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

Related Posts

69 Responses to “Everyone’s Favorite Chili Recipe”

  1. #
    Cassie @ Bake Your Day — October 10, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    I never put beer in my chili but I’ve decided recently that I will have to do that this fall. The texture of this looks wonderful!


  2. #
    Curt — October 10, 2011 @ 6:28 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. So many chilis are only about heat, but miss the flavor. I always avoid over (hot) spiced foods!


  3. #
    MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 10, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    I love chili and make many varieties, I am adding this one to the list!


  4. #
    Hyosun Ro — October 10, 2011 @ 6:55 am

    Beer in chili is new to me too, but does sound good. I will try it!


  5. #
    RavieNomNoms — October 10, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    This looks wonderful, I love a good chili recipe!


  6. #
    Feast on the Cheap — October 10, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Oh yes please! I will certainly be making this for a football Sunday!


  7. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — October 10, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    Looks perfect- beer and spices! Yum!


  8. #
    Mark @ Season with Spice — October 10, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    I could really go for that bowl of chili right now! As you know, ask for a bowl of chili in SE Asia and you’ll get just that – a bowl filled with red and green chili peppers.

    Did you use one of those smooth local Asheville beers in this recipe?


    • Sommer — October 10th, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

      I’m a big Highlands fan. :)


  9. #
    Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) — October 10, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    This looks so good. I love chili when it starts getting cold out. Surprisingly I haven’t tried beer in mine yet and that must be fixed! Thanks for the inspiration.


  10. #
    Tina@flourtrader — October 10, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Chunks of sirloin and sausage-this recipe is a winner! I love meaty chili but it does have to have beans. The addition of the beer also puts it over the top. I have saved this recipe and am looking forward to tasting this hearty comfort food!


  11. #
    Michelle — October 10, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    This looks so good! I’m ready for a hearty soup!


  12. #
    vianney/sweet life — October 10, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    loving this, beer,spices..flavorful sunday comfort food!!


  13. #
    My German Kitchen...in the Rockies — October 10, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    That looks like a keeper recipe!
    Sounds like we have similar friends and taste . Cookie cutter is very boring!


  14. #
    Joy — October 10, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    That looks wonderful.


  15. #
    SweetSugarBelle — October 10, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    Chili is my FAVORITE! Easy and always a crowd pleaser!


  16. #
    Liz — October 10, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Mmmmmmm…fabulous sounding chili recipe! The combination of seasonings and ingredients must be incredibly delicious…and I love your cute corn breads :)


  17. #
    Jeanette — October 10, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Now is a hearty chili recipe, and I agree, surrounding ourselves with friends with substance is the only way to go, with all our busy lives.


  18. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — October 10, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Looks awesome. I LOVE chili!


  19. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — October 10, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    You had me at Beer. Just kidding. Looks amazing Sommer. Now I’m craving Chili and Cornbread.


  20. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — October 10, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    looks fabulous! Can’t wait to make this one! So GREAT to meet you in person this weekend in Nashville!!


  21. #
    Bev Weidner — October 10, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Um, yes, yes, YES AND YES!


  22. #
    Kate@Diethood.com — October 10, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Beer in chili… come to mah belly!!


  23. #
    Prerna@IndianSimmer — October 10, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    I know I am gonna make this one!


  24. #
    Kelly — October 10, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    OHHH this looks fantastic!! I love everything about this recipe and your pictures are fabulous!! Saving this one to try soon, yummy comfort food :)


  25. #
    Patty — October 10, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

    Oh this looks good! I’m feeling a beer chili coming on, this looks perfect for a tailgate;-)


  26. #
    Nisrine M. — October 10, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    Oh, my! This is one mean chili, Sommer. Love it!


  27. #
    Roger — October 10, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

    I have tried beer in Chili and it is great. Currently I lke using American Honey Whiskey as it tempers the heat nicley. Check it out: http://easyrecipesandstuff.com/2011/03/07/chili-with-meat-beans-american-honey-bourbon-whiskey/


  28. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — October 10, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    I’m super interested to try this with the beer, as I’ve always liked other recipes that incorporate it. Yum – can’t wait!


  29. #
    Eliot — October 10, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    I’ve buzzed ya’ and saved this recipe. Beer? Chili? What else does one need?


  30. #
    Chef Dennis — October 10, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    Sommer, that is one tasty bowl of chili! I have never used beer in chili before but I am certainly going to try with my next batch! And I loved the tribute to your friends, well done!


  31. #
    Vicki — October 10, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    Sitting here on a chilly rainy Canadian Thanksgiving, this looks sooooo yummy and perfect fare for a Fall “warm your insides” meal!


  32. #
    Rachel — October 10, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    I love this chili and make it regularly!!


  33. #
    Christine — October 10, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

    I have had beer in chili before and it’s good. Your chili looks good.


  34. #
    Lauren — October 10, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    Sausage in chili is genius! Love that idea!


  35. #
    Ann — October 10, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

    This is an amazing recipe! I agree with you – heat doesn’t equal flavor. I also like that theres masa in this…something new for me in chilies….You also have some pretty interesting friends….I like that!



  36. #
    Kathy - Panini Happy — October 10, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

    This looks really darn good. I tried a chili recipe a few weeks ago that wasn’t quite a thick as what I was hoping for, but yours looks perfect. All right, I’m trying it!


  37. #
    Adele Forbes — October 11, 2011 @ 6:11 am

    Love all of your recipes and your beautiful writing habits…..I share with all of my Facebook friends…


  38. #
    Ollie McKay's ~ The Chic Boutique — October 11, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    This sounds wonderful! Hubby loves Chili and hubby loves bber ~ so he will LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing! Stop by and visit my Blog ~ http://olliemckayschicboutique.blogspot.com/


  39. #
    Kita — October 11, 2011 @ 7:32 am

    A great chili recipe goes a long way with great friends. It’s not the most elegant meal – but I often default to it (for its awesome flavors and textures) when we are having a large gathering.


  40. #
    Angie's Recipes — October 11, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    My husband will definitely love this chilli dish. Looks so dang delicious.


  41. #
    Steve @ HPD — October 11, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    there are some definite rules for cooking with beer, but for the life of me i can’t find where i put my notes. i want to say, never use an IPA in something that will simmer for long periods of time. amber and brown ales seem to work the best.

    secret to great chili: two different meats. not twice as much meat, just two different kinds. no idea why, but it always works. maybe half beef and half buffalo, or half beef and half sausage. whatever. something about two similar but different tastes and textures that always works.



  42. #
    Sandi — October 11, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Bookmarking this chili recipe! Also like how you linked to other variety of chilis as well.


  43. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — October 11, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    I just love chili – any kind, sweet, hot, chunky, vegetarian! Warm with a sprinkle of cheese – Yum!!!


  44. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — October 11, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    Sommer, your chili looks so mouthwatering and meaty and delicious! What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful blog and I’m so glad to have found it. I’m looking forward to seeing more from you!


  45. #
    carolinaheartstrings — October 11, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    Wow does that look fantastic. I know my husband would love this recipe. We are celebrating our first year anniversary today and we are so excited. We have our very first give away. Come visit.


  46. #
    Dmarie — October 11, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    hey, I’ve never added beer to chili. wish I’d thought of that!


  47. #
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — October 12, 2011 @ 12:09 am

    This looks mighty tasty, Sommer. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I know it will be yummy!


  48. #
    naomi — October 12, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    Ah, you had me at beer, then came the chili and . . . I have to make this!


  49. #
    DessertForTwo — October 12, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    This looks perfect for fall!

    It was so great to meet you this weekend :)


  50. #
    Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers — October 12, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    I saw this on Pinterest and am glad I followed the link to check it out. Looks great!


  51. #
    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.


  52. #
    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.


  53. #
    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


  54. #
    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!!!


  55. #
    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!!!


  56. #
    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.


  57. #
    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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