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.
Click HERE to save this recipe for Short Rib and Bacon Chili!
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
- Yellow onion
- Jalapeño pepper
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Beef stock
- 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:
- In an oiled Dutch oven, brown the short ribs on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the onion and sauté until softened.
- Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant.
- Add the short ribs back to the pot, along with all the remaining ingredients except the bell peppers.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 3 1/2 hours.
- Add the red and green peppers and cook an additional 30 minutes to an hour.
The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
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.
To freeze a larger amount of chili, just use a larger container. You can also freeze chili in a gallon sized freezer bag. Once the chili is cooled, transfer to the bag, zip the bag, and lay it flat. This method takes up less room in the freezer.
Always make sure to label the container with date and contents.
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
Don’t skimp on browning the meat first! It will add extra flavor that you’ll lose out on if you skip this step. To get the best sear on the meat, pat the meat dry before browning it and don’t over crowd the pan. Working in batches is best.
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.
Can I Make this Chili Recipe in a Slow Cooker?
Yes! 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.
Here is how you would prepare this recipe in a slow cooker. This is just a quick over view, so please check out the recipe card at the bottom.
- Follow the recipe instructions for browning the beef and cooking the onion, garlic, and jalapeño.
- Place the remaining ingredients along with the beef, garlic, and jalapeño in your slow cooker and cook covered over low for 3 – 4 hours.
- Add the bell peppers, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 30-60 minutes (or until the beef is tender).
- 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. If at any point you want some of the liquid to evaporate for a thicker chili, just remove the lid or set it ajar so that some of the liquid can escape.
What Should I Serve with Chili?
If you’re looking for side suggestions to go with this recipe, I recommend a big green salad.
It doesn’t have to be fancy at all. We often use mixed greens, lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrot, and tomato for a basic side salad. Check out these 3 Simple Salad Dressing Recipes to go along with your salad.
If salad isn’t your thing, try this easy recipe for Roasted Broccoli for a vegetable side dish.
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.) Or, for the fall I love to make Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins.
Sometimes we like to make baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes and serve our chili on top of the potato with shredded cheese and sliced green onions.
Roasted Broccoli is another great side dish to serve with chili!
Short Rib Chili Recipe Reviews
“OMG!! I made this last night and it was THE BEST CHILI I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!! Can’t wait to have it again today!!!” -Shelly
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?
Love this recipe for Short Rib and Bacon Chili? Sign up for Good Life Eats email updates and never miss another recipe!
- 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
- 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.
Here are a few fun topping ideas to try for your bowl of 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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 599Total Fat 33gCholesterol 125mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 9gSugar 9gProtein 44g
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.