Need a foolproof easy beef chili recipe that’s simple but delicious? This one comes together quickly with basic pantry ingredients yet delivers big, bold, crowd-pleasing flavor.

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Forget the snow and chilly winter nights; it’s the time of year to gather fanatically around the TV with your closest friends, ready to root your home team on to the final pass! And nothing screams pure comfort food like hearty bowls of chili. Whether you are topping a smoked baked potato, cast chili french fries, or making a chili cheese dog, classic beef chili is the way to go. This recipe is the perfect, easy homemade chili recipe. 

Looking for a quick and Easy Chili Recipe to heat things up! This one comes together quickly to feed a crowd!

What Is Beef Chili?

Chili has a rich and intriguing history that traces back to the early 1800s. While its exact origins are a bit unclear, it’s believed to have emerged in the southwestern regions of the United States, such as Texas and New Mexico. This iconic dish likely evolved from the cooking traditions of Spanish settlers who brought with them various spices, including chili peppers. As it gained popularity, chili became a staple among cowboys, miners, and pioneers due to its hearty nature and affordability. 

Now, onto the recipe. This beef chili isn’t your basic chili recipe. Yes, it’s made with juicy ground beef, beans, and tomatoes, like traditional chili. But this recipe includes beer, cocoa powder, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. These ingredients add a depth of flavor and complexity to the chili.

It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for warming up on chilly days or serving as a crowd-pleasing option at gatherings and events like game day.

Beef Chili Ingredients

  • Dried black beans – Be sure to soak the dried beans overnight or simmer for 90 minutes and drain before using. 
  • Olive oil
  • Onion – adds a depth of flavor. 
  • Ground beef – we use 85% lean beef as it has enough fat for flavor but not too much to make everything greasy. 
  • Red beans – feel free to use other types of beans if you like, such as kidney beans or pinto beans. 
  • Beer – adds additional flavor and depth. Use 
  • Crushed tomatoes – you can also use diced tomatoes for a chunkier texture. 
  • Ketchup – adds a mild tanginess and umami punch. 
  • Cocoa powder – adds depth to the chili. 
  • Chili powder – every classic chili recipe uses chili powder for a kick of spice. If you want a more pronounced chili flavor, use ancho chili powder. If you’re up for it, you can use homemade chili seasoning. 
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes – provide a kick of heat. 
  • Worcestershire sauce – provides subtle umami vibes. 
  • Toppings: avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, red onion
Easy Beef Chili Recipe GirlCarnivore Kita Roberts

How to make the best beef chili

  • Start by heating some olive oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.
  • Next, sauté the onion for about 3 to 5 minutes until it’s soft.
  • Then, add the ground beef and cook it until it’s browned, which should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Now, add the beans and beer to the pot and let everything simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • After that, add crushed tomatoes, ketchup, cocoa powder, chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Give it all a good stir to combine.
  • Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Once it’s done simmering, let the Dutch Oven cool for at least an hour before you put it back on low heat to serve.
  • Finally, serve your chili with your favorite toppings like sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, minced red onion, or sliced scallions. Enjoy!

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Make the day before and serve the next day by heating over low in a slow cooker with a topping bar nearby.
  • The best beef chili is simmered for hours. Whether over a campfire, on the stovetop, or even in a slow cooker, it is best to let chili take a long time for the flavors to develop.
  • Only want a little spice? Adjust the heat levels in this recipe by omitting the red pepper flakes.
  • Want a super spicy chili? Add a dash of cayenne pepper. 
Easy Beef Chili Recipe GirlCarnivore Kita Roberts

What to Serve With Easy Beef Chili

Since chili is a heartier dish, it’s perfect for pairing with lighter side dishes like air fryer sweet potato fries or roasted butternut squash

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months

To reheat, place a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Reheat from the fridge or frozen.

More Chili Recipes

Elevate game day or make chilly days a little more bearable with easy beef chili.

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.

Easy Beef Chili Recipe

5 from 12 votes
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 44 minutes
10 minutes
Total: 3 hours 14 minutes
Servings: 8
Easy Beef Chili Recipe GirlCarnivore Kita Roberts
This easy chili recipe uses basic pantry ingredients like ground beef, canned tomatoes and beans with chili spices for a fool-proof, flavor-packed meal.


  • 1 ½ cup dried black beans cooked, see note
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 lb chili ground beef
  • 19 oz kidney beans canned
  • 12 oz beer
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire


  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Red onion


  • In a large Dutch Oven, bring the olive oil to heat over medium high heat.
  • Saute the onion 3 to 5 minutes, until just soft.
  • Add the ground beef and brown, another 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the beans to the pot along with the beer and simmer for 30 minutes longer.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes, ketchup, cocoa powder, chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Summer, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Allow the Dutch Oven to cool for at least one hour before returning to a low simmer to serve.
  • Serve with toppings such as sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, minced red onion or sliced scallions.


Be sure to soak the dried beans overnight or simmer for 90 minutes and drain before adding to the chili. Alternatively, use canned beans. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 2078mg | Potassium: 1398mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 11.9mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 6.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs


We love using a variety of meat for our chili. But our go-to base is always a thicker grind, 85% ground beef. We like using 85% lean ground beef so that there is some flavor from the fat, but we drain it once browned to avoid any solidifying on the surface.
A good balance for chili is a one-to-three ratio of beef to other ingredients. When wanting a bonus health kick, we add a ton of beans or minced mushrooms to balance out the heartiness. 
When we are feeling particularly adventurous, we will brown other inexpensive cuts and allow them to braise for shredding as well, like in our Dutch oven chili. Another meat we love to add is a browned spicy sausage or brat, like in our big batch crock pot chili.

What type of beer is best for chili?

You can use any type of beer you like. However, the type you use will affect the flavor. For example, if you want a light essence of flavor, use a lighter beer. For a richer flavor, use a dark ale or lager.

Do I have to add cocoa powder?

Nope! It’s totally optional. Although, it adds another layer of flavor without tasting like a chocolate bar.

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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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5 from 12 votes (1 rating without comment)

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    1. Hey there Shirley, I can understand your confusion, however, this site is in no way affiliated with the ‘carnivore diet’- Though, this chili is pretty delicious sans beans – I would just double down on the meat to thicken it.

      1. Thank you for the clarification and the tip. Can always just use spices, meat and beer (optional) for true carnivores. Top with cheese n sour cream. Yum! Thinking of throwing it all in the crockpot right now! Checked out other recipes of yours that look good and can easily be converted. For example chorizio stuffed jalapeno could be bacon wrapped chorzio meatball appetizers, etc. Thank you for the inspiration.

  1. 5 stars
    This seriously looks and sounds so amazing. I will have to try this one out. We love chili in this household!