3-Bean Chili Borracho #WeekdaySupper

When coming up with a list of all the soups I wanted to make for January's Food of the Month Club, on the top of my list was something thick, hearty and spicy...Chili!  The fact that it's a Chili Borracho (Drunken Chili) made with a bottle of beer in the mix makes it even better.  3-Bean Chili Borracho is a great meatless alternative to beef or pork chili.

I really love the rich and robust sauce for this chili.  With the combination of the dried chilies, cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder it reminds me a little of Mole Dulce.  And the beer just kicks it up a notch because it enhances all of the earthy flavors in this chili.

I'll be cooking up a big batch of this for our Super Bowl party to serve over hot dogs and french fries to make chili dogs and chili cheese fries.

I cooked my own beans, but for those of you looking for something quick and easy for a #weekdaysupper, you can use canned beans.  

3-Bean Chili Borracho 
(Recipe slightly adapted from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin)


  • 1 cup dried black beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned black beans)
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned pinto beans)
  • 1 cup dried red beans, picked over and rinsed (or 2 cups canned red beans) 
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional) 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped (or 1-14oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle beer (light or dark) 
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Shredded Manchego or cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped cilantro 

Bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil over high heat in a 4-quart (or larger) stockpot.  Add the dried black, pinto, and red beans.  Cover and let cook over high heat for about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary, until the beans are tender; season with salt.

Toast the dried ancho and guajillo chilies in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side.  Cover the chilies with 2 cups of water and let simmer until the chilies are soft.  Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  Puree the chilies and the cooking water in a blender until smooth; set aside.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.

Add the serrano chile, chopped tomatoes, beer, cocoa powder, cumin, and cinnamon, along with the pureed chilies and the cooked beans and about 2 cups of the water they were cooked in.  Stir gently to combine; season with salt. (*If using canned beans, you will need 2 cups of each bean.) 

Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Using a potato masher, gently mash some of the beans to thicken the chili.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.  Remove from heat.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with Mexican crema, shredded cheese, chopped onion and cilantro.  Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips.  Enjoy!!!



  1. It's a real cold day here in Atlanta and I'm wishing I had a big bowl of this chili right now. I love the variety of beans in it. So comforting and hearty.

  2. Oh yum, I want me a big bowl of that. It is snowing today and that would be perfect!!!

  3. Victoria of Flavors of the SunJanuary 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    I've made Salsa Borracha, but never Chilli! Great recipe and lovely photos.

  4. wow that looks delicious