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Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili

This Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili has chunks of tender beef short ribs, peppers, and kidney beans in a thick chili base. Comfort food at its finest!

Easy Chili Recipe with Bacon

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. 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, and kidney beans in a thick chili base. I was pleasantly surprised that Madeline declared this bacon 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.

braised short rib and bacon chili in two white bowls

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Short Rib & Bacon Chili Ingredients

This bacon and short rib chili is packed with comforting ingredients. Here’s everything that went into this easy homemade chili:

  • Olive oil
  • Boneless short ribs
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Spices
  • Fire roasted tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef stock
  • Bacon
  • Bush’s Kidney Beans
  • Bell peppers

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card. 

How to Make Short Rib & Bacon Chili

Time is arguably the most important element in this bacon chili recipe. Once all the ingredients get dumped into the pot, they need to simmer for hours to become a thick, flavorful bacon chili.

Here’s how I made this bacon and short rib chili recipe:

  1. In an oiled Dutch oven, brown the short ribs on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion and sauté until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the short ribs back to the pot, along with all the remaining ingredients except the bell peppers.
  5. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 1/2 hours.
  6. Add the red and green peppers and cook an additional 30 minutes to an hour.

How to Freeze Chili

This short rib and bacon chili recipe can be frozen in air-tight containers once cooled completely. I like to freeze in individual portions, which are perfect for quick lunches. To thaw the frozen chili, either reheat from frozen or place in the fridge overnight to thaw.

braised short rib and bacon chili in two white bowls

Click HERE to save this recipe for Short Rib and Bacon Chili!

Our Go-To Bacon Chili Toppings

Here are a few of our favorite chili toppings we love sprinkling atop a bowl of this short rib and bacon chili:

  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced jalapeños
  • crushed tortilla chips

Tips for Making Short Rib and Bacon Chili

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.

A few readers have asked whether they can make this short rib and bacon chili in the CrockPot. You certainly can, but you’d need to still brown the short ribs and sauté the onions, garlic, and jalapeño on the stove.

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.)

More Easy Chili Recipes:

This White Bean Chicken Chili Verde requires a little more effort to make, but it’s so delicious on cold winter days!

Black beans, sweet potatoes, fire roasted salsa, and poblanos pair with black beans in this hearty, easy meatless Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili.

We’ve combined two of our recent dinner time favorites – Chicken Enchiladas and Chili – into this new recipe for Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Chili.

Roasted butternut squash, roasted corn, and fire roasted tomatoes pair with black beans in this hearty, 7-ingredient meatless Roasted Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili.

Pumpkin and Turkey Black Bean Chili is a great fall chili recipe with tons of flavor. Even better, it’s super easy to make!

This Beefy Kidney Bean Chili is a classic chili recipe, super easy to prepare and the perfect chili recipe for loaded baked potatoes or chili dogs.

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

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Braised Short Rib Chili with Bacon

Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

This Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili has chunks of tender beef short ribs, peppers kidney beans, in a thick chili base.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumble
  • 32 ounces cans Bush's Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium- high heat.
  2. Add the beef in batches and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside in a bowl.
  4. Add the onion and sauté, adding more oil if necessary, until tender and golden. About 3 - 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  6. Return the beef to the pan along with the cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bacon, and beans.
  7. 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.)
  8. After 3 1/2 hours add the red and green peppers, salt and pepper to your personal preference, and replace the lid.
  9. Cook an additional 30 - 60 minutes, or until the peppers and beef reach your preferred tenderness.
  10. Add additional seasoning if desired.
  11. Serve with Chile Cheese Cornbread Scones or Honey Corn Bread Muffins.

Notes

Topping Ideas:

Here are a few fun topping ideas to try for your bowl of chili:

  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced jalapeños

Freezer Friendly

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


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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 599Total Fat 33gCholesterol 125mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 9gSugar 9gProtein 44g

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Click HERE to save this recipe for Short Rib and Bacon Chili!

This recipe for Braised Short Rib and Bacon Chili is sponsored by Bush’s Beans. 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.

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Tom Peters

Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

Love this chili so much. I’m trying to count calories and was hoping you can tell me how many ounces in each serving? 

Katie

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hi, I don't have ounces per serving just that this recipe typically serves around 8 people. When you put all of the ingredients in the nutrition calculator and divide by number of servings you get 599 calories per serving. This is just an estimate because the calculator doesn't know if you drain grease off when cooking bacon, etc. To minimize the calories, definitely drain any grease off the bacon before using the bacon in this recipe; you can also purchase center cut bacon which usually has less fat/calories. You could also use slightly less oil and definitely drain any grease off after cooking the short ribs (and trim any large pieces of fat off of them). If calories still aren't low enough, I recommend eating a smaller serving size and treating this chili more as a side dish (like a cup of soup size bowl) and serve it with a big salad on the side. Hope that helps!

Tom

Sunday 5th of November 2017

Could I do this in my crock pot? Follow same directions and times? Thus looks amazing

Katie

Monday 6th of November 2017

Yes, however I would make sure to keep the following step as is:

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.

Then you can proceed with the rest of the recipe in the slow cooker. You may want to remove the lid from the slow cooker for the last little while of cooking to let some of the excess liquid evaporate due to the condensation that occurs inside. Otherwise you should have great results in the slow cooker. Enjoy!

Shelly

Monday 27th of January 2014

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

Aimee

Tuesday 19th of November 2013

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

Nora

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

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