Chipotle Steak Chili

A hearty, comforting bowl of chipotle steak chili to sure to warm you on chilly winter nights. Flavored with homemade chili paste, this chili is a crowd pleaser!

Chipotle Steak Chili | the little epicurean

When it comes to chili, I don’t like to take shortcuts.  If I’m going to take the time to make chili, might as well make it a really, really good one.  This is not your average steak chili.  It’s an involved chili that requires making your own chili paste from scratch.

Sound difficult and complicated?  All you need is a food processor and I assure you the extra effort is well worth it.

This uses a combination of dried ancho chili, fresh jalapeño, and canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  While it’s not very spicy, it does have a kick of big flavors.  Dried ancho chili is easy to work with, but if the task seems intimidating- refer to my ancho chili tutorial.

When making chili and tacos, chipotle peppers are my favorite!  They’re so smokey and full of umami flavors.  There are all sorts of canned chipotle peppers available, but I prefer to use this one in adobo sauce.

Chipotle Steak Chili

I require a lot of substance in my chili.  Forget ground beef, I want steak!  I used beef chuck roast, but any kind of stewing beef will work (meaning beef with a good amount of fat and connective tissue, e.g. beef shank, brisket).

The hardest part about this chili is waiting for it to finish baking in the oven.  Second hardest part is waiting for it to cool enough to eat.  The roof of my mouth is still burnt.  The smell of the baking chili had been teasing for the past hour.  When it was finally time to taste the chili, I may have gone a little overboard.

I spooned a big chunk onto a slice of cornbread.  Without bothering to check it’s temperature, I stuffed it in my mouth.  It was HOT, but I didn’t want to spit it out because it tasted too good.  And as a result, two days later and the roof of my mouth is still a little sensitive.

Oh well, it was WORTH it!

Chipotle Steak Chili

Thanks to my friends at OXO, I used my new stainless steel pro 5 quart dutch oven pot to make this super hearty chili.  The 5 quart is a perfect sized pot to make large batches like this.  (Just the right size to have leftovers because chili always tastes better the following day once it’s had time to really absorb all the flavors.)

Asides from it’s size, I really love the way the pot is constructed, allowing for even cooking.  There’s nothing worse than using a pot that has “hot” spots causing your soup/stew/chili to have that one burnt section at the bottom.

Okay, the actual horrible part is when you mix it all together not knowing that there’s a burnt part, thus changing the taste of your entire dish. UGH.

Oh, and it’s oven-safe (including the lid), which is of utmost important to a baker like me.

Chipotle Steak Chili

This chipotle steak chili is by far the best chili I’ve ever made.  Alex and I have been eating it for the past three days and we absolutely love it.

While we were eating our second bowls, we thought about sharing it with others.  By the fourth bowl, it was obvious that we didn’t go through on that idea.

P.S. Do other people put sliced radish in their chili, or it just me?

Chipotle Steak Chili

Yield: makes 3 1/2 quarts, serves 4-6

Author Maryanne Cabrera


  • 4 dried ancho chili, stems and seeds discarded
  • 3 Tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon dired oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 chipotle peppers from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce rom canned chipotle peppers
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and cut into large chunks
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (low sodium or no salt added version)
  • 2 Tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2- 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • green onions
  • thinly sliced radish
  • cornbread


  1. Adjust oven racks to accommodate dutch oven/pot.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Heat a large skillet (12-inch) over high heat. Once skillet is hot, add torn ancho chili. Press chili into pan allowing it to toast. Toast chili for 20 seconds on each side. Toast until fragrant*. Remove from pan and allow to cool in food processor bowl.

  3. In a food processor, combine dried ancho chili, cornmeal, oregano, cumin and cocoa powder until it resembles coarse sand.  Add 2 chipotle peppers, 1 Tbsp adobo sauce, and 1/2 cup chicken broth.  Pulse to create a thick paste. Transfer paste to a clean bowl.  Do not clean out food processor bowl.

  4. Add garlic to food processor.  Pulse until minced.  Add onions and jalapeños.  Pulse until mixture resembles chunky salsa.

  5. In dutch oven/large pot, heat up 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat.  Add onion mixture.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until onions have softened.  Add chili paste.  Stir to combine.  Add diced tomatoes (including juice), brown sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and allow mixture to simmer while you cook beef.

  6. In the same skillet used to toast chili, add remaining 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil.  Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Sear beef chunks in batches.  Turn beef chunks as needed to ensure all sides are seared.  You don't need to fully cook the beef, just brown the sides. The beef will continue to cook and soften in the chili.  Place seared beef in simmering chili pot.  Continue to sear remaining beef chunks.  Once all the beef has been placed in the chili pot, deglaze the skillet using the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Pour deglazing sauce into chili pot and stir.

  7. Add rinsed and drained black beans to pot.  Stir to combine.  Cover dutch oven pot with lid.  Place in oven and allow to bake for 2 hours, until beef is tender.  Allow chili to cool for 10 minutes before removing lid.

  8. Season chipotle steak chili with salt and pepper as needed.**

  9. Serve chili warm with garnishes and cornbread.  Store any leftover chili in the store in an airtight container.  Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

  • Dried ancho chili can burn quickly.  Do not over toast.
  • I added an additional 2 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.  Adjust accordingly to your taste.

Chipotle Steak Chili

Disclosure: My friends at OXO generously sent me their product for their #OXOCookware campaign.  I was not compensated for this post.  And as always, all opinions are my own. 

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Jen @ Baked by an Introvert

This chili is drool-worthy, Maryanne! I’m so happy OXO sent you a dutch oven and this chili is a result of such a generous gift. I’ve never put radishes in my chili but I think I may start. I had just never thought about it.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Jen! I really like the refreshing crunch of the radish with the super savory chili :)

Karen @ The Food Charlatan

Okay Maryanne this chili looks LEGIT. making your own chili paste?? Dang girl. Chili is one of those dishes that all look the same after a while. but THIS looks amazing.

Andrea @ Deglazing Delicious

mmm I love a chunky chili! And I realllly love that chili is so verstaile! You can top it the way you want and it tastes amazing!
But I really love that your chili does not look toooo tomatoey.
I am definitly gonna have to try it this way :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Andrea! There’s just a little bit of tomato in this chili because I like to let the smokey chili flavors shine :)


Thanks for the Chili recipe :) … the cornbread looks really good too… Can please you share that recipe for the cornbread in the photo too :) … thanks :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Teri! I actually used a boxed mix for the cornbread. It’s the gluten-free cornbread muffin mix from Krusteaz.

Monique Bartley

OMG! Not only does this sound like the most delicious thing to ever be put in a bowl, but it looks stunning too! I have never had good luck shooting chili so I am giving you a standing ovation right now!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Monique! I really appreciate it! Yeah, chili is really difficult to photograph. Same goes for curries and stews. I think the toppings really help :)


Maryanne, do you think the final cooking step can be done in a crock pot? OMG this looks so good! Thank you for sharing :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Ami. Yes, you can definitely let it finish cooking in the crock pot :)

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