20-Minute Red Chili Recipe With Shredded Venison and Beans

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Is it even chili if it doesn’t have beans? My Texas friends would say just the opposite. “It ain’t chili if it has beans!” But up here in colorful Colorado, we like beans in our chili! Without beans, it’s just sauce. Mind you a delicious sauce, but not chili. ♥ Unless we’re talking Hot Dog Chili, no beans in hot dog chili. I guess we call hot dog chili, “chili” because chili powder is one of the ingredients?? Anyway. If you’re looking for a REAL Colorado style thick and hearty comfort food dinner, you have come to the right place! My 20-Minute Red Chili Recipe with shredded Venison and beans is sure to warm the belly of any hungry soul.

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

This Chili is made with leftover Instant Pot Venison French Dip Sandwiches. To find that French Dip recipe click HERE! Just the meat, I saved the au jus for another recipe. You can stretch a 3-4 lb roast pretty far if you get creative. The roast I used for the French Dip Sandwiches was made into two additional dinners for my family of five! For a total of 4 meals from one roast.

  1. Lightning-Fast Shredded Venison Tacos, Easy and Flavorful!
  2. American Vegetable Goulash Recipe in The Instant Pot, Delicious!

My Favorite Chili Cooking Vessel

The right tool for the job is key. For a quick chili like this one, the best thing to use is a cast iron dutch oven. The reason being, during the simmering time the flavors seem to develop better when cooked in cast iron versus stainless steel.

I am no expert, it's just my perspective based on my own experience. Click To Tweet

This Cuisinart enameled blue beauty I picked up from a seller in a cast iron Facebook group, is perfect for a small quick batch of homemade chili. One of my favorites for sure and my vessel of choice for this 20-Minute Red Chili Recipe.

Enameled cast iron is an outstanding choice for any dish. They are so versatile, stovetop to oven. Plus they are really pretty! Lodge brand has so many beautiful colors and they are much more affordable than the high-end brands you find in the mall.

Dump and Go Recipe

There is nothing to cook in this recipe so really we just dump all the ingredients in the pot and let it simmer. However, if you start by heating up the meat, adding the spices, the tomato paste and letting that heat up, you get a deep flavor that develops quickly.

Your tastebuds will think it's been cooking all day. Click To Tweet

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

My choice of spices sometimes varies when I make chili. No pot of chili in my house is ever exactly the same. I have to keep them guessing you know.

For this batch, I used cumin, chili powder, dried cilantro, coriander, homemade chipotle powder, and a little bit of liquid smoke. I didn’t have to add garlic or onion because the French Dip meat already had both of those. 

Pro tip:

Save money by buying large cans of tomato paste and freezing it into individual servings!

Divide the tomato paste into an ice tray and pop it into the freezer. Once they’re frozen you can store them in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Each serving is about 2 Tbs.

It’s much cheaper than buying tomato paste in a tube that has a HUGE markup price. You’ll save money by not storing it in the fridge after opening and only using 1 tbs, just for it to go bad before you have the chance to use the rest of it.

When the spices have cooked out a bit I like to add a little liquid smoke. Don’t you just love a smoky chili?


Beer or no beer, it’s up to you.

Beer adds a ton of rich flavor to this chili. You can absolutely skip the beer and it will be just as delicious!

The alcohol cooks out after it simmers so all you’re left with is an incredibly rich flavor. Michelob Ultra is what I used, it is a pretty mild tasting beer and also low in calories.


Stir it in and deglaze any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan.

Fun fact: Those brown bits are called Fond, pronounced Fahn. By the way, FOOD52 has a fascinating article all about Fond! Great article, you will enjoy it!

Let the beer cookout for a few minutes.

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

Looks delicious already!

Next, add the crushed tomatoes and beans.

You can use canned diced tomatoes if you like but I prefer the consistency I get from crushed tomatoes.

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

As far as beans go, my family likes kidney beans and pinto beans. You can save some money by buying dry beans and cooking them at home which I often do.

But for this chili, I wanted the added flavor of Kuner’s chili beans. They are just simple pinto beans with some spices added to make a sauce. No need to drain and rinse them!

Now we just let it simmer for 10-15 minutes! Top it with whatever you like. My favorites are cheddar cheese, pickled jalepeño, and a dollop of Daisy; because is there even any other brand of sour cream?

Do you put toppings on your chili? Click To Tweet

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

Just how chili should be. Thick enough to hold up your spoon! By the way, if you have leftovers that you won’t eat right away you can freeze it and later add it to pasta stretching that original roast even further!

If you make this 20-Minute Red Chili Recipe tag me on Instagram! @makingmyabode

Leigh Ann ♥

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe


20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

20-Minute Red Chili Recipe

Venison Red Chili with Beans Printable Recipe

A thick hearty Colorado style chili, made from leftover French Dip.
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 cups leftover shredded venison French Dip
  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1- 12 oz beer Optional
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-15 oz can Kuner's Chili Beans
  • 1- 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Optional toppings: lime, sour cream, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, pickled jalepeño, crushed crackers, etc.


    • Sauté already cooked shredded venison for 1 minute.
    • Add tomato paste and spices. Cook until fragrant. Just a couple of minutes.
    • Deglaze the pan by adding the beer and using a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom. Simmer 2 minutes.
    • Add crushed tomatoes and beans.
    • Simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes


    Leigh Ann Schooley is the owner and founder of Making My Abode, a blog dedicated to helping homemakers live well and simply on one income. She is a believer, wife, and mother of three with more than sixteen years of homemaking experience. Leigh Ann is the recipient of the Wife of The Year award eighteen years running. She has also won the Mother of The Year award every year for the past sixteen years. She is a Colorado native raised by her dad who taught her almost everything she knows. Leigh Ann lives with her husband and family in Colorado.

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