Quick Beef and Four Bean Chili Recipe

Beef Chili Recipe
Beef chili recipe. Photo © Danilo Alfaro
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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This easy recipe for beef chili features four different kinds of beans. Canned beans will work perfectly well for this chili, so don't worry about soaking dried beans overnight or any of that. It's really not necessary.

I can almost always find canned beans for 50 cents a can, but it's not even about the cost. Sure, dried beans are cheaper than canned, but my time (and yours) has value attached to it too, not to mention the space in your fridge taken up by a big bowl of soaking beans.

Anyway, this is my quick and easy chili recipe, so I use canned beans. For that matter, using ground beef is a time-saver compared with making chili with cubes of beef that need to be braised for a while.

But it's great because it freezes really well, so in about 45 minutes (most of which time I don't even need to be in the kitchen), I can make a batch of chili that I can portion out into at least 8 servings. The hard part is remembering the night before to transfer the container to the fridge so it can thaw overnight.

The seasoning mix given here will yield a moderately spicy chili, but feel free to fine-tune it to your own individual taste — mainly by adjusting how much cayenne pepper you use.

I make this chili in a Dutch oven exactly like this one.

What You'll Need

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (15-oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste

How to Make It

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, brown the beef over medium heat in a small amount of oil. Drain excess fat, remove beef from pot and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and to the pot and sauté until slightly browned.
  3. Add about ½ cup of beef stock and use a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to loosen all the flavory bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the browned beef. Cook for a minute, then add the beans, seasonings (but not the salt) and the remaining stock.
  1. Simmer for 20–30 minutes or until the chili has thickened, stirring occasionally. If the chili thickens too much, adjust the consistency with a bit more beef stock.
  2. Season to taste with Kosher salt. Serve hot.