Beef Chili with Beans 2 Ways

Beef Chili with Beans 2 Ways

Back when I would buy canned chili to have on hand for chili dogs and tamales without having to make up a batch on my own, I preferred Wolf Brand Chili with Beans. It wasn’t overloaded with spicy heat, and there was something about the flavor of the rich, thick broth that I loved but couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Now that I’m living in Costa Rica and don’t have access to canned chili (I’ve never seen canned chili anywhere), I make my own. Yes, I used to make my own prior to moving away from the States, but I’d make big batches that simmered all day in the CrockPot. But now, wanting to make a batch of chili after almost 2 years, I took a look at the ingredient list on the Wolf Brand website and I discovered what they’re using to create that uniquely flavorful broth – pureed pinto beans.

Armed with this knowledge, in very short order I was in the kitchen whipping up a batch of chili and it turned out great!

Beef Chili with Beans 2 Ways

The secret to this super-flavorful chili is pureed pinto beans
5 from 3 votes
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 hearty servings


  • 1 aji chili pepper
  • 15 oz can pinto beans
  • lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 15 oz can red kidney beans drained
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 15 oz tomato puree


  • In a pan or over open flame, roast the chili pepper on all the outer sides to blacken it. If you use a pan, set the heat on high; slicing the chili in half lengthwise can speed this up.
    Roasting chilis in a pan
  • Set the chili aside to cool, then – wearing gloves – use a knife to scrape off the charred skin and remove the seeds, the top, and the core.
  • In a blender, add the can of pinto beans, undrained, and the roasted aji pepper. Blend until smooth, adding a little water or beef broth if needed.
    Puree beans and chili
  • In a large heavy pot (a Dutch oven works great for this), brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain off excess fat, retaining a small amount.
  • Lower the heat slightly, then add the onion and celery and cook until tender.
  • Stir in the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Now add the pureed bean mixture, beef broth and tomato puree. Simmer to reduce the liquid to your liking.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with chopped onions if you like.
Keyword chili con carne with beans, chili with beans, chili,, hearty chili
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Beef Chili with Beans 2 Ways

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