Everyone’s Favorite 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!

Beer Chili Recipe

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.

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

Beer Chili

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:40 minutes

5 / 5 (1 Reviews)
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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.


2 Tb. olive oil
1 lb. sirloin, diced (or ground beef)
1 lb. ground pork 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!

All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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73 comments on “Everyone’s Favorite Chili Recipe

  1. Ashleyposted December 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm Reply

    This is now my go to chili recipe!  I’ve made it several times with different meat.  Leftover steak, brisket, and roast have been thrown in and it works well.  I’ve also added a can of enchilada sauce to this leftover chili and used it as a sauce over homemade enchiladas.  Thanks for a great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  2. Bruce lee deathposted January 11, 2017 at 2:24 am Reply

    Oh my this looks so good!

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  4. Sam (the Quantum Vegan)posted November 20, 2015 at 10:11 pm Reply

    Great recipe! I’m going to take a crack at veganizing it tomorrow. <3

  5. Heatherposted March 12, 2014 at 9:37 am Reply

    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.

    • Sommerposted March 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm Reply

      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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  9. F Ronposted September 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm Reply

    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.

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  11. Rayposted December 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm Reply

    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!!!

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  13. Becky Caricoposted November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm Reply

    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!!!

  14. rick sillsposted November 1, 2011 at 11:34 am Reply

    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

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  18. Monetposted October 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm Reply

    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.

  19. Katie @ BloomEverydayposted October 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm Reply

    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.

  20. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beersposted October 12, 2011 at 10:59 am Reply

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