Everyone’s Favorite Chili Recipe

Beer Chili Recipe

My family’s Favorite Chili Recipe ~ Beer Chili

Great chili is like a really good friend… loads of intrigue, substance, and a little spice!

Have I ever told you I have really interesting friends?

One of the things I love most in life is diversity. I don’t like to eat the same foods over and over. I can’t stand listening to the same music everyday. And I don’t want to hang around the same old cookie-cutter people.

Interacting with those that march to the beat of their own drum makes life MUCH more interesting. I have always sought out an array of unique individuals to be my buddies. These quirky, talented, intelligent people never cease to amaze me.  Some of my closest gal-pals are: barrel riders, motivational speakers, cupcake goddesses, craft-masters, world-travelers, authors, business-gurus, and athletes. Yet much more important than what they like to do, or the career path they’ve followed, these women have substance. My girls are women of character; a trait that’s hard to find these days. I count myself very blessed to have more than one friend of this caliber.

 Beer Chili

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C. S. Lewis

This Beer Chile Recipe is my best chili recipe and a real crowd-pleaser. It was birthed out of a conversation with a friend about standard chili issues: too spicy, not spicy enough, too many beans, oily consistency, takes too long to make, and the biggy, FLAT FLAVOR.  It’s a common mistake to add spicy heat instead of depth, leaving your chili with a monotone “chili powder” taste and a little after-burn. …In my opinion, shallow chili is nearly as bad as a shallow friend!

My friend asked for a chili recipe with DEEP FLAVOR and the perfect meat-bean ratio. I aim to deliver.

Beer Chili is simple and straight-forward, with a dark yeasty note. The beer, masa and sausage elevate the flavor and round out the chili powder taste. The addition of red pepper, carrots and a touch of sugar bring a sweetness that balances the spice.

This is something I can proudly serve to nearly every friend I have, because really, who doesn’t enjoy a big bowl of thick meaty chili? It’s a cozy, no-frills meal that puts people at ease.

Cook’s Notes: I make this beer chili recipe with half steak (diced for faster cooking) and half sausage, although you could use ground beef instead of steak to save money.


Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Beer Chili


2 Tb. olive oil
1 lb. sirloin, diced (or ground beef)
1 lb. ground sausage
3 Tb. masa, (corn flour)
2 Tb. ancho chile powder
½ tsp. cayenne, optional
1 ½ Tb. cumin
1 Tb. dried oregano
1 large onion, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
¾ cup minced carrot
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp. salt
1-2 Tb. brown sugar
2- 28 oz. cans crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 -14 oz. cans kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 bottle of mild flavored beer
*Shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions to top the chili


Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Next add the ground beef and sausage and cook until brown—8-10 minutes—breaking up all the meat clumps.

Add the masa, chile powder, cumin and oregano, cook another 3 minutes stirring regularly. Add the salt, sugar, tomatoes, beans, ¾ of the beer and scrape the bottom to deglaze.

Reduce and cook at least another 30 minutes—partially covered—until flavors are well combined and the chili has thickened. Stir occasionally.

Add a couple dashes of cayenne pepper for extra heat. Serve with favorite toppings and tortilla chips or cornbread!

Serve This With:

Maple-Bacon Corn Muffins

Jamaican Johnny Cakes

Corn Salad with Smokey Vinaigrette

Alternative Chilis:

Vegan Chili ~ Namely Marly

White Chicken Chili ~ Closet Cooking

Seafood Chili ~ Blessed Mom

Black Bean Chili – The Reluctant Entertainer

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69 Responses to “Everyone’s Favorite Chili Recipe”

  1. #
    Katie @ BloomEveryday — October 15, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Wow, this looks so fabulous! Never thought to put beer in chili before. Check us out sometime @ BloomEveryday.wordpress.com. :) Would love for you to check out some of our recipes.


  2. #
    Monet — October 16, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Smile. Yes, diversity is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing another dose of delicious. I’ve missed visiting your blog…but I’m glad to be back (and that my arm is on the mend!) I’m sending you love and blessings from Austin.


  3. #
    rick sills — November 1, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    hi, i stumbled on your website today and love all the recipes. im loving this one as well. i never make the same chili twice. chili is my “use up whats in my fridge” recipe. i must say though, if you think chili powder doesnt offer much flavor, only spice, then you are ready to start making your own chili powder.
    i generally will buy two bags of different dried chilis, some i toast and grind for the powder, and some i steep in hot water and blend to use as my liquid for the chili. deep, smokey, flavors. and only as spicey as you want becuase you pick the type of chilies. give it a try sometime


  4. #
    Becky Carico — November 1, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    I won 3rd place in a Chili Cookoff at work with this recipe!! I made it with these changes!! 1 lb ground sirloin; 1 package spice bratwurst, 1/4 c ancho chile powder; 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper; mexican oregano @ 1/2 tbsp; 1 1/2 cans crushed tomatoes; 1 tsp smoked paprika; 1/4 c cocoa; did not add beans; cooked for 3 hours on low.

    I was excited to win!!!


  5. #
    Ray — December 30, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    This chili was a HUGE hit!! I brew my own beer and added the Bass Ale clone and it turned out wonderful! Everyone raved about it and I will do this recipe again and again!!!


  6. #
    F Ron — September 28, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    This is a great recipe I’ve tried it twice –the second time was even better because the steak stayed tender and flavorful, as opposed to the first attempt when the steak was rendered chewy as gumballs. Here’s the trick: Brown the meat in the oil first, just to get the sear. Then reserve it. Let the pot cool just a little and then add the onions, etc. When they’ve softened as they should (and absorbed the meat’s flavor from the searing) return the meat to the pot and continue the recipe as written. This will make what’s already a very good recipe a great one.


  7. #
    Heather — March 12, 2014 @ 9:37 am

    Hi. I’m from Wisconsin. “Sausage” could be 50 different things here. Any suggestions? Things you have used in the past? Types to stay away from? Thanks.


    • Sommer — March 12th, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

      Hi Heather. Here is the south, plain old sausage is pork breakfast sausage. :)

      But really, you could use any kind you like!



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