The Best Chili Recipe
Our Best Chili Recipe a.k.a. Beer Chili – My family’s favorite chili recipe is loaded with hearty ingredients, deep flavor, and a little spice! This impressive stovetop chili takes less than an hour, but tastes as though it’s been cooking all day.
Seriously: The BEST Stovetop Chili Recipe Ever
This Beer Chili Recipe is also 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. Why even bother?
It’s a common mistake to add spicy heat to chili, 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! Simply unacceptable.
Beer Chili Recipe
My friend asked for a chili recipe with deep flavor and the perfect meat-bean ratio. I aim to deliver.
The Best Chili Recipe 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 perfectly balances the heat.
This recipe 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.
Bonus: Start to finish this easy stovetop chili recipe takes less than an hour to prepare fresh, and can be meal prepped well in advance! You will learn how to make beer chili in no time!
Easy Chili Recipe Ingredients
- Olive oil – To sauté the veggies and spices.
- Sirloin steak – Diced. Or in a pinch, you can substitute ground beef.
- Ground pork sausage – For extra depth of flavor.
- Masa – Corn flour. This thickens the chili and offers a touch of rustic flavor.
- Ancho chile powder – For a smoky-sweet chili flavor.
- Cayenne – To add a little extra heat.
- Cumin – For a defined smoky undertone.
- Dried oregano – To balance the chili with sweet herby essence.
- Onions and garlic – For zesty balance.
- Red bell pepper – For sweetness and tang.
- Carrots – To add color and sweetness.
- Brown sugar – To balance the heat.
- Crushed tomatoes – To create the base of the chili.
- Pinto beans – Or kidney beans.
- Mild flavored beer – I like to go with light Mexican beer. (You can also select a Gluten-Free beer if needed!)
How To Make The Best Chili
- Sauté the Veggies. Heat the oil and add the onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Brown the Meat. Add the chopped steak and sausage and cook until brown.
- Spice It Up! Add the masa, chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar, tomatoes, beans, and beer. Scrape the bottom to deglaze.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat and cook at least another 30 minutes.
Get The Full (Printable) Best Chili Recipe Below
Tips & Variations
- Don’t like beans in your chili? Skip them! You might want to add some extra meat to make up for the loss of beans, but this chili would be just as delicious without the beans.
- If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can omit the beer and replace it with chicken or beef broth instead.
- Keep in mind that cayenne pepper is pretty spicy, so if you are adverse to spice, add less than the recommended amount and add more if needed!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Beer Chili Be Meal Prepped in Advance?
Definitely! The flavors of this easy stovetop chili continue to improve over time, making it perfect for enjoying for several days as lunches or quick dinners.
Keep the leftovers sealed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or well-sealed in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, I recommend storing in a container and also wrapping with aluminum foil to help prevent freezer burn.
Is it Possible to Make This Chili Recipe in an Instant Pot?
You certainly can, although my stovetop chili recipe is so quick, you probably won’t save that much time using an Instant Pot. But go for it!
Simply use the Sauté function on your Instant Pot to cook the veggies and proteins per the recipe, stir in remaining ingredients, and use the beer to deglaze and scrape the bottom of the pot. Cook on Manual High Pressure setting for 18 minutes, and do a Natural Release once done. Stir and serve!
How About in a Slow Cooker?
You absolutely can make the best chili in a slow cooker!
Sauté ingredients per the original recipe, and add to the crock along with all other ingredients EXCEPT the beans. Stir, cover, and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir in the beans and leave the lid off to complete cooking.
My beer chili recipe is amazing on its own, but everyone knows that chili is best with all the toppings and some amazing sides! Top your chili off with a dollop of sour cream, Fritos or tortilla chips, some cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro! And serve it alongside some of my personal favorites:
- Maple-Bacon Corn Muffins
- Jamaican Johnny Cakes
- Corn Salad with Smokey Vinaigrette
- Fresh Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Fluffy Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
More Easy Chili Recipes
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Chili
- Chunky Vegan Chili
- Spiced Pumpkin Chili
- Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili
- White Chicken Chili ~ Closet Cooking
- Seafood Chili ~ Blessed Mom
- Black Bean Chili – The Reluctant Entertainer
The Best Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound sirloin steak, diced (or ground beef)
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- 3 tablespoons masa (corn flour)
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 1 red pepper, small dice
- 3/4 cup carrot, minced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes, or pureed tomatoes (28-ounce cans)
- 2 cans pinto beans, or kidney beans (14-ounce cans) drained
- 12 ounces mild flavored beer
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Next add the chopped steak 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, and beer. Scrape the bottom to deglaze.
- Reduce the heat 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 along with tortilla chips or cornbread!