Chunky Style Beef and Beans Chili

Everybody has their favorite chili recipe. Some like vegetarian while others prefer all ground beef with a sprinkle of beans. My favorite style of chili is one with chunks of beef or pork along with some beans – I know that sounds really manly. The first time I had this style was at a birthday party with one of my girls. The mom had it simmering all day in the crockpot and served it with numerous chili fixins including corn chips. Yes corn chips! It was so good and at that moment chunky chili became a favorite for me.

Since that time I have been on the hunt for different chunky chili recipes. I created a recipe using pork tenderloin a few months ago. I enjoy that recipe and have made it many time since then but I wanted to find one that used beef. My hubs is a beefy guy and I know he would appreciate more of a manly chili J

This recipe, while very tasty, does take some time to prep. Let’s just say cutting a chuck roast into bite size pieces isn’t the easiest task. In fact, if you can get it already cut up I highly recommend it. Although that probably will cost more so you just might want to suck it up like I did. Anyway, once the meat is cut up the rest of the recipe comes together rather quickly.

The good news is this recipe can be prepped ahead of time so you can prepare the ingredients the night before to make the next day or you can store the prepped ingredients in the freezer (as a slow cooker freezer kit) using a gallon size freezer bag or container. Or you can do what I did and have it cooking while prepping a bunch of other freezer meals, eat for dinner that night, then store the leftovers into single containers for lunches. This recipe can be made ahead of time in whatever way works for you.


Another tip with this recipe is you can control the heat level by removing or leaving in the chipotle pepper seeds. Personally I always take them out because these little peppers are hot and spicy. Also, to keep this recipe clean make sure to read the back of the canned chipotle peppers because some of them have added high fructose corn syrup.

This recipe also calls for minute tapioca which is used as a thickener in many slow cooker recipes. Slow cookers do not releaser steam so they do not cook down recipes which would cause them to naturally thicken. The end result of the chili was slightly thickened but still a little thinner than a ground beef chili recipe. That is pretty typical of chunky chilis so keep that in mind if you choose to make.

The last positive aspect I want to point out is this chili cooks for 9 – 11 hours so it is a perfect slow cooker recipe if you are going to be out of the house all day at work or doing other things. During this time the beef turns out melt in your mouth tender and flavors perfectly combine together. I will be adding this chunky chili recipe to my slow cooker rotation for sure!


Chunky Style Beef and Beans Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 7
  • 1 ½ medium white onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 minced canned chilis in adobe sauce, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix together onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, and olive oil. Microwave for 5 minutes on high or until onions have softened and mixture is fragrant. This process is to bloom the spices so they can hold up better during a long slow cooking time. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
  2. Add into the slow cooker the beans, tomato sauce, chicken broth, tapioca, soy sauce, chilis, brown sugar, bay leaf. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Season beef with salt and pepper then add to slow cooker and stir to combine all the ingredients. Cook on low for 9 – 11 hours. Mine cooked perfectly at 10 hours. If needed, skim fat from the top and discard bay leaf. Serve with favorite chili condiments.
Make Ahead and Freezer Instruction This recipe could (and should) be prepped ahead of time. You can prep all ingredients the night before and keep in the refrigerator stored using the slow cooker insert. Take out in the morning, place in the slow cooker base, and turn on. Or you can prep all the ingredients and place into a gallon size freezer bag and store in the freezer. Take out and let thaw in the fridge about 24 hours before you are going to cook. Place in slow cooker and cook. If the ingredients are still somewhat frozen your cooking time might be a little longer. You can also prepare this recipe completely, portion out, and freeze in individual containers.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/7 of recipe Calories: 400 Fat: 19 Carbohydrates: 22 Fiber: 5 Protein: 39



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  1. If I don’t have a microwave, can I skip step one?


  1. […] all kinds and always looking for new recipes to try. So far I have tried a black bean meatless, chunky beef and beans, and chunky black bean and pork. This time around I wanted to try a turkey […]

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