.

  4. Stir in beef and kidney beans; return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours.

Cook's Notes:

If you want the best flavor, make this recipe the day before serving.

For a richer flavor, roast your veggies before adding them to the pot. You can use pinto beans or red beans in place of kidney beans, or any combination of the three.

If your chili is too runny, you can stir in a can of refried beans or masa (corn flour). If your chili is too spicy, add a little sugar or stir in a can of creamed corn.

For added interest, you can add chopped butternut squash or sweet potatoes, a pinch of cinnamon, or a bit of brewed coffee, if you'd like.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

296 Calories
10g Fat
31g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 296
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 823mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 11g 38%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 24mg 121%
Calcium 98mg 8%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 685mg 15%

* 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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