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!

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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!

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

  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.

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

  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

  15. Pingback: Pinned: Beer chili recipe review |

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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!

  21. DessertForTwoposted October 12, 2011 at 8:29 am Reply

    This looks perfect for fall!

    It was so great to meet you this weekend :)

  22. naomiposted October 12, 2011 at 1:15 am Reply

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

  23. Robyn | Add a Pinchposted October 12, 2011 at 12:09 am Reply

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

  24. Dmarieposted October 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm Reply

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

  25. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookingposted October 11, 2011 at 11:04 am Reply

    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!

  26. carolinaheartstringsposted October 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm Reply

    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.

  27. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted October 11, 2011 at 10:41 am Reply

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

  28. Sandiposted October 11, 2011 at 10:38 am Reply

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

  29. Steve @ HPDposted October 11, 2011 at 10:26 am Reply

    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.


  30. Angie's Recipesposted October 11, 2011 at 7:49 am Reply

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

  31. Kitaposted October 11, 2011 at 7:32 am Reply

    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.

  32. Ollie McKay's ~ The Chic Boutiqueposted October 11, 2011 at 6:41 am Reply

    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/

  33. Adele Forbesposted October 11, 2011 at 6:11 am Reply

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

  34. Kathy - Panini Happyposted October 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm Reply

    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!

  35. Annposted October 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm Reply

    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. Laurenposted October 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm Reply

    Sausage in chili is genius! Love that idea!

  37. Christineposted October 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm Reply

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

  38. Rachelposted October 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I love this chili and make it regularly!!

  39. Vickiposted October 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm Reply

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

  40. Chef Dennisposted October 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm Reply

    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!

  41. Eliotposted October 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm Reply

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

  42. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted October 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm Reply

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

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  44. Rogerposted October 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm Reply

    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/

  45. Nisrine M.posted October 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm Reply

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

  46. Pattyposted October 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm Reply

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

  47. Kellyposted October 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm Reply

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

  48. [email protected]posted October 10, 2011 at 10:32 am Reply

    I know I am gonna make this one!

  49. [email protected]posted October 10, 2011 at 10:08 am Reply

    Beer in chili… come to mah belly!!

  50. Bev Weidnerposted October 10, 2011 at 9:39 am Reply

    Um, yes, yes, YES AND YES!

  51. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted October 10, 2011 at 9:34 am Reply

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

  52. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted October 10, 2011 at 9:27 am Reply

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

  53. Rachel @ Not Rachael Rayposted October 10, 2011 at 9:24 am Reply

    Looks awesome. I LOVE chili!

  54. Jeanetteposted October 10, 2011 at 9:24 am Reply

    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.

  55. Lizposted October 10, 2011 at 9:08 am Reply

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

  56. SweetSugarBelleposted October 10, 2011 at 9:01 am Reply

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

  57. Joyposted October 10, 2011 at 8:57 am Reply

    That looks wonderful.

  58. My German Kitchen...in the Rockiesposted October 10, 2011 at 8:53 am Reply

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

  59. vianney/sweet lifeposted October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am Reply

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

  60. Michelleposted October 10, 2011 at 8:29 am Reply

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

  61. [email protected]posted October 10, 2011 at 8:24 am Reply

    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!

  62. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)posted October 10, 2011 at 8:15 am Reply

    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.

  63. Mark @ Season with Spiceposted October 10, 2011 at 8:06 am Reply

    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?

    • Sommerposted October 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm Reply

      I’m a big Highlands fan. :)

  64. Lori @ RecipeGirlposted October 10, 2011 at 8:02 am Reply

    Looks perfect- beer and spices! Yum!

  65. Feast on the Cheapposted October 10, 2011 at 7:59 am Reply

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

  66. RavieNomNomsposted October 10, 2011 at 7:07 am Reply

    This looks wonderful, I love a good chili recipe!

  67. Hyosun Roposted October 10, 2011 at 6:55 am Reply

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

  68. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted October 10, 2011 at 6:38 am Reply

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

  69. Curtposted October 10, 2011 at 6:28 am Reply

    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!

  70. Cassie @ Bake Your Dayposted October 10, 2011 at 6:27 am Reply

    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!