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A hearty beef chili recipe is great for any type of occasion from game day to a special gathering. It’s a great dish to choose when the evenings are chilly and you want to tuck into something delicious and warming. Whether you prefer chili with stew meat or ground beef (or even some of each) you’re going to love the following beef chili recipe.

A meaty bowl of chili, cornbread, and other foods.

This hearty chili boasts an array of wonderful flavors including garlic, cumin, brown sugar, jalapenos, and more. You can tweak the taste to make it milder or spicier, and you can even batch cook it and freeze for future meals!

Don’t forget all the chili toppings! Also you might like some side dishes such as smoked street corn elote or slow cooker spicy corn and jalapeno cheese dip. This chili charcuterie board is impressive as well. For dessert, Mexican rice pudding is always good.

A mouthwatering chili charcuterie board displayed on a table.

Why You’ll Love It

Oh so tasty:  There’s nothing quite like a bowl of chili, and this recipe boasts two kinds of meat as well as two different kinds of beans and a variety of spices and seasonings to make every mouthful a real treat.
Customizable: Chili is one of those dishes you can apply endless tweaks to, even swapping out the protein you use as well as any of the seasonings, making it hotter or milder, and even making a chili charcuterie board so people can add their own toppings!
Straightforward: Although the ingredients list for this game day chili recipe is quite long, the actual process of making chili is a simple one, and mostly consists of adding things to the pot, stirring occasionally and waiting for the delicious stew meat chili to be ready!

A chili bar with cornbread and other toppings.

Ingredients for Beef and Beer Chili

This beer chili recipe is made using both ground beef and stew meat, beer, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, red kidney beans and black beans.

The ingredients for a beef and beer chili relleno in bowls on a marble countertop.

For the vegetables, we are using red onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. And then for those wonderful chili con carne flavors, the recipe calls for quite a few ingredients (most of which you’ll have already).

A pot of hearty beef chili with vegetables and cheese.

Those are fresh and dried garlic, sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, bouillon, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and a splash of vinegar.

A hearty bowl of meaty chili with vegetables and cheese.

How to Make the Best Beef Chili Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Brown the meat:  Sear the ground beef in a sauté pan and season, then transfer into a big pot or Dutch oven. Repeat with the stew meat.
Cook the veggies: Add oil to the sauté pan and cook the vegetables for a few minutes, before adding the beer to deglaze.
Add some seasonings: Add the sugar, bouillon cube, garlic and tomato paste, plus all the spices, to the meat, and cook briefly.
Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in the beer mixture, some water, the canned tomatoes, and vinegar, before draining and adding the beans.
Cook the chili gently: Cover and simmer the chili for an hour or until the meat is tender, tasting and adjusting the seasonings and/or adding liquid (or a thickener like cornstarch) halfway through if needed.

A bowl of hearty beef chili with vegetables and cheese.

Substitutions and Variations

Feel free to change the ingredients. You can change the seasonings using another chili seasoning mix, use water in place of the beer, or even change the meat, using game meat, chicken or even your preferred vegetarian protein.

Hearty beef chili in a bowl with a fork.

Fire roasted crushed tomatoes would work in place of plain ones or you could add a pinch of cocoa powder. Pinto beans can also go in place of one of the other kinds, or you could omit the beans altogether.

A pot of hearty beef chili with vegetables and spices.

Swap the chicken bouillon for beef broth, add diced tomatoes near the end or use extra chili powder, smoked paprika, hot pepper sauce, or any other flavors you want in this delicious chili.

A spoonful of hearty beef chili in a pot.

How to Serve the Best Game Day Chili Recipe

Chili is great served with all your favorite side dishes, such as rice, cheese, sour cream, green onions and so on. Shredded cheese is popular or perhaps you have your own favorite such as a baked potato or other sides.

A bowl of chili, cheese, and various dips on a table at a chili party.

If you’re having a chili party (which is a whole lot of fun, by the way!), serve it chili charcuterie board style to let people choose their own sides and toppings.

Bowls of chili and cornbread on a table.

Arrange the sour cream, diced tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, and more around the chili, give everyone a bowl and silverware and let the chili party begin!

A plate of meaty chili and cornbread on a wooden table.

Fans of Mexican food and Tex-Mex dishes might also enjoy chicken enchilada soup or this white chicken chili recipe.

Hosting a party with friends? Learn all the details for putting together the ultimate chili bar or chili charcuterie board and the best chili toppings.

A table adorned with a variety of food and bowls, perfectly set for a chili party.

What To Serve With Chili for Dinner

Chili goes great with some warm, fluffy cornbread or a green goddess salad. For dessert, you could consider serving a sweet and refreshing fruit salad or some indulgent brownies.

A bowl of chili with honey being poured over it, accompanied by a side of sweet skillet cornbread.

How to Store Leftover Chili

Store:  Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freeze: You can freeze leftovers in portions for up to 3 months. It will keep for even longer but the flavor will start to diminish after a few months.
Reheat: Thaw the chili in the fridge overnight if it’s frozen, and then warm it back up in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.

A table full of food with a bowl of hearty beef chili.

Hearty Chili Recipe FAQs

Can you make this in a crockpot?

Yes, instead of covering the pot and letting the chili simmer for an hour, you can transfer it into a slow cooker and give it a few hours in there. If you still prefer to make it on the stove, you might like to invest in a top-rated Dutch oven (here), as there are lots of recipes you can make in there.

What’s the best way of adjusting the consistency?

If your chili is too watery near the end of the cooking time, you can add masa or a little cornstarch dissolved in cold water. If it’s too thick, add another splash of beer or broth, or water.

A bowl of chili and cornbread, displayed on a charcuterie board.

Hearty Beef Chili Recipe

5 from 46 votes

Hearty Beef Chili Recipe

By: Bella Bucchiotti
This is the best hearty beef chili recipe! This is a traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with a delicious homemade taste.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 Pound stew meat, cut into 1” or smaller cubes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, large
  • 16 Ounces beer, such as Miller Lite, or water as a substitute
  • 6 Ounces tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Cube chicken bouillon
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28 Ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 15 Ounces kidney beans, dark red
  • 15 Ounces black beans
  • water
  • olive oil


  • In a large saute pan, sear the ground beef, season with a little bit of the salt and pepper. Once the beef has been seared, remove from the pan and put into a large soup pot. Leave any remaining grease in the saute pan.
  • Next, sear the stew meat in the same saute pan that the ground beef was seared in, also season with a little bit of the salt and pepper. After the stew meat has been seared, place it in the pot with the ground beef. Set aside for a moment.
  • Add a small amount of olive oil to the saute pan and saute the red onion, red pepper and jalapeno together until they have gained a little bit of color. Then deglaze the pan with the beer.
  • To the soup pot with the meat, add all of the spices, brown sugar, chicken bouillon cube, chopped garlic and tomato paste. Mix well and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the mixture.
  • Add the vegetable beer mixture to the pot with the beef. Stir well.
  • Add about a ½ cup of water, the crushed tomatoes, and the balsamic vinegar. Mix well
  • Add both beans.
  • Cover the chili and let simmer (or at this point you could also move to a crock pot or slow cooker) for at least 1 hour or until the stew meat is tender.
  • After about 30 minutes of simmering, give the chili a taste, adjust seasoning to your preference. If the chili is a little thick you can add additional water or beer. Conversely, if it is a little thin you can add a thickener of your choice (masa, cornstarch, flour).
  • Serve when the meat is tender and flavors robust.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 516mg | Potassium: 950mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1111IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Hearty beef chili is a winter staple, and once you taste this chili recipe with beer you’re definitely going to want to make it on repeat. It boasts a rich and hearty flavor and is completely customizable so you never have to make your mild or spicy chili the same way twice. It’s so easy to make and largely just a case of adding ingredients to the Dutch oven and letting it cook. You can imagine how incredible the kitchen smells while the chili cooks!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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