Spicy Three Bean Chili with Beef and Bratwurst


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Spicy Three Bean Chili with Beef and Bratwurst recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

This is a hearty chili loaded with beef, bratwurst, white beans, black beans and kidney beans, along with plenty of heat from chipotle peppers, cayenne, red pepper flakes and NM red chile powder. Despite the fact that our temperatures were still in the hundreds last week, my husband asked if I could please make him some soup or chili.

We like to keep individual portions in the freezer for him to take for lunch on the days when I don’t have leftovers set aside for his lunch. So, I cranked the a/c and enjoyed an afternoon of chili simmering on the stove-top.

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This chili was a lovely way to remind myself that fall really is right around the corner. I can hardly wait!

This recipe will make a huge amount of chili. I used a 12 quart pot and I wouldn’t try this in anything smaller than an 8 quart pot. I came home from our Labor Day weekend BBQ with a bag full of leftover grilled brats. I sliced them very thinly and added them to the chili. It was a tasty way to put the leftovers to use.

Spicy Three Bean Chili with Beef and Bratwurst recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Spicy Three Bean Chili with Beef and Bratwurst

Servings: 18 -20 servings


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 spicy bratwurst grilled or added raw and cooked with the ground beef, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 4-6 chipotle chiles about ½ cup minced
  • 2 small yellow onions chopped small
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers I used a 16 oz bag of frozen multicolored chopped peppers
  • 3 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans
  • 3 cups cooked white beans or 2 cans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked light red kidney beans or 1 can
  • 29 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 29 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 29 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6-8 tablespoons Mexican Spice Mix adjust according to the level of heat you prefer
  • Optional toppings: Sour cream and/or shredded cheese


  • In a very large stock pot over medium high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef along with the Mexican Spice Mix. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for several hours. Serve warm and top with sour cream and cheese if desired. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. The Slow Roasted Italian says

    So funny, we have 3 bean chili on the menu this month too. I am sure you have one happy man. This looks fantastic! I thought for sure you didn't take home the brats. I still have some in the fridge. Oh, and you forgot the pops. : (

  2. Geni says

    So funny, it's been crazy hot here too but I have been very much craving soup. I totally get where your hubby was coming from. Good for you for making it for him and for using the bratwursts. Looks delish!

  3. Sue/the view from great island says

    I love that you crank the ac to make the chili! My hubs likes to keep it unnaturally cold inside in the hot weather, so I ALWAYS feel like warm comfort food. I never cook with bratwurst, but there's lots of German dna in the family, so I've got to check it out.

  4. Lizzy Do says

    I've never thought to add bratwurst to my chili, but it's genius! I'm hoping we cool down a bit next week…then I'll make my first batch of chili of the season:)