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An image of the finished chili in a white bowl garnished with sour cream, cheese and green onions. The bowl is set with an aqua colored linen with corn chips and lime in the background.

Beef and Bean Chili

This beef and bean chili is loaded with ground beef, red beans, black beans, tomatoes and spices. It’s an easy way to get a big pot of hearty chili for a cold night, gameday, or any night of the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bean soups, beef recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 432kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 Large Onion finely diced
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper optional – leave it out if you do not like spicy
  • pound Ground Beef
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes (we use petite dice)
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 1-2 Dried Whole Chili Peppers we used dried Chili de Arbol, optional – leave it out if you do not like spicy
  • 2 (15 ounce Cans) Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 ounce Cans) Red Beans drained and rinsed


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat (at least 6-quart). Add the onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until they start to soften, stir frequently.
  • Add the garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and stir to combine with the onion-garlic mixture. Arrange the meat in one layer and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Stir, while breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon and cook another 3-5 minutes until the ground beef is browned. Stir occasionally. If there is too much oil in the pot after browning the beef drain some (or all) of it - See Notes.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper stir well until combined with the ground beef.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaf and dried chili peppers (if using) and stir. Raise the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil (will take about 5-6 minutes).
  • Then, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30 minutes to let the flavors develop and come together, stir occasionally.
  • Raise the heat to medium, add the red and black beans to the pot, stir. Cook the chili, half-covered, until it starts to simmer. Then, uncover the pot and cook for 45-55 minutes (longer if needed) until the chili thickens.
  • Stir occasionally at first. As the chili thickens and reduces, stir more often to prevent sticking on the bottom. Also, keep the chili at a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low (or further) if it starts boiling too vigorously.
  • Taste the beef and bean chili and add salt if needed. As a reference we added ¼ teaspoon to ours.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


  • The easiest way to drain some (or most) of the oil from the pot is to: take the pot off the heat and pile the beef mixture to one side of the pot. Tip is slightly so that the oil pools opposite the meat. Use a ladle or large spoon to remove excess oil and add it to a small bowl, can, etc. Remove as much as you like – I like to keep some for flavor. Level the pot and place it over medium heat, continue with the recipe.
  • If you are sensitive to salt replace the canned ingredients with reduced sodium alternatives. There are good low sodium options for canned beans, tomatoes and broth.


Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1728mg | Potassium: 1288mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 7mg