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Chunky Southwest Chili

What started out as a mild, basic chili has evolved over the years into a chili with a punch! —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + soaking Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts)


  • 6 dried ancho or guajillo chiles or a mixture (about 3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-2/3 cups water, divided
  • 1 bottle (46 ounces) V8 juice
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • Sliced seeded jalapeno peppers, optional


  • In an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat, toast chiles 2-3 minutes (do not burn). Remove from heat; transfer to a small bowl. Add hot water to cover. Soak 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the same pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Brown beef in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add onion and remaining oil to pot; cook and stir until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  • Drain and split chiles, discarding stems and seeds. Pulse, covered, with salt, pepper, cumin and 2/3 cup water in a blender until pureed, adding water if needed (mixture should be a slightly runny paste).
  • Return beef to pot, and pot to stovetop. Add V8 juice, broth, chili mixture and remaining water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and meat is tender, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. If desired, top with jalapeno pepper slices.

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Average Rating:
  • scotnc
    Apr 15, 2018

    I loved this chili and it thickened up nicely (not sure what happened to the one-star reviewer’s chili). I only used two lbs of beef because I didn’t need to make enough for 10 servings (and also meat costs $$$). I used dried guajillo chilis and was a little worried that the paste wouldn’t work in my blender. It was fine and when it was all simmering it turned a fantastic deep red color. I served it with cornbread and I am looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  • Terrie
    Oct 13, 2017

    I tried to rate this a 5 star, but didn't have that option for some reason. I've never been a "stew" person, but when I saw the photo of this recipe, something screamed at me "Make this meal for dinner!". I couldn't find ancho or guajillo chilies, so I decided to use a small can of chipotle peppers in sauce and left out the jalapenos. As the stew simmered, the house filled with the most delicious smells. I served this to my husband over sticky white rice and what a HUGE hit this was!!!!! He literally ate 3 bowls at one sitting!! Storing this recipe as one of my absolute favorites. Can't wait for a cool winter evening to serve this dish up again!

  • danid
    Sep 25, 2017

    I bought the wrong dried peppers, I think they were the red thin ones. I also accidently did the whole bag but my hubby loved it, he ate 3 bowls. I did have to use arrowroot and water to thicken it up at the end but the flavor was great and he said probably the best chili recipe I made. So its a keeper.

  • Lady Fingers
    Sep 15, 2017

    This is a no beans, no masa, Chile Colorado, hearty, but not very spicy, with a deeply reduced red chile and tomato base. It takes a long time to cook, and I recommend a wide pot rather than a deep one, because there's a lot of liquid to reduce, even leaving out the added water,as I did. Use 1-inch or larger beef cubes, so they can handle the long simmer.I'll probably add masa to the leftovers, for flavor as much as for thickening.

  • John
    Sep 12, 2017

    Gave this a try and what a waste, follow the recipe exactly to the tee, and chili DOES NOT THICKEN at all even after 2 hrs, and there is absolutely no taste to it whatsoever, bland and soupy not like chili should be.Waste of time had to toss it out no one wanted to eat it, Seems like perhaps was too much liquid that the receipe calls for. Will not ever try it again.....