This homemade chili recipe is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day! Fresh peaches, plenty of spices, and a splash of whiskey lend a flavorful twist to this classic ground beef chili.
This peach whiskey chili is everything you never knew your homemade chili life was missing. (One recipe tester liked it so much, she entered it in her office-wide chili competition - and WON.)
This chili has just a hint of sweetness from the fruit, a spicy kick from a few seasonings, and a hearty, stick-to-your bones texture that makes it the perfect fall comfort food. Add a side of skillet rosemary cornbread or cornbread biscuits, and you. are. in. business.
(Also, I get it: Putting peaches in a pot of chili might feel a little bit...odd. But this is one of those moments when I'm going to need you to trust me.)
Ingredients you'll need:
- A few aromatics: Yellow onion and a few minced garlic cloves
- Ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
- Diced peaches (fresh or frozen are both fine!)
- A splash of whiskey or bourbon
- A few spices: Cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder
- A bit of molasses (optional, but excellent)
- One large can of crushed tomatoes
- One can of kidney beans (or any beans you like!)
- The staples: Salt, pepper, and olive oil
How to make this peach whiskey chili
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, then add the ground beef and cook it through.
- Stir in some salt and pepper, along with your diced peaches. Cook for a few minutes until the peaches are soft, then deglaze the pot with a splash of whiskey.
- Mix in your spices and molasses, then stir in a can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- Add the kidney beans, stir everything up, and serve!
Serve this peach whiskey chili in big bowls with your favorite chili toppings (we love a generous scoop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, cilantro, and diced green onions!)
Riffs and substitutions
- Frozen peaches can be used if fresh aren't in season. We don't recommend canned peaches: they can be overly sweet and overpower the chili.
- This chili is spicy! For a milder flavor, reduce the spices by half, then give the finished chili a taste and stir in extra spices as needed.
- Add extra vegetables like green or red bell pepper, black beans, white or butter beans, corn, or roasted butternut squash to make this a bit heartier. You can also stir in some greens (we love chopped spinach or kale!)
- Swap the ground beef for ground pork, turkey, or chicken, or omit the meat and use an extra can of beans for a vegetarian version.
A few chili FAQs
Yes - this chili freezes wonderfully! Let it cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months without losing flavor. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and reheat in a saucepan over low heat when you're ready to serve.
Three things counteract spice: Fat, sugar, and acid. If your chili is too spicy, stir in a bit of dairy (sour cream, Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, or even a splash of milk or heavy cream), a splash of something sweet (like molasses, brown sugar, or honey), or something acidic (like more tomatoes, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar). Add extra ingredients in small amounts, and taste as you go until it feels just right.
To make this recipe in a slow cooker, sauté the onion + garlic + beef on the stovetop as directed, then add the beef mixture to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until you're ready to eat. Because this recipe comes together so quickly, we don't find that you save any time when you use the Instant Pot, so we recommend just doing it on the stovetop!
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Video: How to make peach whiskey chili
This peach whiskey chili is a delicious twist on classic beef chili!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef (you could also use ground turkey)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 large peaches, peeled and diced (you could also use frozen peaches if you like!)
- 2 Tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced green onions
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add ground beef to pot and cook, breaking beef up with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes until beef is cooked through.
- Add peaches and cook until peaches are soft, about 4 minutes more.
- Add whiskey to the pot to deglaze and give everything a stir.
- Add cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, and molasses to pot. Stir to combine.
- Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring chili to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until you're ready to eat.
- Add kidney beans and stir to combine.
- Ladle chili into serving bowls and top each serving with a scoop of sour cream, a sprig of cilantro, and a sprinkle of chopped green onion. Serve immediately.
Additions and Substitutions. Use frozen peaches instead of fresh if you like. Swap ground chicken or turkey for the beef, or omit the beef and add a can of black beans or white beans for a vegetarian version. Add extra veggies (bell pepper, beans, butternut squash, sweet potato, kale, spinach) to make this a bit heartier.
This chili can get spicy: Different spice brands can lend a bigger kick than others. If you'd like a milder flavor, reduce the spices by half, then taste the finished chili and add more spices as needed to suit your palate.
Don't skip the salt! With tomato-based recipes like chili, proper seasoning is very important. If the flavors don't quite "pop" yet, add a pinch of salt!
If your chili is too runny, let it simmer over medium-low heat until it's thickened. If the chili is too thick, stir in a splash of water to thin it back out.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 472
- Sugar: 23.1 g
- Sodium: 339.7 mg
- Fat: 19.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 39.3 g
- Protein: 30.2 g
- Cholesterol: 73.5 mg
Keywords: fall, winter, comfort food