Best Beer Chili Recipe

If you are looking for a delicious and hearty meal to enjoy with a crowd, look no further than this incredible beer chili. This recipe yields 10 servings, and it would be great to make for a game day or a big family event. The hearty chili is filled with ground beef, Italian sausage, veggies, and beans. It also boasts a melody of spices and a can of beer that really elevates its flavor. Imagine yourself snuggled up with the family by the fire, indulging in a bowl of this goodness — dreams do come true! 

Recipe developer Erin Johnson came up with this wonderful recipe that gets an A + in our book. "I like this recipe because it's so versatile. You can use what you have on hand, and it will still turn out amazing," she raves. "I love to make this on weeks I know we will be busy, as it's easy to use in different ways," Johnson adds. "It's delicious on its own, but also is great on baked potatoes, for chili dogs, or as a nacho topping." We like the sound of that!

Gather the ingredients for the beer chili recipe

The first order of business is to take a trip to the grocery store. You'll need quite a few things, so we'll just start listing them. For meat, purchase ground beef and Italian sausage. You will also need quite a few items in the produce section, like a large onion, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, and minced garlic. In addition, be sure to pick up some kosher salt and tomato paste.

Pop by the spice aisle and get cumin, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon to add flavor. You will also need a beer and a few other canned goods like fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, and cannellini beans.

Brown and drain the meat

Once you finish your trip to the grocery store, it's time to get cooking! Grab a large pot and place it on a stove burner. Then, take out both types of meat you purchased — the ground beef and the Italian sausage. These two meats go together like peanut butter and jelly! Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of the pot and then toss in the beef and sausage. Continue cooking until browned, which shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Then, drain the excess liquid from the pot and remove the meat. Set the meat to the side until you need it again.

Cook the veggies

To keep things simple and make easier cleanup, use the same pot you used for the meat to cook the veggies. You don't need to clean the pot or wash it out. Simply place it back on your burner and add 2 teaspoons of oil or a generous spray of cooking spray. 

Then, add the onions, peppers, garlic, and salt. As a reminder, you should have chopped and prepped these ahead of time. "I like to use a mix of colors for the bell peppers, but you can use whichever you have on hand," Johnson says. Continue cooking until the veggies soften.

Add the tomato paste, spices, and beer

Now, open your can of tomato paste and add it to the veggies. Next, toss in all of the spices you got. This includes cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon. "The recipe as written is flavorful but mildly spicy. If you want more heat, add more jalapeños and red pepper flakes," Johnson shares. "You can also sub in a hotter pepper, like a habanero, or serve the chili with hot sauce." Cook the spices and tomato paste with the veggies for about 3-5 minutes.

Then, deglaze the pot with beer (cheers!). "I prefer to use a lager or a stout for this. A lighter beer will work but won't pack the same flavor punch," Johnson notes. Be sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the meat, beans, and tomatoes

Go ahead and add the meat back to the pot. At this time, throw in the tomatoes and beans as well. Be sure that you rinsed and drained the beans ahead of time — you don't want to dump them in straight from the can. "You can use any bean combination you prefer. I like to mix up the colors and textures, but feel free to use your favorites," Johnson shares.

Stir everything well to combine. Then, bring the chili to a boil and allow it to simmer for at least 45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy

Once your timer goes off, you may as well do a happy dance because that means the chili is done cooking. Carefully remove it from the stove and serve it to your lucky guests. You can serve this in bowls or on plates, depending on how hungry you are. "I like to serve this with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips, but the options are endless," Johnson shares.

Leftovers also keep well! "Store the leftovers airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days," Johnson notes. "This also freezes well. Just thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat."

Cheers to another fantastic recipe!

Best Beer Chili Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
You'll take the standard chili flavors to new heights when you whip up a batch of this beer chili recipe. It's easy to make and can serve a whole crowd!
Prep Time
Cook Time
chili in a bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (any color)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (add more if you like more spice)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 12-ounce beer
  • 1 10-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  1. Add a bit of oil to the bottom of a large pot and combine ground beef and sausage and cook until browned.
  2. Drain and remove the meat from the pot. Set aside.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons oil or cooking spray to the pot (no need to clean), and add the onions, peppers, garlic, and salt. Cook until the onions begin to soften.
  4. Add the tomato paste and all the spices. Stir well. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Deglaze the pot with the beer, being sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom.
  6. Add all the meat, tomatoes, and beans. Stir well to combine.
  7. Bring the chili to a boil and then allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
Rate this recipe