Chipotle Beef Chili

I received a Dutch oven for Christmas, and obviously I’m obsessed with it. I’m definitely going to be trying out something classy like Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon in it soon, but for now, let’s go with some Chipotle Beef Chili!

This recipe was born as many of my kitchen creations are–out of a need to use up some random ingredient. In this case, it was part of a can of chipotles in adobo sauce.

The only other time I can remember cooking with chipotles in adobo was back in college when they were, again, a random ingredient to be used up. Unaware of their potential potency, I used WAY too much in some black beans and then lit Oliver and myself on fire with the resulting tacos.

Coincidentally, just the night before making the tacos we had cooked Thai basil pork for the very first time, filling his apartment with pepper-spray-esque fumes (and then ingesting it anyway, much to the delight of Oliver’s spice-inclined palate and much to the misery of my own). Needless to say, it was a very spicy and painful week filled with chocolate milk to calm my mouth and ginger ale to calm my stomach.

For my benefit (as well as yours if you choose to make this recipe), I entered into this experiment with a much more healthy fear of the true power of chipotle peppers. Start small, using the amount suggested for a pleasant smoky heat, perhaps a little less if you’re especially sensitive or just nervous after reading my mention of DIY stovetop pepper spray. No need to be all “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” on the first go-around. You can always add more next time.

If you’re interested in a meatless chili, I suggest checking out my Southwestern Veggie Chili from last year.

If you try this Chipotle Beef Chili at home, I’d love to hear what you think! Share pictures with me on social media by tagging @thesavvyplate on Instagram or Twitter or by mentioning my page The Savvy Plate on Facebook!

Chipotle Beef Chili - The Savvy Plate

Chipotle Beef Chili

Classic beef & bean chili with a smoky chipotle twist.

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Time 1 hour
Author Savannah


  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 15 oz canned kidney beans
  • 15 oz canned pinto beans
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bell peppers, any color (diced)
  • 3 tbsp blended chipotle adobo paste (see note*)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Bring a large pot or dutch oven to medium heat on the stove. Add olive oil and diced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown.

  2. Add the ground beef and the salt to the pot, breaking it up with your spoon, and brown.

  3. Drain & rinse both cans of beans and add to the pot, along with all other remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

  4. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least 30 minutes, though longer is better. I like to throw it together in the early afternoon and let it simmer for several hours until dinner.

Recipe Notes

*Chipotles in adobo sauce will typically come in a small can near the other Mexican ingredients at your grocery store. Blend the chipotle peppers with the sauce they come in to make a paste. I scoop the paste I don't use for this recipe into tablespoon-sized portions and freeze them to use next time I need it.



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