This rib-sticking bean chili is richly flavored with cumin, chili, paprika, oregano and an assortment of peppers. Use whatever beans you have in your pantry.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1995


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Toast cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder; grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl; add chili powder, paprika, oregano and cayenne. Stir to combine; set aside.

  • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, and saute until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions have softened and are golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeños, sun-dried tomatoes, anchos chiles (if using), and the reserved spice mixture. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add beer, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Add tomatoes and their juices, chocolate, sugar, bay leaves and the browned beef. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  • Add kidney beans, white beans and black beans and cook until the chili is thick, 30 to 45 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in cilantro, if using, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnishes.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up 2 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Note: Ancho chiles, one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico, are dried poblano peppers. They have a mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Ground ancho chile can be found with other spices in large supermarkets, or substitute ground chili powder with a pinch of cayenne.

Nutrition Facts

358 calories; protein 26.3g; carbohydrates 47.7g; dietary fiber 14.6g; sugars 8.9g; fat 8.1g; saturated fat 2.2g; cholesterol 33.5mg; vitamin a iu 1315.6IU; vitamin c 23.9mg; folate 139mcg; calcium 128.2mg; iron 6.4mg; magnesium 55.2mg; potassium 948.8mg; sodium 493.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (2)

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4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
We love this chili and have been making it for years. We don't include the beef - we've tried it with ground turkey but like it best with just the beans. There are great spices in this chili and it's got a nice kick. Christine Berkeley CA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This is a gr8 recipe. You do not need beer & chocolate to experience the beautiful flavours of chilli beans. Masego Bloemfontein South Africa Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My new favorite chili recipe! My son is a vegetarian so after I added the beans I let the pot simmer for 10 minutes then removed a portion for him to which I addded some soy crumbles. Then I added the browned beef (I used organic ground beef) to the original mixture and let both simmer for an hr. FABULOUS flavor. Pros: Lots of ingredients but most of them were in my pantry Read More
Rating: 4 stars
very complex Read More