A Spicy Perspective

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 Recipe
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Beer Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
My family's Favorite Chili Recipe ~ Beer Chili. Great chili is like a really good friend... loads of intrigue, substance, and a little spice!
Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sirloin 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 minced carrot
  • 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
  • 1 bottle mild flavored beer


  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions


  • 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, 3/4 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!


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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73 comments on “Everyone’s Favorite Chili Recipe”

  1. 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!

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

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

  4. 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!

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  8. 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.

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

  10. 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!!!

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

  12. 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!!!

  13. 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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  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. This looks perfect for fall!

    It was so great to meet you this weekend :)

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

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

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

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

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

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

  28. 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.


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

  30. 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.

  31. 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/

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

  33. 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!

  34. 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!


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

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

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

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

  39. 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!

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

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

  42. Pingback: Beer Chili — Villeroy & Boch Blog

  43. 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/

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

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

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

  47. I know I am gonna make this one!

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

  49. Um, yes, yes, YES AND YES!

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

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

  52. 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.

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

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

  55. That looks wonderful.

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

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

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

  59. 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!

  60. 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.

  61. 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?

  62. Looks perfect- beer and spices! Yum!

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

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

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

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

  67. 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!

  68. 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!