overhead shot of beef and red wine chili in a bowl

You guys, you are going to LOVE my Dad’s Beef and Red Wine Chili. It’s super delicious, oh-so-hearty and satisfying — just the perfect comfort food. Bonus: It’s freezer-friendly, so you can make a double batch to keep you warm all season long.

(NOTE: This post was originally published in 2014(!). We’ve since updated it with new photos, but it’s the same recipe you know and love.)

beef and red wine chili in a bowl with toppings

Dad’s Beef and Red Wine Chili Recipe

Prepare thyself to eat at least two bowls of this goodness. With alllll the toppings.

Remember that one time I told you about my dad, my dad’s white chicken chili, my dad’s plans to open a restaurant that serves hot dogs and chili, and the fact that my dad also has ah-mazing red chili that I wanted to share with you one day (like a year ago, oy)? OH YEAH. This is it, my friends. Dad’s (family-wide) famous, flavorful chili, loaded with chopped veggies, lean beef, red wine, tomatoes, chipotle chile pepper, beans and spices. Don’t skip serving it with parker house rolls!

You actually might want to start preparing a third bowl.

The Story Behind Dad’s Beef and Red Wine Chili

My dad has been making a variation of this chili for for.ev.er, but only recently did he have the genius idea to add red wine, which I’ll explain more about in a sec. There have been a few other iterations of this chili (my dad likes — no, LOVES — experimenting in the kitchen) and that one time he accidentally poured in a heap of ground cinnamon instead of chili powder (but we’ll let that one go on here because my family doesn’t) but by and large, it is this recipe that gets him winning smiles all around. That’s hard to come by in my family, where one brother hates tomatoes and the other brother hates mushrooms and leftovers and my mom hates anything that tastes good like blue cheese and coconut and I don’t even know if those descriptions are attached to the right people, they all have so many strange distastes. Mine is only for oysters. And liver pate. But I feel like those are fairly more universal.

pouring red wine into chili

Why I Love This One-Pot Chili Recipe

ANYWAY, as I was saying — this chili. It’s so good. And it’s so easy, too! One of the reasons I don’t make chili all that often is because I’ve found that some recipes can be incredibly time-consuming what with all the chopping and such (basically I become this when I see all those ingredients/steps), but this one is very straightforward. And it’s all made in one pan, too, which equals less time doing dishes and more time eating chili. I LIKE.

Oh yes, about that red wine — that’s a new addition to the recipe according to my dad, and so I was a little leery when he first told me to include it because I was all “but Dad I want the actual recipe, like the one that I stuff my face with every time you make it” and he was all “TRUST. The red wine is great.” And so I did. And it was great; like I-inhaled-it great. Though that’s really only a teensy step up from the normal speed at which I eat this chili. It just gives the chili an added depth of flavor that’s so rich and almost… I don’t know… I can’t even really describe it, except to direct your attention back up to the fact that I inhaled it. Does that clear things up?

two bowls of beef and red wine chili with toppings

Tips for Serving Beef and Red Wine Chili

Also, a suggestion: As tasty as this recipe is on its own, it’s extra yummy with a boatload of toppings including, but not limited to: sour cream, CHEEEEESE, sliced jalapeno peppers, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, crushed tortilla chips, crumbled cornbread and sliced avocado. Or spoon it on top of a baked potato. Or mix it with polenta and put an egg on it. I mean, there are just a gazillion ways to get this deliciousness in your face. I almost think I need a constant supply of this chili on hand all winter long just to make them all happen/survive the impending hermit phase.

How about a fourth bowl? Too much? Then don’t ask me how many I had for dinner.

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beef and red wine chili in a bowl

Dad’s Beef and Red Wine Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Super delicious, hearty and satisfying one-pot chili made with beef, red wine beans and vegetables. My dad’s special recipe for the perfect comfort food!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow or white onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 lb lean (at least 80/20) ground beef
  • 1 cup red wine (Merlot, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon are some good options)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can Northern white beans
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Beef broth (optional)
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos/avocado, chopped cilantro, etc. for topping


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add onions and bell peppers. Saute 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown and softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
  2. Add ground beef; break apart with a wooden spoon and cook 10 minutes until browned.
  3. Pour in red wine. Increase heat to high; boil 10 minutes, stirring often and scraping up any bits that stick to bottom of pan. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. In a food processor or blender, puree crushed tomatoes and chipotle chile pepper until smooth. Add to pan along with beans (do not drain). Stir in chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. If chili is too thick, pour in some beef broth.
  5. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings as needed, and add more beef broth to thin out as needed. Serve with your favorite toppings.

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