Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili

Beans and Legumes, Beef, Crock-Pot, Fall Recipes, Freezer Friendly, Main Dish, Seasonal Recipes, Soup and Stew, Winter Recipes | 6 comments

I have fond memories of big hot bowls of chili on the Halloween nights of my childhood. Never as fancy as this Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili, but, like many moms, chili was something that my mom always did.

Even before I had my own children I adopted that tradition. Usually around Halloween is when the weather starts feeling like chili weather and I crave hot, hearty bowls of filling chili.

Braised Short Rib Chili with Bacon

To mix things up this year, I worked on a new chili recipe. This Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili has chunks of tender beef short ribs, peppers kidney beans, in a thick chili base.

You can’t have chili without cornbread, so we served our bowls of Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili with a side of Honey Corn Bread Muffins. These Chile Cheese Cornbread Scones are a little more work, but also delicious for dunking in chili.

Braised Short Rib Chili with Bacon

I was pleasantly surprised that Madeline declared this chili “so good,” and “better than chicken!” It turned out a little hotter than I normally want so I wasn’t expecting her to like it. If you have kids, you may want to leave out the jalapeño in the recipe. I like it with jalapeño, as long as it is deseeded, but everyone has different spice preferences.

I hope you have something yummy planned for Halloween next week. If not, here is some more inspiration.

More Chili Recipes

Do you like to eat Chili on Halloween? What is your favorite recipe?

Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili

Yield: serves 4 - 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours

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For the Chili:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs. boneless short ribs, cut into cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and diced (optional)
2 - 3 teaspoons cumin
2 - 3 teaspoons chili powered
1 - 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 - 4 ounce can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumble
2 - 16 ounces cans Bush's Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings:

chopped cilantro
sour cream
cheddar cheese
sliced jalapeños


Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium- high heat. Add the beef in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside in a bowl. Add the onion and sauté, adding more oil if necessary, until tender and golden. About 3 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for a minute until fragrant.

Return the beef to the pan along with the cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bacon, and beans. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 1/2 hours. (Alternatively, the chili can be placed in a slow cooker and cooked over low heat for the same amount of time.)

After 3 1/2 hours add the red and green peppers, salt and pepper to your personal preference, and replace the lid. Cook an additional 30 - 60 minutes, or until the peppers and beef reach your preferred tenderness.

Add additional seasoning if desired.

Serve with Chile Cheese Cornbread Scones or Honey Corn Bread Muffins.


Recipe can be frozen in air tight containers once cooled completely. I like to freeze in individual portions which are perfect for quick lunches.

Adapted from Bush's Braised Beef and Bacon Chili

I have an ongoing relationship with Bush’s Beans where I am compensated for my time, however this is a brand that I have always used in my own kitchen and any opinions expressed regarding the product are my own.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Allison - October 26, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    I always get obsessed with soups, stews, and chili’s this time of year. Adding this to the rotation this week – looks so good!


  • 2
    Kristen - October 26, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    It looks so good! We always amp up on chili right around Halloween too!


  • 3
    Rachel @ Twin Tough - October 28, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    Mmmm…I crave thick, hearty soups when it starts getting colder outside, too! Delicious-looking chili! :)


  • 4
    Nora - October 29, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    Looks wonderful! :-) And I think ‘better than chicken” would be a pretty high compliment from my daughter!


  • 5
    Aimee - November 19, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    Chilli sustains us on cold winter nights. Can’t wait to try your version.


  • 6
    Shelly - January 27, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    OMG!! I made this last night and it was THE BEST CHILI I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!! Can’t wait to have it again today!!!


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