Ribeye Chili

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It’s a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

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This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

Leftover steak?  What’s that?  We never have the problem of leftover steak in our house.  In fact, we typically keep several steaks in the freezer for whenever we’re in a steak kinda mood.  However, it’s been cold lately, and I was thinking up a fun new type of chili.  (You can’t ever have enough types of chili, right??)  I decided to pull a couple ribeye steaks out of the freezer…but not for grilling.  Those ribeye steaks were destined for this Ribeye Chili.

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

Truthfully, you could use any cut of steak or roast for this chili.  I chose ribeye because (1) it sounded fun and (2) we had some ribeye steaks in the freezer.  The meat gets cubed, seared and then simmered in the chili for an hour or two.  If you want to save your ribeye steaks for grilling, then I don’t blame you!  However, I will say that this Ribeye Chili turned out quite well – the ribeye was tender and the overall taste was amazing.

Ribeye Chili

Once I decided to use ribeye steaks in this chili, I knew I wanted to incorporate some smoky flavors.  We might not be grilling these steaks, but we can still pack in a bunch of smoky flavor!  In addition to the smoked paprika and other spices, I used a generous amount of diced chipotle in adobo peppers.  Chipotle peppers are simply jalapeno peppers that have been dried and smoked.  They can pack quite a punch in the flavor department, so be careful.

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

I also added a “secret” ingredient to this chili in the form of adobo sauce.  Remember those chipotle peppers?  You can either purchase them dried or canned in adobo sauce.  I used the canned version, and then I added several tablespoons of the sauce into the chili, too. 

While this Ribeye Chili is a bit on the spicy side, we didn’t find it to be overly spicy at all.  If you are sensitive to spicy foods, you could certainly reduce the number of chipotle peppers or amount of adobo sauce.  (I wouldn’t omit it entirely though.  A good bit of the flavor in this Ribeye Chili comes from those ingredients!)

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

Before we wrap up, let’s talk about toppings.  What are your favorite toppings for a bowl of chili?  A good dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese are staples for me.  If we happen to have green onions around, then I’ll chop up a few of those as well.  And then there’s sunflower seeds.  Yup, sunflower seeds.

I know it might sound a bit odd, but shelled sunflower seeds are actually quite tasty on top of chili and soup.  They add a slight crunch along with a nutty flavor.  Delicious!  I highly recommend picking up some sunflower seeds to use as a chili topping.  (I usually find packs of these in the dried nuts section of the store.  This is usually closer to the produce section as opposed to the snacking nuts section, but your store might be different.)

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

No matter what garnishes you use, I do hope you enjoy a bowl or two of this Ribeye Chili!  It’s packed with beefy, smoky flavors, and it’s the perfect way to warm up on a cold day.  Serve with a batch of cornbread for a real treat. Cheers!

How to Store Leftover Chili

Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place in a saucepan over medium heat or just microwave. To save leftovers longer than 5 days, place in an airtight container (a Ziploc bag works well) and freeze for up to 4 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Did you make this steak chili recipe at home?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

Ribeye Chili

This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 459kcal



  • Using a Dutch oven or a large pot, add oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add half of the cubed ribeye. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until beef is browned on all sides. Transfer seared steak cubes into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining ribeye and then transfer into same bowl.
  • Add ground beef and cook, stirring often, until browned. Transfer browned ground beef into bwol with the steak cubes.
  • Add onions, salt and pepper to pot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until onions have softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Add diced chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika and vinegar; continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, seared steak cubes and ground beef; stir until well combined. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 1½-2 hours.
  • {Optional} Before serving, top with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions and sunflower seeds.


You can certainly use other cuts of beef, such as sirloin steak, or even stew meat.  Ribeye was particularly tender and extra tasty!
Cans of chipotles in adobo sauce are typically easy to find in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery store.  You can save any leftover chipotles and adobo sauce in a sandwich bag in the freezer.
This flavorful Ribeye Chili is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.  It's a great way to warm the belly on a cold winter day!

Looking for more tasty chili recipes?  Check out these other fun versions, too:

Looking for a tasty vegetarian chili?  This Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili is packed with flavor and perfect for a chilly Autumn day!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is perfect for cold winter days.  A good squeeze or two of fresh lime juice adds a delicious boost of flavor to this recipe!

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

This Maple Bacon Chili is topped with maple candied bacon for an extra special layer of flavor!  It's the perfect meal for a chilly (no-pun intended) Autumn evening!

Maple Bacon Chili

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  1. I really prefer cut up meat in chili. Have you ever been to a chili cook-off and tried watery yucky ground beef chili? Oh brother. But I like that you combined beef cut up with the ground. Probably a fabulous texture. Chipotles are the best seasoning for chili, I think. I always keep ground chipotle around in case I am out of the canned. Great recipe!

    1. I have indeed been to chili cook-offs (or chili potlucks at workplaces) where I’ve been seriously disappointed. I know different folks have different preferences when it comes to chili, but I like my chili thick. I like a good hearty bowl of chili full of meat and beans. I do recommend the combo of ground beef and cut up steak here – it made for a really fun chili!

    1. I love ground beef in chili! However, with that said, the combination of ground beef and steak is a really fun twist. I highly recommend it! Thanks, Michelle!

  2. My favorite chili recipes are those with big chunks of steak — just like this one. I love a dish like this all year, but especially right now! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. I’m with ya, Valentina – I like chilis that are full of meat and beans. This one was a particularly tasty version with both ground beef and steak. Thanks!!

    1. Sunflower seeds are delicious! Salted + roasted make for the best snacks – I’ll just walk by and eat a handful. Of course, it’s a different game if you opt for the version with the shell still on!

  3. 5 stars
    David, that’s one tasty-looking bowl of chili you cooked up there.
    Like Mimi, I don’t care so much for watery ground beef chili, but I do love a coarse ground wild game in my chili. Long ago I went to a chili cookoff and the winner used tenderloin in his chili. I got a taste of it and was hooked on using a good cut of meat in my chili after that. Now mind you, I don’t use tenderloin, but often use top sirloin.
    I have both coarse ground moose and some red deer chops in the freezer that I think I’ll put to use for your recipe. I may leave the beans out however, I from Texas you know…

    1. Ah, wild game would be an excellent option for this chili, Ron! I’m intrigued by that tenderloin version, although I have to admit that tenderloin wouldn’t be my first choice – I prefer to save my tenderloin for reserve searing!

      Now as far as the beans, I’m from Texas, and I do enjoy beans in my chili. It is possible! (Although somewhere I’m sure my Texas birth status is being revoked for saying that…haha.)

      1. I have always put beans in my chili and I thumb my nose at people who scoff at them! Why miss out on all that extra flavor, heartiness and protein?? The lack of beans takes away a lot of the heartiness which is the whole point of chili!

  4. Super comforting dinner for cold days, and terrific recipe with leftover steak. I love the flavors of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, I’m sure chili tasted so good with these amazing flavors, and my family will surely enjoy it!

    1. Thanks so much, Aarthi! The smoky flavors in this chili were quite tasty – unique but delicious. A bowl of this is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day! 🙂

      1. Last year I won a chili competition using beef shanks and short ribs smoked on the grill for six hours, no beans. This year I’m definitely going to try your chili recipe with beans. Sounds delicious!

        1. Hey Doc! Wow – chili with smoked beef shanks AND short ribs? Now that sounds absolutely fantastic. No wonder it won the competition! I love this ribeye chili – it has SO much flavor. I hope you love it, too! (Honestly, though, I’m not sure how anything can compete with smoked beef shanks and short ribs in chili…my mouth is watering thinking about that!)

    1. The whole cuts of beef + the ground beef made this chili so good, Kathy! I highly recommend it! And the smoky flavor really took this one to a new level for me. Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    This chili looks so warm and comforting David, perfect for winter. (Or anytime of year! 😋). I absolutely love that you’ve used chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce. What a perfect flavor for chili. Can’t beat that smokiness from the adobo sauce! Wish I had a bowl of this now!

    1. I feel like adobo sauce isn’t used enough – the smoky flavor is out of this world good! And when you’re talking about a pot of chili, the smoky flavor totally works. Thanks, Shannon!

    1. Ah, this is the ultimate chili weather right now, Frank! I recommend making a batch. Laura even makes an “Italian chili” which is quite tasty. It’s certainly not authentic Italian, but more of a fusion type of dish – but it’s still quite delicious on a cold day!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! I would love to have a bowl of this right now David. My favourite toppings for a bowl of chilli are lots of grated cheddar cheese. Must try some sunflower seeds next time I make a chilli though. Great idea!

    1. I do enjoy shredded cheddar cheese on chili, too, Neil. Yum! Sunflower seeds are a bit unique, but I love the salty crunch that they bring. Give ’em a shot next time you make a batch of chili!

    1. I know, right? Leftover steaks is just not something that happens around here – but I have to say that using a combination of steak and ground beef in chili is magical. And the smoky flavor here took this to a whole new level! Thanks, Raymund!

  7. 5 stars
    Looks lovely. I have some leftover red wine short ribs I made for dinner. Not enough to do much with, so I’m thinking instead of ground beef, add the short ribs. They were cooked in red wine, though. How do you think the flavors would mix?

    1. I think the short ribs would be a pretty fantastic replacement for the ground beef here! I wouldn’t worry one bit about the fact that they were cooked in red wine – all of the chili seasonings will likely mask the wine. I definitely say give that idea a try! It would be fantastic for chilly autumn days!

  8. 5 stars
    I will admit I have not yet made this yet but I’m confident my five stars will be exactly what I get when I do. It just started snowing here in Dallas (yes, Dallas) and is currently 19 degrees. I have all the ingredients I need arriving tomorrow to make for tomorrows dinner. I only swapped the ground beef for ground spicy pork sausage. I’ll follow up with another comment tomorrow after dinner!!

    1. Hey Miranda! I know this recipe will live up to your expectations because it’s delicious! It’s truly one of our favorite cold weather recipes. 19 degrees is legit cold…especially for Dallas! We live in the NC mountains now, and it’s 11 degrees and windy today. Perfect day for a bowl of chili! And I think the ground beef for spicy sausage is a fun swap. Let me know how it turns out!!

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