Home » Recipes » Soups and Stews » Five-Alarm Chili Recipe

Five-Alarm Chili Recipe


This hearty Five-Alarm Chili is loaded with enough spice to call in the fire department. The spice comes from 5 different sources: jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cayenne, and ancho. That’s a whole lot of spice!

Five-Alarm Chili


I’ll admit I chickened out a little when making this recipe and toned down the quantities of spice some. The resulting chili had a complex spice flavor, but didn’t stimulate my tear ducts. Don’t get me wrong, I like my chili spicy. But the amount of spice seemed so excessive I felt a little moderation was called for.

Five-Alarm Chili is super spicy !

In addition to the spices, this chili is also flavored with beer. It’s best to go with just a plain ole beer here. I used Budweiser. A dark, strongly flavored beer could give the chili a bitter taste. Some crushed tortillas are added to the chili and they really help thicken it up and give it a corn flavored taste in much the way that adding masa does.

Five-Alarm Chili- this chili has a whole lot of spice!


Top with a little sour cream and avocado to tame the heat and you have a delicious cold weather meal. And don’t forget your side of cornbread!

Five-Alarm Chili is super spicy!


Spicy and thick Five-Alarm Chili

Five-Alarm Chili

This hearty Five-Alarm Chili is loaded with enough spice to call in the fire department. The spice comes from 5 different sources: jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cayenne, and ancho.
PREP: 25 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 ounces died ancho chiles stems and seeds removed and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces (4 to 6)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, I used about 4 peppers which almost filled up 1/4 cup measure cup and I added adobo sauce to fill the cup
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds onion, I used 2 medium-sized onions, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapeno chilis, I just used 1, stemmed, seeds reserved, and minced
  • 6 cloves garlic (I used 4)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I used 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 1/2 cups beer (I used Budweiser)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed


  • Combine ancho chilis and 1 1/2 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until softened, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.
  • Place ancho chilis, tomatoes and their juice, remaining 2 cups water, tortilla chips, and chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven until oil starts to smoke. Add ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook until well-browned, breaking into pieces with spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain meat in a colander and set aside.
  • Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven and add onions and jalapenos with seeds. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until onion is nicely browned. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, sugar, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in beer and bring to a simmer. Add in beans, ancho-tomato mixture, and beef and return to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Course: Chili

Want to Save This Recipe?



Recipe Source: Cook’s Country August/September 2012


More Chili Recipes

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili #healthy

Beef and Sweet Potato Chili

Dr. Pepper Chili

Dr Pepper Chili



Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

I accept the Privacy Policy

36 thoughts on “Five-Alarm Chili Recipe”

  1. This is the most interesting Chili recipe that I have seen of late. I don’t have any beer so I will use some broth and maybe add a bit of cayenne to go with it. Other than that I will be making this one in the next couple of days. It is just barley over the 30′ s at night here so we will most certainly enjoy this one. Thank you so much for the recipe and your adjustments everyone who commented. With some cornbread also. Thanks again

  2. Absolutely amazing recipe! I did add extra peppers to suite our taste but followed everything else in the recipe. Best chili I’ve ever made or had!

  3. I added 1 poblano pepper, 1 red and green bell pepper, 1 can of diced tomatoes and habaneros, garlic sriracha seasoning, extra chili powder, and accent seasoning. I also used 1lb of ground meat and 1lb of filet mignon. It was great.

  4. Joshua L Mehl

    This was really good. I added a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, a poblano pepper, one can of tomatoes and habaneros, some garlic sriracha seasoning, and accent seasoning. I also added more chili powder. I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of filet mignon.

    1. Soooo, you didn’t make this recipe. Your version sounds good, but you shouldn’t comment on a recipe when you change it entirely.

  5. This produced some good, spicy chili! I did not have the full 2 lbs of ground beef, had a little under a pound and a half, so I sort of adjusted the ingredients and included a little bit less than what was called for. I really liked the ancho-tomato mixture made in the blender. I am a big fan of spicy foods, but not to where it’s so hot it becomes inedible, and this recipe provides a good amount of heat without being overwhelming. I even added a small habanero in addition to what was called for in the recipe. I went heavy on the garlic as well. I find that after letting the chili simmer for about 15 mins, it is best to taste and adjust seasonings to you liking. I personally find that with nearly every chili recipe, I wind up adding additional chili powder, since I really enjoy a good amount in my chili. Thanks for the recipe. I will def be making this one again!

  6. Awesome recipie!! I doubled everything & added some fresh habanero too!! Fresh grated sharp cheddar & a healthy dollop of sour cream were the perfect toppings!

    1. I substituted the ground beef for hot ground sausage. I like the taste of the sausage better than the beef. I also added some shredded carrots to the mixture which added a little color. Great recipe though, the entire family liked it.

  7. This chili is fantastic. It got rave reviews when I brought in a pot to work. It has just enough heat that those who like blazing hot don’t complain and the weak willed can’t eat it. It is perfect.

  8. Amy (Savory Moments)

    Oh Yum!! I love a nice hot and spicy bowl of chili especially on a cool fall day! Yours looks really flavorful!

  9. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    I love spicy chilies and I think the addition of beer must be perfect… gosh, this looks seriously perfect for cool days!

  10. lisaiscooking

    This is the perfect time of year for a good, spicy chili! Love all those chiles in it.

  11. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    Holy cow…I like spicy things but this sounds too spicy for me! I can’t blame you for turning down the spice in your version 🙂 This looks super flavorful and delicious.

  12. Whoa there is definitely a good amount of spice in here! haha My husband would LOVE this. In his opinion, the spicier the better. We had chili last night for dinner and I can’t get enough lately – guess it’s just that time of the year!

  13. Ciara @Teaspoon of Life

    Wow this loos delicious! I have been searching for a chili recipe too, I will have to give it a try!

  14. Shundara@SavyNaturalista

    This chili would burn my mouth! Oh IO love spicy food and anything with cornbread is just oh so good..

  15. Looks fantastic! I love a comforting bowl of chili with lots of spice. We are starting to get chillier nights here and the weather is calling for gloomy and rainy weather all week so this sounds perfect!

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      It’s finally getting chili here too. Might be turning the heat on for the first time tonight!

  16. Delicious! We just had another cold snap move in and this looks beyond perfect. I’m all about the heat too! Thank you for sharing!

  17. My mouth is ablaze just lookin’ at it, but I’d eat it. Spice doesn’t scare me a bit. I would just love this chili!

Scroll to Top