Home ยป Beef and Bean Chipotle Chili

Beef and Bean Chipotle Chili

This smoky, traditional beef and bean chili offers so much flavor and medium heat, sure to please any and every chili lover! This is a great recipe one pot recipe that can easily be adapted to your unique chili preferences!


Santa is coming! Santa is coming! The magic of this time of year with young children is something I will forever cherish. These sweet years of starry eyes and awe are simply the best! In addition to the joy of this season as a mother, I’m looking forward to 4 days at home of mostly quiet and time with family before returning to the bustle of work. I love to slow down, cuddle up with a book, and spend a bit of time in the kitchen. Other than homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, I look forward to ultimate comfort food: chili! This was the first time in the past 13 years I haven’t held a chili contest on my blog, but that isn’t because I don’t love chili, that’s for sure! Rather, I’ve taken the time to perfect a homemade chili full of our most favorite ingredients, ratios of meat and beans, heat level, and all other factors that go into creating the ultimate, next level chili recipe! Enjoy!


  • Adaptable: The great thing about chili is how easily adapted it is. I transformed your standard beef chili recipe with smoky flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and chili powder, along with tender beans and rich, flavorful tomato-based liquid. Or, go a completely different direction – there’s no right or wrong when it comes to chili!
  • Comfort Food: Chili is year-round food if you’re asking me, but a Dutch oven or large stockpot simmering away with smells wafting through the house is my idea of a perfect winter meal.
  • Healthy: Rich in beans, vegetables, and lean protein, chili is a balanced, protein rich food that offers up ample fiber and tons of staying power in one delicious bowl!
  • One Pot Delight: One pot to wash – it’s the ideal meal for a quick and easy clean up!


  • Olive Oil: Avocado oil can be swapped for olive oil. Either is a heart healthy oil full of antioxidants and unsaturated fats.
  • Onion: A large yellow onion is my go-to in chili, however any onion will work great (white onion, red onion, etc). You can also omit this ingredient or use more or less to your liking.
  • Bell Peppers: Both a red bell pepper and green bell pepper are used for both flavor and color contrast. Feel free to use any colors or including poblano peppers or Anaheim peppers for a different flavor profile of fresh chiles.
  • Chipotle Peppers: These peppers are sold canned in adobo sauce and offer a unique, spicy, and smoky flavor. Finely mince or chop them for best results. You can omit these for a milder chili flavor or use 1-2 teaspoons of additional chipotle chili powder as a substitute.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves works great, however pre-minced, jarred garlic is a nice short-cut. You can also substitute in 2-4 teaspoons of garlic powder depending on how much garlic flavor you prefer.
  • Beef: Ground sirloin is a lean ground beef option that is 90% lean or higher. You can swap in a different ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground lamb, or any combination of.
  • Chili Powder: I love a ton of chili powder! Use more or less to your liking. You can also use chipotle or ancho chili powder for smoky flavor profiles.
  • Cumin: Similar to chili powder, my favorite chilis use generous amounts of cumin. Feel free to use more or less, or omit altogether.
  • ​Garlic Powder: A more subtle garlic flavor profile, I like to use both fresh and powdered garlic in chili. 
  • Onion Powder: This pungent, sharp concentrated onion flavor is unique and provides a nice depth to chili.
  • Chipotle Chili Powder: You can use regular chili powder or ancho chili as substitutes, or for a milder chili, omit this ingredient.
  • ​Cayenne: Adding additional spice, ground cayenne can easily be omited or reduced for less heat.
  • Sugar: Just a bit of granulated sugar cuts the heat of chili while enhancing the acid from the tomatoes – it’s a beautiful balance that ties together the heat and salt of chili.
  • Tomato Paste: You can use 6-8 ounces of low sodium tomato sauce or omit this ingredient. Tomato paste provides a bit of sweetness and a thickening element to sauces.
  • Tomatoes: Hearty chunks of diced tomatoes are a must-have in chili. Fire-roasted tomatoes add to that smoky flavor if you want to give those a try! You can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer, but I would recommend doubling the tomato sauce if you opt to use fresh tomatoes.
  • Beans: Similar to bell peppers, I love a combination of beans for both flavor, texture, and color contrast. While I chose black beans, kidney beans, and chili beans, you can use whatever bean variery you prefer or omit the beans entirely.
  • Broth: Use a low-sodium broth (vegetable broth, chicken broth, beef broth, or bone broth all work great). Water can also be used for half or even all of the broth.
  • Stout: This rich, creamy, full-bodied beer offers a depth to the flavor profile that is wintery and smooth. You can use an amber or another beer of your liking, or use broth or water in its place. 


  • Get creative with your chili and try new things while also trying as you go!
  • Chili is fun to serve any number of ways: over pasta, on top of a baked potato, atop a hot dog in a bun. Repurpose your chili to enjoy leftovers in endless ways!
  • Other optional toppings would include crunched up tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes or onion, and/or freshly sliced jalaoenos or serrano peppers.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Why does chili taste better the next day?

The spices along with the starches and proteins meld and become enhanced as the chili cools and rests. It is typical for soups, stews, and chilis to get better after the day they’re prepared.

What are the best toppings for chili?

Well, that just depends on what you like! I’m a huge fan of a dollop of sour cream or better yet, plain Greek yogurt, to cool off the heat of the chili. A sprinkle of cheddar cheese and sliced green onions or diced avocado are fun additions to add color and freshness.

What’s the difference between chili powder and chipotle chili powder?

Chili powder is mild and is made from a large variety of chile peppers that have been dried and ground with seasonings added whereas chilpotle chili powder are dried and smoked jalapeno peppers that offer a spicier and distinct, smoky flavor.

​I like REALLY spicy chili! What changes would you recommend?

When adding lots of heat, try to layer it in. Start with using fresh peppers such as jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, or habaneros. Add additional chipotle chiles along with the adobo sauce. You can also add additional cayenne and top with hot sauce, too. Add bit by bit because you can’t undo the heat once added!

​There’s more than 2 chipotles in adobo per can? What can I do with the leftovers?

Freeze them! I freeze leftover adobos in snack size plastic bags and pull them out as needed. They’re easy to chop without defrosting and can be kept for 6-12 months in the freezer.


  • Gluten-free and dairy-free as written
  • This meal is a nice balance of cabrohydrate, protein, and fat
  • This chili recipe offers a whopping 8+ grams of fiber PER CUP, making it a high-fiber recipe
  • The sodium in this recipe is slightly reduced through using low sodium products in some instances, however you can further reduce by using all low or no sodium added varieties as well as omitting the salt

Beef and Bean Chipotle Chili

Beef and Bean Chipotle Chili

Yield: 17 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This smoky, traditional beef and bean chili offers so much flavor and medium heat, sure to please any and every chili lover! This is a great recipe one pot recipe that can easily be adapted to your unique chili preferences!


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground sirloin
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can chili beans
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup coffee stout


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and bell peppers; cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until veggies are tender.
  2. Add the chipotles in adobo and garlic; stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. To the pot, add the beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking into a crumble as it cooks, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the spices: chili powder through sugar; stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste to coat the ingredients. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and broth; stir and bring to a simmer. Add the beer and stir.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until thickened. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 7.3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 656mgCarbohydrates: 25.6gFiber: 8.4gSugar: 6.8gProtein: 17.4g

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Looking for more GREAT chili? These have been some killer chili contest submissions of the past!

Be well,

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