Let your oven do the work for this incredibly flavorful Dutch oven chili. A thick, tomato-rich chili base loaded with beef and skips the beand and bakes low and slow, allowing the rich flavors to meld and intensify.

Classic Beef Chili Recipe | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

When football season and cold weather rolls around, nothing warms the soul better than a piping hot bowl of chili like the kind mom used to make. This hearty chili recipe uses only a large Dutch oven to cook the chili, like our white chicken chili, making it the perfect one pot meal. If you want to ditch the ground beef and make a flavorful chili with chuck roast, this is the recipe for you.

What Is Dutch Oven Chili?

This easy Dutch oven chili recipe is like a fun take on regular beef chili made with ground beef. Instead of ground beef or even ground turkey chili, we chose chuck roast. This cut of beef is often inexpensive and has a nice amount of fat for making ground beef or roasting.

The time and slow cooking of those big cuts of beef is just what it needs to ensure that the meat is flavorful and breaks apart with the slight tug of a fork. Stewing, braising, or slow cooking gives the right temperature and time for the beef to break down the collagens so that these less expensive cuts can be savored and are fork-tender when you bite into them. 

For this Classic Beef Chili Recipe, we grabbed a 3-pound chuck, our homemade beef broth. We got to work cutting it down into smaller pieces and removing any fat that would just be unappealing if chewed on and let the dried chilis lead the way for a savory meal worth the wait.

Classic Beef Chili Recipe | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore

One-Pot Classic Chili Recipe Ingredients

The timeless Dutch Oven Chili – make this recipe and master a tried and true favorite for the ages while feeding everyone for days! 

  • Dried pinto beans – you could also use other types of beans, such as black beans or kidney beans. 
  • Salt
  • Dried ancho chilies & arbol chiles – provide a hint of heat. You could also use regular chili powder or homemade chili seasoning if you like. 
  • Cornmeal
  • Oregano – slightly sweet and peppery. 
  • Cumin – nutty and earthy. 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – adds a depth of flavor. 
  • Chicken broth – thins out the chili broth. 
  • Onions – add a depth of flavor to the chili. 
  • Jalapenos – add a kick of heat. 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Molasses – balances the heat and spices. 
  • Chuck roast – cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • Mild lager – we used Fordham’s Gypsy Lager. 
  • Sour cream, lime, scallions for garnish

How to Make the Best Dutch Oven Chili

First, in a Dutch oven, combine the dried beans with 3 tablespoons of salt and enough water to cover them. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat and let it stand for 1 hour. After an hour, drain and rinse the beans.

Next, preheat your oven to 300°F and position the rack in the lower middle part of the oven. While the oven is preheating, roast the ancho peppers in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for about 4 to 6 minutes until they become fragrant. Transfer the roasted peppers to a food processor.

In the food processor with the ancho peppers, add the arbol chilies, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pulse the mixture until it forms a powdery paste. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of chicken broth while scraping down the sides of the processor. Set the paste aside.

Now, mix the diced onions and jalapenos together. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and jalapenos for about 7 to 9 minutes until they soften. Then, reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic, cooking for another minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes, molasses, and the chili paste you prepared earlier. Mix everything well, then add the soaked beans and the remaining chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Meanwhile, heat another skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Season half of the beef with salt and cook it in the skillet until it’s browned on all sides, which should take about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to the Dutch oven. Deglaze the skillet with half of the beer, scraping up any browned bits, and bring it to a simmer. Transfer the deglazed liquid to the Dutch oven. Repeat the same process with the remaining beef and beer.

Finally, cover the Dutch oven with its lid and carefully place it in the preheated oven. Let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is fork-tender. Once done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving in bowls and garnishing with your favorite toppings.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Make the day before and reheat on the stovetop when you’re ready to serve to cut down on time. 
  • Meal prep by storing leftover chili in airtight containers or freezer bags for an easy dump-and-go meal.
Classic Beef Chili Recipe | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

What to Serve With Beef Chili

Nothing complements a chili recipe like cornbread or homemade bread! If you want to amp up the veggies, you could add a side of air fryer cauliflower, Sweet potato french fries, or air fryer vegetables for a quick side dish.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months. 

To reheat, place a small saucepan on the stove top and reheat on medium heat. If frozen, allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

More Dutch Oven Recipes

Dutch oven chili is the epitome of a hearty meal that brings warmth and satisfaction to the whole family. With its rich flavors and comforting aromas, it’s the perfect comfort food for any occasion.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

Dutch Oven Chili in Oven

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Classic Beef Chili Recipe | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com
This Dutch oven chili recipe produces an incredibly flavored beef and bean chili by baking everything low and slow in the oven. Thick and tomatoey!


  • 8 oz dried pinto beans rinsed and picked over
  • salt
  • 6 dried ancho chilies stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 arbol chilies stemmed, seeded, and cut in half
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 jalapenos stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 3 lbs chuck roast cut into large bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 mild lager I used Fordham’s Gypsy Lager
  • Sour cream lime, scallions for garnish


  • Dutch oven beans 3 tbs salt – broil to boil. remove from heat. stand 1 hour. drain rinse.
  • Oven to lower middle. 300
  • Roast the ancho peppers in a dry skillet over medium high heat, toasting for 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Toss the chilies in a food processor. Add the arbol chilies, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and 1/2 teas salt to the food processor and pulse until everything is powdery.
  • Slowly add in 1/2 cup chicken broth, scraping down the sides once or twice and pulsing again. Set paste aside.
  • Mix the onions and the jalapeno.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the onions and jalapeños for about 7 – 9 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium, and add the garlic to the Dutch oven and cook one minute longer.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, molasses, and the chili mixture you previously set aside.
  • Add the beans and the remaining chicken broth.
  • Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle the beef with salt and cook half of it in the skillet until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the beef to the Dutch oven. Deglaze the pan with half of the beer, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Bring to a simmer and transfer liquid to pot.
  • Repeat with the remaining meat and beer. Stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the Dutch oven and carefully transfer to the preheated oven.
  • Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is fork tender.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool before ladling into bowls and topping with desired garnish.


From: Cook’s All-Time Best Soups and Stews 2014


Serving: 2g | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 1116mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4781IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

What type of Dutch oven should I use for this recipe?

​We recommend a cast iron Dutch oven or an enameled Dutch oven for this recipe, as these can withstand high temperatures.

Is this a spicy chili recipe?

This is a spicier chili, yes. Instead of chili powder, we use real chiles, lending to a spicier chili. However, you can totally just use chili powder and omit the jalapeños for a less spicy version. 

How long does it take for the chili to cook in the oven?

Have you ever heard that soup is better the next day? We think the same goes for chili. This pretty much means you’re going to let it sit and stew for a while and then reheat it slowly for that perfectly shredded meat. 
Chili takes time and can be cooked in a slow cooker (like our favorite big batch game day chili) or in a Dutch Oven, but the longer you give the flavors to mingle with one another, the more defined they become. 
Chili should stew until the meat is fork tender, at least 2 to 3 hours in a Dutch Oven or 5 to 7 in a slow cooker. 

Do I have to add the lager?

Nope! Although beer adds additional flavor and depth, it’s totally optional. You’ll still get a delicious chili without it. 

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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Recipe Rating


  1. By “1 1/2 mild lager” do you mean 1 1/2 cups or 1 1/2 (12 oz) bottles? The recipe sounds delicious and I’m hoping to try it soon.

      1. Thank you for replying so quickly. The chili turned out great! I did a half recipe and used stew lamb instead of beef. The flavor and spice of the chiles is just right, and the meat was very tender. I want to make it again soon, but the full amount so I can freeze some.

        I also noticed the recipe calls for garlic, but it’s not listed in the ingredients, so I used 2 minced cloves.