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Smokey Chipotle Chili



A classic meat and beans chili bursting with smokey chipotle chili flavor and a kick of spice. Smokey Chipotle Chili is a must-try for any chili fan!

The Best Smokey Chipotle Chili | Kitchen Cents

School has started for us and that means fall is coming. Chili season is almost upon us! Eek!!!

Who’s as excited as I am to pull out recipes like this Smokey Chipotle Chili recipe?

Gosh, I can hardly believe summer break has come to an end for us and school started this week!

This smokey chipotle chili recipe is great for back to school. It’s so hearty and delicious AND you can make a double or triple batch to freeze for later. HUGE bonus!

The Best Smokey Chipotle Chili | Kitchen Cents

I had a mini anxiety attack the other day while talking to my sister. This was my train of thought…

school is started this week…

summer has ended…

fall and cold weather will be here soon…

then the snow. NOOOO!

After living in Arizona for a few years, I fell in love with the warm weather and out of love with the fridged winter. Ya know what I mean?

BUT, on the upside of the cold weather dread is one very positive thing. Can you guess what it is?

CHILI and soup season.

You can enjoy hot chili’s like this smokey chipotle chili or a delicious soup like this creamy tomato basil soup year round but when the weather turns cold I swear it makes these meals taste even better.



Chipotle chili powder has one ingredient, jalapenos that have been smoked, dried and crushed. This gives the chipotle chili powder its distinct smokey flavor that goes perfectly in a chili like this one.

Regular chili powder is a mixture of spices including dried peppers, garlic, salt, etc. It carries classic chili flavors but has no unique smokey flavor.

In this smokey chipotle chili recipe, I utilize both powders (if I have regular on hand) to optimize flavor and get the best of both flavors.

The Best Smokey Chipotle Chili | Kitchen Cents


This chipotle chili recipe is a great meal to double or triple as it freezes and reheats well.

Have leftovers? Freeze them!

To freeze this chili cool the chili to a handle-able temperature. Portion into freezer style Ziploc bags and freeze. It’s really as easy as that.

When you’re in need of a delicious, hearty, hot meal, grab a bag of chili out of the freezer and reheat.

If frozen, this chili will be good to use for up to 4 months. Make sure to label your bags of chili before freezing to ensure freshness and that you enjoy them within 4 months of freezing.

PRO TIP #1: Use FREEZER style ziploc bags rather than storage bags. Freezer bags are thicker and more durable which keeps your frozen food fresher longer.

PRO TIP #2: When freezing soup, lay flat in the Ziploc bag. This allows you to place the bags upright in your freezer after they are solid which makes them more convenient to grab out when you’re ready to use them. It also helps speed up the defrost time as they will be thinner rather than a large brick.

The Best Smokey Chipotle Chili | Kitchen Cents


The Best Smokey Chipotle Chili | Kitchen Cents

Smokey Chipotle Chili

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A classic meat and bean chili bursting with smokey chipotle chili and a spicy kick. Hearty & freezer-friendly, a must-try for any chili fan!


  • olive oil, enough to saute garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey, at least 85/15%
  • 2 (15oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar, a little more depending on your preference
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Chipotle chili powder, add up to 2 additional Tablespoons to increase smokiness
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1-2 fresh jalapenos (these are optional to increase spiciness)
  • 2 (15oz) kidney beans, light or dark, drained
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (4oz) can green chilis
  • salt and pepper to taste (I start with about 1/2 T of each to start)

Optional Toppings:

  • sour cream
  • cheese
  • chopped onions
  • slices or diced jalapenos
  • cornbread


    1. In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté garlic in olive oil (30 sec – 1 min). 
    2. Add diced onions and ground beef or turkey.  Cook until browned.
    3. Add remaining ingredients.  Season to taste. 
    4. Simmer on low for 15-30 min.  Serve with toppings of choice.


  1. Cool chili until handleable.  Portion into gallon or quart size freezer bags. Label and date. Freeze flat for easy thawing. 
  2. See notes for reheating directions and options.


Reheating freezer meal:

  • Thaw freezer pack.
  • Reheat - on stovetop until hot (165°F) or in a crockpot or Instant Pot (slow cooker method) on low for 1-2 hours for ease and convenience.

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