Vegan Beer Chili

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Pouring beer into a large saucepan to make Vegan Beer Chili

I don’t know if you’ve ever cooked with beer, but if you haven’t you probably should. I am not a beer drinker myself in the slightest – an occasional hard cider at best – but I love what beer does to dishes. Somehow, it brings a new depth of rustic flavor to recipes that I absolutely adore. Though it was the last thing I expected, I am very much in love with this chili.

Making a big pot of our Vegan Beer Chili recipe

Stirring a pot of homemade Vegan Beer Chili

Of course, you can add meat to this dish if you’d like. I’ve tried it both ways and like them about the same. To do so, simply add a half pound of ground beef or turkey in place of the black (or kidney) beans for an equally delectable result.

Saltine crackers alongside a bowl of Vegan Beer Chili

Big bowl of Beer Chili for a hearty vegan meal

When I make this chili I love having it for two meals in one week for the sake of convenience and cost. One night, we’ll have it as is with a side of cornbread, and another we’ll have it atop baked sweet or regular potatoes. I can’t decide which way I like it better – I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Bowls of Vegan Beer Chili surrounded by saltine crackers

Stack of bowls with the top one filled with Vegan Beer Chili

Vegan Beer Chili

A satisfying vegan chili with hearty flavor from dark Mexican beer and both black and kidney beans.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Stack of bowls filled with Vegan Beer Chili
4.6 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Course Soup
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 12-oz. bottle dark Mexican beer (I prefer Negra Modelo)
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-oz. can kidney beans (slightly drained)
  • 1 15.5-oz. can black beans (slightly drained)
  • Hot sauce, crackers and cornbread (optional // for serving)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Cook, stirring often, until softened - about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and hot sauce, stir and cook for another minute.
  • Add the beer and cook until reduced by half - about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes (with their juices), beans (slightly drained), and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Bring to a simmer while breaking up the tomatoes slightly with a spoon. Cook until thickened - about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve with hot sauce, crackers and cornbread, or whatever toppings you prefer. If you're not vegan, cheese is a nice addition.

Notes

*This chili gets better with age like most soups, so if you can make it in advance, that would be preferable. This way the flavors grow more intense and the whole dish melds together a bit better.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 g Calories: 297 Carbohydrates: 50 g Protein: 17 g Fat: 2.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 12 g Sugar: 3 g

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  1. Monique says

    We’ve made this Chilli twice now and loved it both times, we change the recipe slightly though as we don’t have all the ingredients. Instead of hot sauce and chili powder we add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of paprika and 2 table spoons of salsa we also add minced up pan fried seasoned tofu and mix it through at the end. It is delish!

  2. JP Batmale says

    Don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate this delicious chili! I have made it for our work’s annual Chili Cookout Fundraiser the past three years and it always sells out. The recipe is simple for novice cooks…like me. Thank you Chef!!

  3. Quinn says

    This chili was super tasy! I used this recipe as a guide and used a light Mexican beer and added sweet potato, carrots, and some veggie broth. Such a yummy quarantine meal served alongside homemade cornbread! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Quinn. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  4. Saritha Madhukar says

    Love this one pot recipe. I make it at least 1-2 times a month and have it for lunch topped with avocados and cilantro.

  5. Amy says

    So good! From the start I planned on making a full day ahead and allowed for extra hours so slowly heat up the day served. I knew this wasn’t going to be spicey enough for my home’s liking so I subbed poblano for the bell pepper and added roasted jalapeño and chipotle peppers and extra hot sauce. Was such a depth and balance of flavor – loved the beer addition! My go to chili recipe now.

  6. Stephanie says

    This is incredible! I made two slight adjustments that I’d recommend based on what you might have on hand:

    1. Instead of Negro Modelo (I didn’t have any), I used Sam Adams Winter Lager. Very good!

    2. Instead of hot sauce I used two Serrano peppers that I had on hand. Before I started the recipe I roasted the peppers (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper) at 500 deg for 7-9 min until they were browned and blistered. I then de-seeded them (important!) and chopped them. I added them into the recipe where it called for the hot sauce to be added. The addition of the peppers made this SPICY! But it is a decent amount of heat and not overwhelming. I really liked it and thought the heat would be cut nicely with some chopped avocado or cornbread on the side.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Stephanie. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  7. Kaye says

    This is the most delicious chili! A really easy and quick recipe to take to neighbors or to make and freeze for camping! I don’t change anything except to add a can of drained corn from Trader Joe’s…it doesn’t need the corn to be delicious, I add corn to everything. And I’m not even vegan! Thank you!

  8. Essie says

    I love this recipe to pieces. ❤️ Every year when fall arrives, I have to make this delicious chili. Anytime there are guests arriving, this is a fan favorite!

  9. Cassidy Cooper says

    Hello.
    I am slightly curious approximately how many ounces is it per serving?
    Thank you,
    Cassidy

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cassidy, unfortunately, we didn’t measure the weight per serving so we do not have a precise answer. You could try estimating by adding up the weight of the ingredients (using the metric measurements) and dividing by 8. Hope that helps!

  10. eve says

    i have a question. you labeled this recipe as gluten-free, but beer is one of the ingredients. i’m allergic to beer, (since it has gluten), so is there something i could substitute, or could i just omit it? thanks

  11. Sam says

    Love making this recipe but I’ve added chipotle peppers with about a tablespoon of adobo sauce to add more smokiness and kick. I also often opt for a stout and add some cocoa powder to make it slightly more mole-like.

  12. Sahra A says

    Definitely a go-to recipe for me; however, it was a little bland to my taste until I figured out some additions. I add shredded carrot and shredded zucchini at the same time as the bell pepper(not a fan of green, so I use another colour), add way more chili powder, and add about a teaspoon of red wine vinegar to brighten the flavour. Served with avocado and a squeeze of lime. Yum!! Thank you! :)

  13. Mallory says

    Just made this chili today for the second time! This recipe is a winner – and I had all the ingredients already in my pantry. I used a Frank’s RedHot Sauce, New Belgium Black Lager and roasted red peppers instead of green peppers (put them in once the onions and garlic had already softened). It turned out great – hearty and filling with a kick! I think it would be really yummy topped with some sliced avocado and cilantro.

  14. Vivi Belle says

    Just to clarify when you say this is best made in advance for the best flavor do you mean the morning of the day you’d eat it for dinner or would it work to make it the day before you’d have it for dinner? Store in the fridge and then heat up for dinner. It would be made about 24 hours in advance. Thanks!

  15. Vivi Belle says

    Will this still taste good if I make it and leave it covered on the stove for a couple hours then reheat it when I get home? Thanks!

  16. Pablo says

    This is tasty! I used Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ for the beer and it came out great! One question though: is it possible to freeze this for a later date? If so, any recommendations on the reheating process?

    Thanks!

  17. Simon Lemieux says

    Thanks for this excellent recipe! I’ve made it quite a few times, but today I used a stout beer and I put a chipotle in adobo sauce. Clearly the best chili I’ve tried yet.

  18. Greg says

    Hi Dana!

    For beer lovers, Negra Modelo is a fairly light beer. I think this recipe would be fantastic with a chocolate stout, even better yet, a chocolate chili stout. As soon as I try it I’ll let you know.

  19. Vegan E says

    I made this for the family, they loved it. II made this with the vegan cornbread they were in love!! They want me to make moretonight lol. I added a few things like corn, salsa, some veggie broth, and green bell pepper. Came out beautifully !

  20. Schyler says

    Is the serving size for this 1 cup? Making this recipe for 60 servings and would like to know the size per serving. Thanks

  21. Michelle says

    Loved how easy this recipe was, just a few suggestions: if you like it thick, add a flour/cornstarch-slurry and don’t drain the beans. Add some (vegan) chicken or beef (or fish) stock for some extra oomph to wow your omni family, as they informed me it was missing that special ingredient. Make it xtra yummy w/ some sliced green onions and cheese as toppings.

    I’ve heard that some people add coffee and/or chocolate as a secret ingredient. Can someone tell me if they do this and how it tastes like as the final result?

  22. Scherezade says

    Definitely a great baseline recipe! This is what I added to mine
    – 1 TBSP cumin powder
    – 1 TBSP mustard powder
    – 2 (rather than 1) TBSP chili powder
    – 1 TSP turmeric
    – 2 TSP garlic powder
    – 1 TBSP chana masala

    These additions + the negra modelo for depth made a phenomenal chili!

  23. Leah says

    Quick! I am making this tonight for a work chili cookoff tomorrow :)
    If you were to add bulgur to it… would you let it cook in the beer, or separately in water or broth and combine later?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Bulgur? Hmm, I’ve actually never cooked with that. It almost seems like it should be cooked separtely and added in with the tomatoes and beans?

  24. Erin says

    Hey, Dana!

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe (accompanied by your cornbread) for 6 major meat-eating guys in France, and it was a huge hit. Cooking for French people always comes with high expectations, and this recipe was a complete win. Thanks for your creativity!

  25. Joe B says

    This sounds amazing! I love chili! I will have to try it. Just need to find some Vegan beer now – can anyone recommend one as I don’t drink beer and I know a lot aren’t vegan…… (must be available in UK!)

  26. Dave says

    Excellent chili!! Also worked nicely for our Super Bowl guests who were used to having chili con carne. I like how you left out cumin and vegetable stock; beer and soaked-bean liquid replaced those so nicely. Instead of using chili powder, I used a blend of fresh ancho and chipotle chil powders. We served ours over jasmine rice with scallion, cilantro, and Daiya cheddar, and it rocked! Everyone was impressed with your “Vegan Cornbread” on the side.

  27. Jordan says

    Hey! I am currently in the final stages of making both this and your almond blueberry lemon bars. Loving your site so far. Thanks for the amazing recipes, !

  28. Tiffany F. says

    We just finished wolfing this down :) yum! What a great recipe! My family had made something similar for years but this was way better! The dark beer adds a great flavor!

    We added diced turkey breast at step 4 so that it soaked up the beer flavor. If you have leftover turkey, you could do the same but add it after the tomatoes.

    We topped it with cheese and avocado – yum!! I’m sure a dollop of sour cream would’ve been great too.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. Maggie says

    I think I did something wrong. For starters not sure I got the right smoked peppers. Too much something. Cinnamon? Also, bought the wrong king of diced tomatoes (italian) and so had to make do with 1 can. Chili cook-off tomorrow: My ruination.

    • Michelle says

      Woah! Where in the recipe does it say to use smoked peppers? It calls for regular bell peppers, whatever color you want. No cinammon either. You can add spicy peppers if you like, just remember that it already calls for 1 tbsp cayenne and an optional 2 tsp of hot sauce. As for the tomatoes, if you can’t use canned, go with fresh tomatoes and just measure it out.

  30. Cassy says

    I made this tonight. We don’t drink beer either so I used a Corona someone left after a dinner party, which seemed to work just as well as a dark beer.
    My husband is newly vegan and told me he’s happy to eat vegan so long as the meals taste good, and we’ve both loved this and the growing list of dishes I’ve made from your blog.

  31. Amber says

    I’m a vegan, no one else in my family is, so it hard for us to find a meal I can eat that the whole family likes too. Someone always complains that he is eating rabbit food! But I did try this Chili tonight! And this has to be one of the best chilis I’ve ever had! My whole family ate it too, and we had no leftovers! I will make this again and very soon, along with making a second batch so I can have leftovers. This repice also seems to be very forgiving, I used what beer I had on hand since I didn’t want to go out and buy new beer. I added extra hot sauce too, since we like spicy food.

  32. Nik says

    I prepared this dish today, so that it could develope over night, but it is already so good! I have never cooked with beer before, but omg. I didn’t use a Mexican Dark Beer since I am in Germany and can’t find that here. I used a German Dark Beer called Köstritzer that my dad recommended and it just gave so much amazing flavor, totally was not expecting that. I added some more spices to it, from a different chili recipe that has been in my family for years (just some paprika, cayenne pepper and bay leaves). Thank you for this recipe!

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      • phil w says

        i’ve been working on the recipe so made it quite a few times since – it’s getting there (still needs some tweaking) but here’s some changes i made:

        -add chopped celery and carrot when adding onions. brown really well then add garlic for 1-2 minutes.
        -spices, instead of 1 Tbsp chilli powder, I use 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, a tsp or 2 of liquid smoke – it’s milder for my gf’s tastes, and smokier for mine. also add a little thyme.

        also make sure you pick a really good, strong dark beer. makes a lot of difference.

  36. Faye says

    Made this for an improv super bowl party couple weeks back, and everybody loved it! I’m studying abroad with some of my fellow homesick students, and the taste of home (and beer) made us all feel a little better. :) I did add some extra ancho chili pepper and a strange spicy banana sauce (my host mother made it), and the chili came out with an awesome spicy kick to it.

  37. Abby@The Frosted Vegan says

    I have a hard time finding chili recipes my main squeeze will like, but this has beer, so it will fit the bill!

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  38. Megan says

    I’m at work daydreaming about this dreamy chili. I just love that there’s beer in it too! Looks really ridiculously good.

  39. Kelly says

    Made this for friends over the weekend. Ended up doubling the recipe. So delicious! Added chopped jalepeño and cayenne pepper for an added kick. The beer adds a wonderful robust taste. Great leftovers too!