Spicy Ancho Beef Chili

Inspired by This recipe, originally published in Cooking Light, I created Spicy Ancho Beef Chili with Beans.  It is meaty, spicy and full of ancho chili flavor. This recipe makes at least 10 servings, so is great for a crowd.

If you’ve never used dried chilis, be sure to stem and seed them, or they may be too spicy.  Anchos are a good one to start with as they are readily available.  You can soak them in warm water to reconstitute them, but I find it is easier to seed them when dry, and then just chop and saute them to soften.

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 1-4 hr.
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 45 min
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups and Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex


  • 3 T Olive Oil (any type), divided
  • 2 1/2 lb. Boneless Chuck Roast, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped
  • 1 lg yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 4 t Cumin
  • 4 t Chili Powder
  • 1 t Paprika
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz. Dried Ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded, cut into 1” pieces
  • 128oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 qt (4 cups) Low-sodium Beef Broth
  • 2 cans black, pinto, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed


Saute the beef and peppers:

  1. Into a large, heavy pot (Enameled Cast-iron is ideal), over high heat, heat 1 T olive oil. Salt and pepper, then brown the beef cubes, in batches, on all sides.  As they become browned, remove beef to a separate bowl.
  2. If the beef leaves a lot of fat in the bottom of the pot, wipe out the pot, pouring out all but about 1 T. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, and returning heat to medium-high, saute the chopped bell peppers until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove peppers to the bowl with the beef cubes.

Make the chili base:

  1. Keeping heat at Medium to Medium high, add another tablespoon of olive oil, if needed, and saute the chopped onion, stirring regularly, for about 8 minutes, until golden.  Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika and brown sugar. Stir and saute for 30-60 seconds, until very fragrant.  Add the chilies and continue to saute 3 minutes.  Chilies should be softened slightly at this point.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes and beef broth. Stir, and bring to low boil.
  3. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, making sure to not splatter the hot base, blend spicy base until the onions and chilis are no longer visible. Mixture will be thick but not silky smooth.
  4. Spoon the beef cubes and peppers, along with any accumulated juices, into the chili base, and simmer for at least an hour, but up to 4 hours, adding extra broth or water if needed to thin the base. Salt and pepper to taste.  Add additional chili powder or cumin if desired.
  5. 30 minutes prior to serving, add the drained and rinsed beans, again adjusting flavor with salt if needed.
  6. Serve in bowls with sour cream, shredded cheese and a squeeze of lime, if desired.


Keywords: Chili, soup, stew, beef, tomatoes, beans

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