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Classic Chili with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese on top

Classic Chili

Coffee and beer give this classic chili recipe a mouthwatering depth of flavor! Let it simmer all day for an easy-to-make dinner that your family will love.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Mama's Old Fashion Chili, no beans chili recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 940kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 80/20
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans drained a bit
  • 2 (14.5-ounces) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (4-ounce) can Ortega chiles chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Brown ground beef in a dutch oven in 1 tablespoon olive oil until most of the pink is gone; remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and saute onion (1 1/2 cups) for about 2 minutes. Add red peppers (2) and continue to cook until soft. Add jalapeno (2) and garlic (10 cloves) and saute for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt and cooked beef (1 1/2 pounds) to the pan and heat through.
  • Add beer (2 bottles) and coffee (1 cup) and stir up any brown bits on the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours or until chili is at the desired thickness. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Bring chili to a simmer and serve. Yum!


  1. Dark Beer: Chili is all about those deep, developed flavors, and what more developed flavors can you get than in beer? Grab your favorite dark beer -- or, if you don't have one, use a stout -- and once you taste the final result, you'll never make chili without it again!
    • This is the secret ingredient that a lot of award-winning chili recipe victors swear by. The alcohol burns off and there is absolutely no recognizable beer flavor in the finished chili.
  2. Coffee: Another unusual ingredient that will make ALL the difference! Cooking with coffee adds so much complexity to flavors. You can either use brewed coffee or instant -- but again, don't shy away from this ingredient! Here's a great article from Epicurious about other ways to use coffee in savory dishes.
    • It brings so much to the final dish and, as with the beer, there will be no coffee flavor in the chili. You can even use decaf if you'd like.
  3. Beef: This classic chili recipe is a BEEF chili recipe! I use 80/20.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 940kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 3114mg | Potassium: 2930mg | Fiber: 34g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 4130IU | Vitamin C: 115mg | Calcium: 278mg | Iron: 14mg