Weeknight Dinner Staple: Beer Chili

chiliAs the crisp Fall weather approaches, I’ve found myself starting to crave warm comfort foods once again. A favorite of mine is chili. Which pairs well with another favorite of mine, beer. Beer chili!

There are about a million chili recipes out there, all slightly different. The one I follow is adapted from a Food Network recipe that a friend shared with me a few years ago. I used to make a Crock Pot chili that was simple and pretty tasty too, but once I tried this version, there was no turning back. And don’t worry, even if you’re not a beer fan, you’ll still love this chili.

Fair warning, this is not a meal to be made on a rushed weeknight. The cooking part doesn’t take long, but you’ll need to allow time for it to simmer. I recommend making this one on the weekend, or whenever you have time to let it simmer for a couple hours, and then reheating it during the week. Pro tip: it’s even better left over.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, optional (about half of a small container)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika**
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup beer (I recommend a lager for this recipe; I usually use Yuengling)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • Sour cream and cheddar, for topping
  • Side note: The original recipe calls for black and kidney beans. We’re not a fan of beans in our chili at this house, so I omit those. If you’d like to use them, the recipe calls for one 15-ounce can of each, drained and rinsed.

*Meatloaf mix is made up of ⅓ ground beef, ⅓ ground pork, and ⅓ ground veal. If your grocery store doesn’t sell this (check with the butcher), you can use any combo of the three or a higher grade meat. I used ground sirloin once (so good), and another time I used just ground veal.

**The smoked paprika is key! Delicious. If you can’t find it at the grocery store, try Trader Joe’s or TJMaxx!


Heat canola oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot and slightly simmering, add garlic, onion, peppers, and spices (chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano). Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables, stirring often, until tender. Add the meat and break it up; cook until browned. Stir in the beer and mushrooms, then add all the tomatoes. Stir everything together, then turn the heat to low. Simmer on low for at least an hour and a half. When ready to eat, serve with freshly-grated cheddar cheese and sour cream on top, if you please. I always please.

Curl up on the couch and enjoy with a brew!

{Recipe adapted from Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili}