Beef, Bean and Beer Chili Recipe

As the name implies, those are the key ingredients in this chili recipe. There are probably as many stars in the galaxy as there are chili recipes, but our family is quite fond of this recipe, so I thought I would share.

The Beer

You can add almost any beer imaginable, and here is where the customization starts on your end. I am in a phase now where I have burned out on IPA’s and overly-hopped beers. I therefore switched to classic, cheap American lagers by choice, just like the kind my grandpa used to sip watching the ballgame. Personally, I recommend lagers for cooking as they have a basic, bold and somewhat neutral taste. My other go-to for cooking is Guinness stout, since it is like a meal in itself with a rich, malty flavor.

The Beans

I am also a fan of ‘yes-all of the above.’ I hate choosing, so I usually incorporate the best of all possible choices. I started adding both pinto and black beans to my chili dishes ages ago, and it has stuck. You can use ANY kind of beans you like, but give this combo a shot.

The Beef

Classic ground chuck or ground round works best…you want to make sure there is some fat for flavor. Many people use steak and get pretty fancy with their recipes, but I just brown up the beef and go.


Of course, condiment is king in my book. Get creative with your toppings. I love cutting fresh chives from the garden. Top with sour cream, grated cheddar, crushed tortilla chips or even Fritos. Grab some salsas and enjoy!

chives in the garden

Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili Recipe

Just like the name, these are the key ingredients to this easy and delicious recipe
4.63 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bean, beer, black bean, chili, chili recipes, chives, Montreal Steak Seasoning, pinto beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • stainless steel or nonstick pot
  • wooden spoon
  • potato masher


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb ground chuck or ground round
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 frying pepper or bell pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 can Plain tomato sauce (29 oz can) Stock up when on sale!
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 can beer Lager or stout, or your favorite
  • 1/2 cup V8 vegetable juice
  • black pepper to taste


Dice and sautee the onion and pepper

  • Slice and dice the onion into the desired texture and size. Add to the pot
  • Slice and dice the pepper. Start by removing the stem, slicing around the top.
    Prepping the frying pepper
  • Slice into strips lengthwise. Cut closely along the white parts, flip on their sides and cut out the more sizable white bits–no need to be perfect.
  • Slice the pepper strips crosswise, and add to pot.
  • Pour around a tablespoon of olive oil over the onion and peppers in the pot and turn to medium heat. Stir occasionally until slightly browned and the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes, adding more olive oil to allow them to slide easily.

Brown the beef

  • I like to do this while the onion and pepper are sauteeing. Add the 2 lbs of ground beef to a frying pan and start mashing with a potato masher.
    mashing ground beef
  • Continue mashing the beef and stirring gently, ensuring the beef is evenly browned–around 7-10 minutes.
  • Drain the fat into a disposable container. I usually find something from the recycle bin. To drain the fat, I hold the back of a plate up to the beef and tilt the pan sideways, keeping the back of the plate firmly pressed against the beef to drain of excess fat into the cup or can.
    draining the fat
  • Add the browned beef to the pot with the onion and pepper.

Start adding the goods

  • Heat the pot back to med-high. Add the 1/2 can of beer. Dont worry, it is going to a good cause.
    pour the beer into the chili
  • Drain most of the liquid from the beans and add to the pot.
  • Add the tomato sauce and remaining ingredients to pot, stirring well. Let simmer for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
    tomato sauce in a can
  • After the sauce has simmered for a bit, I also like to add 1 or 2 green onions–or scallions, as some call them. Slice them crosswise up until the stalk is deep green and toss into the pot.
  • After about 10 minutes, check to see how things are going. I like adding the V8 and giving things a taste. This is your chance to tweak it how you like it. Leave uncovered for another 5 minutes, then cover and set to low heat. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or longer. If you like a thicker chili, you can leave uncovered and let boil down a bit more. Chili is one of those dishes that tastes even better the longer you let it sit and the flavors infuse. It tastes even BETTER the next day! Serve with grated cheddar, chives, sour cream, jalapenos. Tastes great over rice or crushed tortillas–even fritos! Even better, toss over a hotdog for a taste excursion.
    v8 pouring into the chili

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