There are two ingredients that make this easy beef and three-bean chili recipe from killer to kick-ass: beer and enchilada sauce. Taste it and discover for yourself.
Eating a big bowl of chili is one of those wintery rituals that fills the soul. Add a wedge of cornbread for dipping and things only get better. Chili is one of those dishes that is ultimately flexible. Turkey and corn give this Deer Valley Turkey Chili a Southwest feel whereas Chicken and White Bean Chili with Butternut Squash has a lighter feel.
I first made this beef and three-bean chili recipe before some of my readers were even born. Ground beef and beans are the beautiful body of the stew, but two unusual chili ingredients, enchilada sauce, and beer are what give this rich and hearty chili a totally kick-ass flavor. Serve this with my favorite cornbread, for the ultimate cozy, cool-weather meal.
What’s in This Three Bean Chili?
You need very few ingredients to achieve that — ahem — killer beefy chili flavor. There are two not-so-secret ingredients that take this chili recipe from killer to kick-ass: beer and enchilada sauce.
Here’s what you’ll need for this meat and bean chili recipe:
- Vegetable oil
- Bell peppers
- Herbs and spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon)
- Ground beef (you could easily sub ground turkey if you wanted)
- Beans (I like a mix of chili, pinto, and kidney, but you could use black beans as well)
- Enchilada sauce
- Beer (I like a lager)
- Jalapeños (for topping), though green onions or fresh cilantro would be yummy as well
How to Make Three Bean and Beef Chili
The beauty of any homemade chili recipe is that it’s almost always a dump-and-cook kind of meal.
For maximum chili flavor, add the spices to the vegetables as they cook, rather than simply adding the spices to the sauce. Cook the garlic, onion, and bell peppers in a large Dutch oven until soft then add the spices. This method infuses the vegetables with aromatics and deepens the earthy sauce.
Add the ground beef to the veggies and cook until the meat is browned. I use ground sirloin for my beef. A suitable chuck or even ground round will do. Or, try 1 pound of pork sausage with 1 pound of ground beef.
Add the remaining ingredients and let the mixture simmer, covered, for at least an hour.
Remove the lid and simmer for another hour before serving.
Serve as is or add some chili toppings. Add a dollop of sour cream, diced onion, sliced jalapeño, and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese. Corn chips add a great crunch, too.
What are the Best Beans for Chili?
I use a rainbow of three different canned beans in this recipe: dark red kidney beans, lighter pinto beans, and chili beans, which are beans cooked in a mild sauce. I use canned beans because it’s quick and easy and nobody has ever complained that I did.
Is There a Beer Substitute I Can Use?
The alcohol in the beer completely cooks out of the chili while it simmers on the stove. If you don’t want to use alcohol, substitute beef or chicken broth. The flavor won’t be quite as rich, but your beef chili will still be killer.
Can I Freeze Chili?
Yes, chili freezes incredibly well. Let it cool to room temperature then ladle it into freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. The chili can be popped into the fridge overnight to thaw or reheated from frozen on the stove.
More Homemade Chili Recipes You’ll Like
- Slow Cooker Healthy Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili with Quinoa
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Chili
- Easy White Bean Chicken Chili with Butternut Squash
- White Bean and Pumpkin Pork Chili
- CrockPot Pork Green Chili
- 20 Chili Recipes to Cozy Up To
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Killer Beef and Three Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 green bell peppers , cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium onions , peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- ¼ cup New Mexico chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds ground sirloin beef
- 1 15- ounce can kidney beans
- 1 15- ounce can pinto beans
- 1 15- ounce can chili beans
- 1 15- ounce can enchilada sauce
- 1 12- ounce bottle of beer , (I used a lager)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Sliced jalapeños , for topping
- Melt the butter with the vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Cook the bell peppers, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon over the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the ground sirloin to the vegetables and break up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until beef is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the beans, enchilada sauce and bottle of beer and season with kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the cover, stir and cook for 1 more hour. Add ¼ to ½ cup water if the chili gets too thick, stir and simmer.
- Serve with sliced jalapeño, sour cream and cheddar cheese if desired.
More Easy Soup Recipes to Make This Winter
- Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- The Best Cheeseburger Soup
- Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Kale
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
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