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Beef & Three Bean Chili

A cozy fall meal

Fall is here, and I think it might be my favorite season. I love that fall feels like two seasons - warm and vibrant on the front-end, and cool and cozy on the back-end. In my mind, chili is synonymous with fall. When I think of chili, I think of a cozy and rainy Seattle day, curled up on the couch, and a Seahawks game on TV.

Brown sugar and spice, and everything nice

This chili is something special. I wish I could remember how we ended up incorporating all of these ingredients, but we started making this chili almost 8 years ago when we lived in California, and Jesse and I weren't even engaged yet. Honestly, maybe it was the chili that sealed the deal? The addition of bacon, brown sugar, cinnamon, and three types of beans elevates this chili above all others.


🏷 Keywords: #chili #fall #football #cozy

🏷 Total Time: 2 hours

🏷 Active Time: 50 minutes



  • 1lb bacon, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef

  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

  • 4oz of tomato sauce

  • 15 oz cans of each - black beans, kidney beans, white beans; drained and rinsed

  • 3.5 TBSP cumin

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic seasoning

  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1.5 tsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2c red wine


  • dice bacon, onion, and bell pepper into about 1/4 inch pieces

  • Using a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot (I use my 6qt dutch oven), over medium heat, render bacon until browned and slightly crispy. About 6 minutes

  • Scoop bacon onto a plate lined with paper towel, and leave remaining bacon drippings in the pot. This is the key to the amazing flavor

  • Add in diced onion and bell pepper, 1tsp of chili powder, 1/2TBSP of cumin, and 1/2tsp of garlic seasoning. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until onion is translucent and fragrant, stirring occasionally

  • Add ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with your cooking utensil (I use a wooden spoon), and cook until browned and crumbly, about 6 minutes

  • Pour in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining cumin, chili powder, ground cinnamon, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.

  • Add in red wine and all of the beans. Increase heat to medium-high until bubbly, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

  • Reduce heat to a simmer, add the cooked bacon back into the pot, stirring to combine. Cover with the lid and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally

  • Add the salt 1/2 tsp at a time to taste. The bacon is salty, so you might not need to add any additional salt - this is completely up to you

  • Serve warm with cornbread, sour cream, shredded cheese, green onion, chives, limes - literally whatever you want. Make it yours



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