Smoky Beef, Bacon and Bourbon Chili

Whether you’re hosting a get together or just want to make something special for your family, this Smoky Beef, Bacon and Bourbon Chili will win them over!

Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Bourbon Chili

I volunteered to bring a pot of chili to a neighborhood get together and had planned to bring my daughter’s Three Bean Chili that highlighted a chili Emily had made that won the ‘Best’ award at her company’s annual event a couple of years. When I realized I had already included it in these pages, I decided instead to make this Smoky Beef, Bacon and Bourbon Chili.

Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
Save Recipe

When I realized I had made her recipe before, I scrambled and dove into my pantry. I spied just enough ingredients to put something else together. Not a chili bean in site but some garbanzo beans and black beans did the trick and really, once you add them to beef, bacon and bourbon…do the beans really matter?

Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Bourbon Chili

This was such a hodgepodge (wow, that’s an old fashioned word isn’t it?) but one that really succeeded. The smokiness of the Chipotle peppers combined with some molasses for sweetness was a perfect compliment to this bacon heavy version of chili.

To tell you the truth if my pantry had been filled with more ingredients I would have doubled this in a heartbeat. It does have a nice smoky heat to it but if heat is not your friend, halve the amount of Chipotle chiles but don’t leave them out entirely. Please?

They provide such a great flavor but beyond that, they are tempered quite nicely with the dollop of cool sour cream on top. This Smoky Beef, Bacon and Bourbon Chili was an altogether delicious dish.

Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Bourbon Chili

Planning to host or attend a Super Bowl Party? I’ve published a week of good eats that would be great for the game this weekend, a ski trip if you’re so inclined or to be honest, just for you…sometimes you just have to treat yourself! They include:

I’ll wrap up my week of party fare tomorrow with a cocktail too…trying now to decide…cranberry or lemon…hmm?

PIN IT! ‘Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Chipotle Chili’

Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Bourbon Chili Served in a Red Bowl with Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream

Smoky Beef, Bacon, and Bourbon Chili Served in a Red Bowl with Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream

Smoky Beef and Bourbon Chili

A chili that combines the sweetness of bourbon and molasses with spicy Chipoltle peppers in Adobo Sauce and mixed with salty bacon, black beans and garbanzo beans. Delicious!
2 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Beef
Servings 4 -6 Servings


  • ½ lb bacon diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped

For the Sauce:

  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can 7 oz Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, peppers only, chopped
  • 1 can 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can 15 1/2 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can 15 1/2 oz. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

To Garnish:

  • ¼ cup sour cream or yogurt
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Parsley or Cilantro


  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until done but not crisp. Drain fat. Add beef, bourbon, garlic, oregano, sage and onion. Cook until meat is browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Put beef mixture into slow cooker and add all sauce ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • To serve, garnish bowls with sour cream, tortillas and parsley. Serve with additional tortilla chips.


Nutrition Facts
Smoky Beef and Bourbon Chili
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts


  1. This is a very sweet chili. If you like sweet chili and really like the flavor of bourbon, you might like this chili. It is a little like Kentucky Bourbon BBQ sauce. My wife and I found this chili to be too sweet and the bourbon flavor seemed out of place.

  2. OK Would please post your recipe for curing and smoking bacon with Bourbon , I do a venison pastrami that is really great. People who don’t eat game don’t know it can be this good. Will be making your beef, bacon and bourbon chili very soon.

    1. If I can find a way to add bacon or bourbon I will. I even cure and smoke my own bacon with bourbon. Why not start the morning right? 🙂

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.