There are two ingredients that take this easy beef and three bean chili recipe from killer to kick-ass: beer and enchilada sauce. Taste it for yourself to discover the reason why.
Beefy Three Bean Chili Recipe
This beef chili recipe is not only killer, it was almost kick-ass too.
But then I got nervous that when my mom read this post she’d be hot on her iPhone to text me and say, “Heidi!!! You can’t say kick-ass in your post! You’ll offend your readers!”
So in regard for you, my dear readers, this chili is simply KILLER. But you’ll realize as soon as you make it that it’s totally kick-ass, too.
I first made this recipe before most of today’s teenagers were even born. I wrote it down in my familiar handwriting that is much more legible than it is today.
It’s safely documented within the well-worn, hand-written recipe book my mom gave me right out of college. The book that’s stuffed with the torn-out recipes from random newspapers and magazines that over the years have become our own. The book whose ruled pages hold the treasures of recipes passed down to me from my mom, my grandmothers and even a few co-workers and neighbors who inspired me with their creations.
It’s my one recipe book that could never be replaced.
And like this three bean chili, it is filled with kick-ass flavors waiting to be made. I mean…ahem…killer flavors. That one’s for you, mom.
What’s in This Three Bean Chili?
You need very few ingredients to achieve that — ahem — killer beefy chili flavor. Spoiler: I have two not-so secret ingredients that take this chili recipe from killer to kick-ass. Taste it for yourself to discover the reason why.
Here’s everything I used in this meat chili recipe:
- Vegetable oil
- Bell peppers
- Herbs and spices
- Ground beef
- Enchilada sauce
What are the Best Beans for Chili?
I use three different beans in this recipe starting with dark kidney beans, lighter pinto beans and chili beans, which are beans cooked in a mild sauce. It’s a rainbow of beans. I use canned beans because it’s just easier and quicker.
I’ve never had anyone complain that I didn’t take the time to soak my beans straight from the bag, but if you’d like to, I say go for it!
How to Make Three Bean Chili
The beauty of any homemade chili recipe is that it’s almost always a dump and cook kind of meal. To make this killer three bean and beef chili, cook the garlic, onion, and bell peppers in an oiled Dutch oven until soft.
Then, stir in the herbs and spices and cook until fragrant. Add the ground beef to the veggies and cook until the meat is browned.
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.
Is There a Beer Substitute I Can Use?
The alcohol in the beer completely cooks out of the three bean chili while it simmers on your stove, but if you absolutely don’t want to use it you’re welcome to 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, three bean chili freezes incredibly well. Let it cool to room temperature and 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.
Tips for Making Three Bean Chili
I use ground sirloin for my beef. If you can’t find sirloin, a suitable chuck or even ground beef will do. Or, feel free to use 1 pound pork sausage with 1 pound ground beef. Make it what you crave.
For maximum chili flavor, I cook the spices along with the vegetables, rather than simply adding them to the sauce. This method infuses the vegetables with the aromatics and deepens the earthy sauce.
Although this three bean chili is delicious as is, try topping it with a dollop of sour cream, sliced jalapeño, and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar. I dare you to find a better combination of chili toppings!
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! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or 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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