All Beef Chili with Espresso!


This past weekend the Midwest was bracing for an ice storm that I made sure I was prepared for.

When the frigid weather sets in I’m all about having soups, stews, and chili for dinner.  I find myself creating whatever I’m in the mood for that day, rummaging through the isles at Whole Foods Market to find the best veggies, herbs, and spices I can. 

If you’re a frequent visitor to “At Home with Vicki Bensinger” then you’ve probably seen the various one pot dishes I’ve created and maybe even tried a few.

Creating chili recipes is quite simple.  Once you’ve tried a few recipes yourself, you should have a pretty good idea what you like or don’t like.  Then it’s just adding ingredients into the pot, substituting them, or taking some out.

If you’re not a fan of beef, try using chicken, turkey, pork, tofu, or just veggies – the choice is yours.  You’re in the drivers seat when it comes to cooking, so anything goes!

When I make beef chili recipes sometimes I like to add beef broth and beer.  Light beer is nice but, Guinness Stout beer I’ve determined adds a robust flavor.

One of the first chili recipes I ever made was a family favorite for years and quick to whip up – it was on the sweeter side.  However, it used a package of chili seasoning to the pot, something I rarely do anymore.  Funny how times change and fresher ingredients without preservatives are what I aim for now.

Over time I changed that recipe slightly to accommodate our diet by switching from beef to turkey, making it lower in fat but maintaining the protein.  Now I’d only make it in a pinch because of the packaged seasoning.

As the years have gone by my palate prefers a savory chili rather than sweet. So I’ve created new ones, some more complicated than others, to suit our tastes.

The recipe below has become my favorite chili creation for its smooth, rich and savory taste.  While my tenderloin chili is my kids favorite, my husband seems content with any of them.

My All Beef Chili recipe below has a secret ingredient bringing it to a whole new level.  If you haven’t guessed it already, it’s espresso powder – but don’t tell anyone!

I think you’ll agree once you try it.  Best of all, this recipe is not complicated in the least!

All Beef Chili with Espresso

A savory chili so smooth and rich you'll wonder why you never thought to add espresso powder before!


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. ground sirloin
  • 32 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Espresso Powder
  • 1 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, minced
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 32 oz. Chili Beans, plain (unseasoned) or beans of choice, rinsed & drained
  • I bottle Guinness Stout beer
  • 1 cup Ketchup


  1. Saute onion in olive oil until tender, then add garlic and briefly saute.
  2. Add beef and brown.
  3. Once beef is brown add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 2 hours or longer if desired until thick and rich.
  4. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and cheddar cheese if desired.

Hungry for More?  Savor These!

Autumn Maple Tenderloin Chili

Smoked Chicken & Bacon White Bean Chili

Dump-In Chili

Beer Bacon Chocolate Chili

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  1. I’ve never used espresso powder in chili! And I always have a jar in our freezer, so I’ll have to try this. We love chili at this time of the year, and will make it out of anything. This would be perfect for us — thanks!

  2. So pretty in your turquoise bowls! I’ll have to try some espresso powder in my next batch!

  3. I have tried to add chocolate in chilli, but never thought that espresso would work so good too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. That bowl of chili looks SO RICH!!!! I just want to pick up a spoon and start eating. I can see how that secret ingredient really takes this chili to a whole new level!

  5. Why make a chilli with beans? We down here in Texas would dismiss this meal cuz it ain’t TRUE TEXAS RED CHILI! I do like your basics and thinking bout making it sans beans of course. That’s OK as I am a chili connesieur and am always searching the Internet for the truest form of recipe for the best tasting TEXAS RED. I’ve got a Chilli cook-off competition to win in the world’s chili cook off competition in Terlingua, TX coming up.

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