This 3 Bean Chili with Beer is slightly spicy, smoky, and oh so tasty! Packed with hearty beans, fresh veggies, and rich beer, this beer chili is a perfect fall or winter dinner idea. I promise you won't miss the meat in this budget-friendly vegetarian 3 bean chili recipe.
One of my favorite cold weather traditions is making stove top chili on Sundays while my husband and I watch football. This easy stovetop chili recipe can be ready in 45 minutes, but I like to let it sit on the stove for a couple hours before serving. If our team doesn't win, we still have a delicious meal to look forward to!
- Beans - Beans are full of fiber and protein! I use a combination of black, kidney, and pinto beans for this chili recipe.
- Beer - We love Shiner Bock and use that often when cooking this beer chili recipe. You can use any beer you prefer, but I would suggest using a heavier flavored beer and not a light beer. The more flavorful the beer, the more depth of flavor your chili will have. More info on what beer to use in chili can be found below in FAQs.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce - These are smoked and dried jalapeños that have been rehydrated and canned in a sweet, smoky, tangy sauce. This is my favorite ingredient in this chili recipe - don't leave it out!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - Cocoa powder in chili adds depth of flavor and richness. You don't want to skip this ingredient.
- Rotel Tomatoes - Any flavor of Rotel tomatoes will be great in this chili recipe with beer. When testing this recipe multiple times, I've used original, hot, and fire roasted - depending on your flavor preference, all taste great.
- Spices - chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano
How to Make 3 Bean Chili
A pot of chili cooking on the stove while my husband and I watch football is my idea of a perfect day. Three bean chili is easy to prepare and I only need to get up a few times during commercials to stir it. Simmer this chili on the stove for at least 30 minutes, but I usually let mine simmer for an hour or more.
Step 1: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven and add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions appear translucent and the peppers begin to soften.
Step 2: While the vegetables are cooking drain and rinse the canned beans. Next, add chipotle peppers, garlic, and spices to the pot and cook for about one minute.
Step 3: Add in all the other ingredients: beer, stock, diced tomatoes, cocoa powder, and beans. Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
The longer you simmer chili the more depth of flavor it will have. Stir in a tablespoon of lime juice right before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
You want to choose beans that will hold their shape, absorb flavors, and stand up to cooking and simmering. The best beans for chili are: black, pinto, kidney, cannellini, and chickpeas.
Darker and sweeter beers compliment spicy chili and enhance the flavors. The best beer for chili will be one that you also enjoy drinking. Try a stout, pilsner, amber ale, IPA, or wheat beer in chili recipes.
This is a personal preference. Some popular toppings for chili are: sour cream, cheese, onions, pico de gallo, avocado, and cilantro.
It's typical for cornbread, oyster crackers, or saltine crackers to be served with chili. Other sides for chili can include: chips & guacamole, breadsticks, potato skins, or a fresh salad. Here you'll find 21 of my favorite chili side dishes in one post.
After cooking homemade chili, you may have leftovers. Allow chili to cool and come to room temperature before storing. How long does chili last in the fridge? Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you Freeze Chili?
Yes! Freezing chili is a great way to save time and money. Allow chili to cool and come to room temperature before storing. Store chili in a freezer-safe, airtight container.
Freeze leftover chili for up to 3 months. Don't forget to label the container with the date so you know when you stored it. When you're ready to eat leftover 3 bean chili, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
Hungry for More?
If you try this recipe or any recipe from Happy Honey Kitchen, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Enjoy!
3 Bean Chili with Beer
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 jalapeño seeds removed and diced (leave seeds in for more spice)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3.7 ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce diced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 12 ounces beer
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 28 ounces Rotel diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 16 ounce black beans drained and rinsed
- 16 ounce red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 16 ounce pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions appear translucent and the peppers begin to soften.
- Add diced chipotle peppers with their sauce, garlic, and spices to the pot. Mix well and cook for one minute on medium heat while stirring.
- Add beer, stock, Rotel diced tomatoes, cocoa powder, and beans. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. Add lime juice before serving.
- The best beer for chili will be one that you also enjoy drinking. Darker and sweeter beers compliment spicy chili and enhance the flavors. Try a stout, pilsner, amber ale, IPA, or wheat beer in chili recipes.
- You can substitute 1 tablespoon of honey if you don't have unsweetened cocoa powder.
- You can use chicken stock, if you're not making this a vegetarian chili.
- Fresh lime juice is best. Depending on the size of the lime you will need 1-2 limes tp get 1 tablespoon.