A Spicy Perspective

The Best Chili Recipe

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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.

Our BEST Chili Recipe Ever! #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef

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.

easy stovetop chili

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!)
Beer Chili Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef

How To Make The Best Chili

  1. Sauté the Veggies. Heat the oil and add the onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Brown the Meat. Add the chopped steak and sausage and cook until brown.
  3. Spice It Up! Add the masa, chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar, tomatoes, beans, and beer. Scrape the bottom to deglaze.
  4. Simmer. Reduce the heat and cook at least another 30 minutes.

Get The Full (Printable) Best Chili Recipe Below

BEST Chili Recipe Ever! #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef

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.

The BEST Beer Chili Recipe Ever! #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef

Serving Suggestions

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:

More Easy Chili Recipes

Perfect Chili Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef
BEST Chili Recipe Ever! #ASpicyPerspective #chili #beer #fall #tailgate #beef
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5 from 34 votes
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The Best Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
The 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.
Servings: 8



  • 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!


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.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 379kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 1011mg, Potassium: 818mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3410IU, Vitamin C: 30.9mg, Calcium: 99mg, Iron: 4.6mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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91 comments on “The Best Chili Recipe”

  1. Question- is there a decent non-alcoholic substitute for the beer? Thanks! 

  2. This chili is awesome! It was easy to make and so delicious! Thank You for the recipe! 

  3. Lovely! I just loved this simple and amazing recipe. Definitely, I’ll try it on the weekend. Thank you so much for sharing this unique content.

  4. My mouth is watering! Such a nice recipe, going to pin this recipe. Thanks for the amazing recipe.

  5. Pingback: Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Chili

  6. Loved this recipe! My husband said it was better than his version (and he can cook)!

    Didn’t have cans of crush tomatoes so I used a pack of cherry tomatoes and tomato paste. Didn’t have red bell pepper so I used shisito pepper. 

     I added a few pieces of dark chocolate toward the end and a splash of Worcestershire.  Also added a can of corn. I used a can of Stella for the beer. It was soooo tasty!

    Thank you for sharing. 

  7. This is amazing. Really I love this chili recipe. Looks so delicious and tasty. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe article. I will surly ty this.

  8. A great combo of chili and beer never tried this before, already in love with this Chili Recipe I definitely gonna try this recipe.

  9. Your recipe can allure anyone who loves spicy and hot dishes. What a genius idea! 🙂 I love this chunky meal, but this one has such a great twist! Yummy! 🙂 Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  10. Really love this version! The sirloin steak definitely makes this a little extra special!

  11. My entire family loved it! Such a satisfying meal!

  12. This recipe is so full of protein and flavor, it’s hard to believe it comes together so quickly, but it totally does! We love it!

  13. We have been eating a lot of chili this winter and this recipe is perfect! It is so good and the perfect amount of spice. 

  14. yum, always, always open to a new chili recipe, thank you!

  15. This has a little bit of heat and just tastes AMAZING! 

  16. You are absolutely right, this is the best chili recipe! I made it with cornbread too and everyone loved it!

  17. I haven’t made this, but with so many bad chili recipes on the internet this one looks really good . It has the added benefit of being pretty simple to prepare.   I agree that shallow chili is a waste.  It is after all named after the peppers (chilies  ).   I prefer using a piece of chuck roast as my meat.   It makes for a silky smooth chili and can tolerate and hour and half to two our cooking time.  It can also hold up in a slow cooker.  Thanks for publishing a solid chili recipe 

  18. 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!

  19. Oh my this looks so good!

  20. Pingback: From the Keg to the Kitchen: Cooking With Beer – Cooking Magazine

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

  22. 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.

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

      But really, you could use any kind you like!

  23. Pingback: Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Chili

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  25. Pingback: WomanScope NewsMagazine : FOOD: Chili for Chilly Days

  26. 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.

  27. Pingback: 35 Chili Recipes For Fall | Aggie's Kitchen

  28. 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!!!

  29. Pingback: Go Hard Or Go Home Chili (and Cornbread) « IamSimplyTia

  30. 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!!!

  31. 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

  32. Pingback: Pinned: Beer chili recipe review |

  33. Pingback: Pinned: Beer chili recipe review « The Family Math

  34. Pingback: Fall Cooking with Beer (Yes, Beer!)

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

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

  38. This looks perfect for fall!

    It was so great to meet you this weekend :)

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

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

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

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

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

  45. 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.


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

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

  48. 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/

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

  50. 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.

  51. 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!

  52. Sausage in chili is genius! Love that idea!

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

  54. I love this chili and make it regularly!!

  55. 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!


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

  57. 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!

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

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

  60. Pingback: Beer Chili — Villeroy & Boch Blog

  61. 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/

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

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

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

  65. I know I am gonna make this one!

  66. Beer in chili… come to mah belly!!

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

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

  69. 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.

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

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

  72. That looks wonderful.

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

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

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

  76. 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!

  77. 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.

  78. 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?

  79. Looks perfect- beer and spices! Yum!

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

  81. Um, yes, yes, YES AND YES!

  82. This looks wonderful, I love a good chili recipe!

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

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

  85. 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!

  86. 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!