Emily’s Favorite Chili

Winters in the Midwest can be brutal. After a week of bitter cold weather here in Michigan, I decided it was time to break out the Instant Pot and make some chili. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about a warm bowl of chili and some sweet cornbread that makes Midwest winters a little more bearable. Plus, chilis and soups are great vehicles for adding vegetables, beans and other fiber-filled ingredients. This recipe uses red kidney and black beans to add fiber and protein, which can help keep you feeling full and support heart health. I chose to add bell pepper, corn and onions as vegetables, but the great thing about soups is that you can add as many as you’d like!

I think what really sets this chili apart though is my secret ingredient. BEER. As a Midwestern native, this girl LOVES a good beer and since beer and chili are often paired together… it’s only logical that beer should be added directly to chili to make it great. If you want to make a meal out of this, whip up a batch of my Sweet Cornbread to pair with it (otherwise, Trader Joes also has an amazing box mix that I rely on often). As always, if you make one of these recipes I’d love to see it, so feel free to tag me on Instagram or other social media @emchamp_rd

Want a recipe you can print? Click here!


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (93/7)*
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 14.5 oz. can black beans, low sodium
  • 14.5 oz. can dark red kidney beans, low sodium
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup (again, trust me)
  • 1-1 ½ cups chicken stock (no salt added)
  • 6 oz. of beer (I like Corona but any lighter colored beer will do)

Chili Spice Blend

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon oregano
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Stove Top Directions

  1. Mix up spice blend. Combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Use can opener to open tomato paste diced tomatoes, black beans and red kidney beans
  3. Rinse black and red kidney beans in strainer. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large pot on medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes stirring often to keep garlic from burning.
  5. Add ground beef and stir for about 8-10 minutes (the meat doesn’t have to be completely cooked at this point, but you want to brown it a little bit)
  6. Add spice blend to pot. Stir to combine cooking 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute
  8. Add diced tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, Worcestershire, ketchup, chicken stock. Stir to combine scraping the bottom for any tomato paste that has stuck.
  9. Turn to high heat and bring to a boil
  10. When boiling, add beer and reduce heat to a simmer
  11. Simmer for 40-60 minutes on the stove. Taste to see if you need more salt.
  12. Serve with cheese, green onions, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc.

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Follow all steps as above but instead of simmering for 40-60 minutes on the stove, turn Instant Pot to Manual and cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Directions

  1. For the slow cooker, just combine all the ingredients and set on HIGH for about 6-8 hours

NOTE – If you have the time you can cook the onions, garlic and green bell pepper on the stove to develop more flavor before adding to the slow cooker

*This recipe uses ground beef but you can also use ground turkey or chicken or omit it all together and make the chili vegetarian