Hearty Alabama Chili Recipe: Perfect for Cold Nights!

As a culinary explorer, my taste buds are always in search of bold and flavorful dishes that pack a punch. And let me tell you, nothing comes close to the Alabama Chili recipe. With its zesty blend of ground beef, tomato sauce, vinegar, and chili powder, this mouthwatering dish will get those taste buds dancing with excitement.

But what makes this recipe truly stand out is the addition of sweet onions that have been marinated in beer. The onion-beer combination adds a unique depth of flavor that sets it apart from your standard chili recipes. And if spicy food is your jam, then the spicy Alabama onion will surely satisfy your cravings.

This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and is a famous cowboy-style chili typically made in Alabama. Whether you’re serving it up for a tailgate party or enjoying dinner with friends and family at home, this classic chili recipe is sure to impress.

But don’t just take my word for it – try it out for yourself! I promise you won’t be disappointed by this touchdown-worthy dish straight from the heart of Cheaha State Park in Alabama.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Alabama Chili
Alabama Chili

Are you tired of your regular chili recipe and want to spice things up a bit? Look no further than this Alabama Onion Beer Chili. Here are all the reasons why you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this recipe:

Firstly, it has that perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors that come from ingredients like brown sugar, vinegar, and tomato sauce. The chili powder gives it just the right amount of kick without being overwhelming, making it perfect for any spice enthusiast.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is the addition of beer and onions, which adds an extra layer of depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Plus, using both ground beef chuck and ground beef adds extra richness and heartiness while still keeping it relatively lean.

And if you have picky eaters in your household, don’t worry – this chili can easily be customized to meet everyone’s needs. It’s delicious on its own or as a base for other dishes like chili mac or hot dogs. Top it off with some cheddar cheese, sour cream or whatever else tickles your fancy.

Overall, with its unbeatable flavor and versatility, this Alabama Onion Beer Chili is sure to become a staple in your recipe book. Try it out today and get ready to be hooked!

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Alabama Chili, perfect for a cozy night in.
A hearty bowl of Alabama Chili, perfect for a cozy night in.

Ingredients for the Spicy Alabama Onion Beer Chili Recipe

Here is what you will need to make the best Spicy Alabama Onion Beer Chili recipe:

  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 12 fluid ounce can beer (Alabama beer like Cheaha State Park Alabama)
  • 1 8 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Note: You can adjust the amount of chili powder you use to make it less or more spicy.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to warm up with this delicious and spicy chili.
Get ready to warm up with this delicious and spicy chili.

Now, we finally come to the fun part: the cooking process. Alabama Chili Recipe is a dish filled with flavor and depth, and this recipe will not disappoint.


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) beer (Alabama beer if possible)
  • 1 lb diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced and seeded tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Step One: Brown the Meat

Firstly, heat up a large pot over medium-high heat. Then add 2 pounds of ground beef chuck to the pot and cook for about eight minutes until it turns brown. Make sure to stir occasionally. Remove any excess fat.

Step Two: Add Garlic and Onion

Next, add chopped onions and minced garlic cloves, then cook it for another five minutes or until the onions are soft.

Step Three: Pour in Alcohol

Now it’s time to add in the good stuff! Pour in one (12 fluid ounce) beer. You can use any type of beer but using Alabama beer will enhance the flavor. Allow the mixture to simmer for about five minutes.

Step Four: Tomatoes

Add in diced tomatoes with juice and stir.

Step Five: Mix Ingredients

Then add in tomato sauce, the leftover two cans of tomatoes (diced and seeded), brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, and one teaspoon of baking soda. Stir until everything is fully mixed.

Step Six: Simmer It Up

Reduce heat to low-medium and let it simmer for at least two hours. Make sure you stir occasionaly so that nothing sticks at the bottom of your pot. The longer you let it simmer, the more delicious your Alabama Chili Recipe will taste.

Your Alabama Chili Recipe is now either is ready to serve or store for later use!

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't forget to garnish your chili with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.
Don’t forget to garnish your chili with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.

For those looking to switch it up, there are many creative ways to tweak the Alabama Chili Recipe.

– Vegetarian/Vegan: To make this recipe vegan or vegetarian-friendly, replace the ground beef with textured vegetable protein (TVP) or substitute with chopped mushrooms or tofu.

– Spicing It Up: If you’re a fan of extra heat, add some diced jalapenos or habaneros to your chili. You can also experiment with different types of chili powders, using ancho or chipotle instead of regular chili powder.

– Red Beans: While this recipe calls for kidney beans, feel free to mix it up and use red beans. This is a popular choice in Louisiana-style chili recipes.

– Beer Choice: For a unique twist, try experimenting with different beers in your chili recipe. From amber ale to stout beer, different varieties can give your recipe a distinct flavor.

– Cheese Options: To change things up, try using different types of cheese in your chili recipe. Shredded cheddar, pepper jack, or even blue cheese crumbles can add an extra pop of flavor.

– Serving Options: While we recommend serving this chili on its own, there are many ways to enjoy it. For a classic southern take, serve the chili over rice. Or get creative and turn it into a hot dog topping or pour it over pasta for a delicious homemade chili mac.

No matter how you choose to personalize this recipe, always remember the essence of what makes this Alabama Chili Recipe so amazing: the savory combination of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce and just the right amount of spice!

Serving and Pairing

 This Alabama Chili recipe packs a punch with its bold and tangy flavors.
This Alabama Chili recipe packs a punch with its bold and tangy flavors.

Now that your Alabama Onion Beer Chili is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it for optimal enjoyment. The best way to enjoy this hearty chili is with a big appetite and a side of cornbread or crackers.

Adding some shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced onions on top of the chili will enhance its flavors and give it a creamy texture. You can also sprinkle with chopped cilantro or scallions if you like.

If you’re hosting a game day party or gathering, make some hot dogs and add this tasty chili on top. Your guests will definitely be impressed with this touchdown Alabama-inspired dish.

For those who love pasta dishes, try serving this flavorful Alabama Onion Beer Chili on top of spaghetti for a delicious chili mac! As for beverages, you can’t go wrong with beer as it complements the beer chili recipe perfectly. A cold glass of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon or a classic iced tea would also make great choices.

Don’t forget to keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, as the flavors tend to meld even better over time. This homemade chili is perfect for meal prep; simply reheat it over low heat and enjoy it anew! The possibilities are endless with this southern comfort food classic, so experiment and enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Serve with a side of cornbread for the ultimate winter meal.
Serve with a side of cornbread for the ultimate winter meal.

Now that you’ve made your Alabama Chili, what should you do with the leftovers? Fear not, because I’ve got you covered.

Make-ahead: This chili is perfect for making ahead of time. I recommend preparing it on a weekend when you have more time and letting it cool before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to four days, but if you want to keep it longer, freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months.

Storing: When storing leftover chili, be sure to let it cool completely before putting it in the fridge or freezer. You don’t want to risk increasing the temperature inside your fridge or freezer and putting other food at risk of spoiling.

Reheating: To reheat your chili, simply transfer it to a pot over medium-low heat on the stovetop or microwave-safe dish with a lid in the microwave. Add a splash of water if necessary to loosen it up and stir occasionally until heated through. Remember, when reheating in the microwave, cover the dish with a lid or damp paper towel to prevent splatters.

If you’re wondering what else you can do with your leftover chili, here are some ideas:

– Make chili mac by stirring cooked elbow noodles into your hot serving of chili.

– Dip hot dogs into the chili for a southern-style hot dog.

– Use as toppings on baked potatoes or fries.

– Use as filling for burritos or tacos.

– Make a quick breakfast by reheating chili and cracking an egg on top for some added protein.

With these ideas, you’ll never have to worry about what to do with your leftover Alabama Chili again!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This chili recipe is for those who like their food with a kick!
This chili recipe is for those who like their food with a kick!

When it comes to making the perfect Alabama chili recipe, there are several key tips you can follow to achieve a mouthwatering dish. Here are some tips to make sure your chili recipe comes out just right:

Firstly, try using ground beef chuck instead of regular ground beef for a richer flavor and texture in your chili. Secondly, don’t be afraid to add a pinch of baking soda to your tomato sauce – this helps neutralize the acid and give your chili a smoother taste.

For those who like a spicier chili, try experimenting with different types of chili powder until you find one that suits your taste buds. Alternatively, adding diced jalapeño peppers or hot sauce can give your chili an extra kick.

Another helpful tip is to brown the meat in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and creating too much steam. This allows the meat to cook evenly and achieve a nice caramelization that adds depth of flavor to your chili.

Additionally, adding beer or vinegar can provide acidity and complexity to your chili recipe. Don’t be afraid to play around with these ingredients until you achieve the desired level of tanginess.

Lastly, remember that good things come to those who wait. Allow your chili recipe to simmer on low heat for long periods of time (2-3 hours at least) until all the flavors have melded together beautifully.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to creating the best southern-style Alabama chili ever tasted!


Now that you have learned all the steps and tips for making the perfect Alabama Chili Recipe, it is time to address some of the most common questions that people usually have about this recipe. In this section, I will be providing answers to frequently asked questions that will help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise while making Alabama Onion Beer Chili. Keep reading to find out more.

What is the difference between Texas chili and regular chili?

When it comes to chili, Texas chili stands out as it follows a distinct recipe that sets it apart from other chilis. Unlike other types of chili, Texas chili is free from beans, tomato sauce or any other tomato products. Its flavor mainly stems from a thick chili paste made from dried hot peppers and an abundance of meat.

What is the secret to great chili?

Incorporating certain ingredients can add a unique and unexpected twist to any recipe. Some examples include cocoa powder, beer, coffee, and cinnamon. While they may not be the most traditional ingredients for certain dishes, they can enhance flavors and create a memorable culinary experience.

Why do you put brown sugar in chili?

If you want to take your chili recipe to the next level, there’s a secret ingredient you don’t want to leave out: brown sugar. Its presence brings a perfect balance of sweetness and heat to your chili, making it a standout dish. Say hello to a pot of sweet and spicy chili that will satisfy your cravings for both flavors.

Why do you put baking soda in chili?

Before cooking the beef mixture, it’s best to allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Adding baking soda to the meat mixture will increase its pH level, which helps to keep the moisture locked inside and speeds up the browning process. This easy trick will help to create a delicious and tender beef dish. Just be sure to let it sit for the recommended time to ensure the best results.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for a hearty and flavorful chili recipe, then the Alabama Chili Recipe is definitely worth a try. Its unique blend of spices and ingredients provides a taste that is both spicy and savory, and its ability to please even the toughest chili critics has made it a fan favorite.

You won’t regret taking a chance on this Southern classic chili recipe- it’s perfect for serving up delicious hot bowls of chili with your friends and family. Whether you are tailgating before an Alabama football game, enjoying a cozy evening at home, or attending a potluck party, this recipe will make everyone’s taste buds happy.

Don’t let the thought of making homemade chili intimidate you; with our step-by-step instructions, tips and recommendations included in this article, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of mouthwatering onion beer chili in no time. It’s the perfect dish to bring people together over good food and good company.

So what are you waiting for? Give this Alabama Chili Recipe a try today – touchdown Alabama!

Alabama Chili

Alabama Chili Recipe

This recipe comes from Jim Nabors. Make as is and it is a wonderful chili.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 301.7 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons fat
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can red beans
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef


  • Heat the fat and quickly brown beef.
  • Then add onions.
  • When onions become translucent, add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans (drained), chili powder and garlic powder, and mix well.
  • Then add the vinegar.
  • Add cheddar on top to serve.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 316gCalories: 301.7kcalCarbohydrates: 19.6gProtein: 19.8gFat: 16.7gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 56.1mgSodium: 323mgFiber: 6.3gSugar: 6.3g
Keyword < 30 Mins
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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