four pepper chili from top

Spicy Four Pepper Chili

Three days of solid rain and 40 degrees. This is our weather forecast for the next three days so I needed something to get me through the dreary weather. A warm and hearty recipe like this spicy four pepper chili is the perfect answer to cold and rainy weather.

four pepper chili up close

The crazy jump from 84 degrees and sunny to 40 and rainy totally caught me off guard. Maybe it explains why the poblano peppers I planted in April are ripening now. Fortunately, they are perfect to throw into the spicy four pepper chili recipe.

oregano with peppers

There are so many different ways to make chili and so many different combinations of peppers you could add to this recipe. Red bell peppers, ancho peppers, green chilies, are jalapenos are all good additions. I put in roasted poblanos, a couple hot Thai chili peppers, a can of green chilies and some chipotle pepper powder. I also added a bit of corn masa flour to give it a nice hint of corn flavor. Everybody likes cornbread with chili! The corn masa taste really brings home the flavor.

Definitely take it easy on the hot chilies if you have a lower heat tolerance. Two of these orange hot Thai peppers were enough to give the dish a bit of a kick so I would not add more unless you want it really hot. One jalapeno or serrano pepper would be a good substitute for these Thai peppers.

Earlier this year, I bought several pepper varieties from Chicken Holler just down the road from our house in Farmington. This was the first year I planted peppers from seed and got great results, albeit a later harvest than I expected.

Back to the recipe…I also added two cups of chopped celery to this recipe for flavor and to give it more veggies. Ginny has convinced me that most soups, stews and chilies are better with an array of vegetables in them.

four pepper chili in dutch oven

My most important things for making a good chili are correct acid balance, enough beans and veggies to meat ratio, thickness and a good blend of spices. The acid balance you can get by adding tomatoes, beer or even cider vinegar. For veggies to meat ratio, I put in at least as many beans as I do meat. Thickness is a matter of how much liquid you add and how long it simmers. You can always evaporate some liquid by simmering with the pot lid off. For spices, I think cumin and chili powder are the keys. I add just a bit more chili powder than cumin. In this recipe, that would be three tablespoons of chili powder and two tablespoons of cumin. Other spices like oregano and paprika are good, but not as crucial as the cumin and chili powder.

Spicy Four Pepper Chili

Recipe by JustinCourse: DinnerCuisine: SoupsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 onions, sliced thin

  • 2 cups chopped celery

  • 2 lbs. ground beef

  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic

  • 1-15 oz. can tomatoes

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 2 Tbsp. cumin

  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder

  • 1 Tbsp. oregano or 5 sprigs fresh oregano

  • 1 Tbsp. salt

  • 2 cans black beans

  • 2 poblano peppers, cut lengthwise

  • 1-5 oz. can green chilies

  • 2 small hot peppers, diced

  • 1/4 cup corn masa flour


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and reduced in size.
  • Heat oven to broil. Place poblanos on a baking sheet and broil for about 7-8 minutes until the skin turns dark in several spots. Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, add beef and garlic to Dutch oven and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes.

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