Beef Chili

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Total: 2 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min


1 1/2 pounds beef round, cut into 1-inch chunks

Kosher salt and pepper

6 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons fine corn meal

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 (14.5-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Fresh salsa, homemade or store-bought, for serving

Lime wedges and cooked brown rice, for serving


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil; sear the beef in two batches, adding up to 2 teaspoons more vegetable oil, until browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the beef to a plate as it browns.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot; add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cocoa, chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the corn meal and tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste sticks to bottom and caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Stir in 6 cups water, scraping tomato paste from bottom of pan; bring to a simmer. Add the reserved beef and beans; partially cover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer until the beef is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Serve chili with fresh salsa, lime wedges, and brown rice, if desired.

Cook’s Note

This chili has all the flavor of a classic, but the fat and calories are much lower.

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