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Snake Bite Chili

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This time of year we love a hearty dinner. Something warm and comforting after a day of full on rain or snow.

This Snake Bite Chili recipe is a perfect middle of the week dinner! But mind you, like my friend Lori says, “Chili isn’t a last minute meal”. It truly is an all day or 2 day deal. (its always better the second day as any Chili afficanado will tell you!) Cooking this in the crockpot insures you don’t have to ‘watch and stir’ or risk burning, but you can cook this in a large soup pot on the stove.


For Christmas this year, I got a deep freezer. Complete with bow. I love it, its what I asked for and now keeping a freezer larder is even easier. This recipe makes a huge pot and unless you’re a family of 10 or more, you’ll have plenty to store back for another meal. It freezes beautifully! And its versatile. Make it mild or hot or somewhere in-between  The choice is yours (no mixes or packets involved here!)  Serve this bowl of deliciousness with a slice of cornbread or some crispy tortilla chips and you’ve got a hearty meal that your family will love!

Grab a print and give this one a try! Let me know how you like YOUR chili!

Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Snake Bite Chili

Homemade high protein and easy!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 12
Author: Debbie


  • 1 pound dried mixed beans pinto, red, black (use your favs) rinsed and picked over, and soaked.
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lean ground beef rough ground
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes diced canned are fine; don't bother to drain
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 or 2 fresh or dried hot chilies seeded and minced (wear gloves)(optional)
  • 1 bottle amber beer


  • Drain soaked beans and rinse again
  • Add 6 cups water and 1/8 tsp baking soda to beans in large crock-pot.
  • Cook on high 4 hours or until soft.
  • Meanwhile brown ground beef in olive oil and drain well.
  • To the meat now add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano leaves.
  • Add meat mixture to cooked beans (don't drain off the water from the beans).
  • Stir in tomatoes and Rotel.
  • Add Dried Chiles and stir well.
  • Pour in beer and stir again well. (all the alcohol cooks out so its family friendly)
  • Reduce heat on crock pot to low and allow to cook until beans are at desired softness and mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Sprinkle on Cinnamon and stir well.
  • Garnish with your favorite cheddar, sourcream, guacamole or crispy tortilla strips.


If cooking for the family, optionally use Rotel mild and omit the chili peppers.
**The baking soda is a neat trick I learned to take the 'gas' out of the beans. Makes them easy to digest.


Favorite Things

Great Reads


    • Debbie says

      LITTLE known secret, the beer calms some of the heat and adds a wonderful flavor. Of course the alcohol cooks off!

  1. Donna says

    5 stars
    I definitely will be trying that baking soda trick. :) I need to make some chili, and this sounds like something my family would love.

    • Debbie says

      its easy to rachet back the spice and make it taste just like you like it! I don’t eat much spicy stuff anymore either, but I love the flavors

  2. Nicole Brady says

    I’ve never heard of anyone putting cinnamon in their chili, that’s very interesting. My daughter has finally developed a taste for spicy food so we’re creating more recipes with bite!

    • Debbie says

      the cinnamon adds a unique flavor but not overpowering and of course without sugar its not sweet, but savory. Try it!

    • Debbie says

      I keep the fixins in the house in the wintertime, nothing like a good bowl of chili to warm the body and the soul.

    • Debbie says

      it really really works. little bit of chemistry in the kitchen. it’ll make ‘bubbles’ as the beans cook, but won’t affect the taste at all!

    • Debbie says

      Thanks Trisha, I love this recipe myself, of course I’m a little partial, but its so versatile and you can control the heat and flavors! I use this basic recipe for everything from chili alone to those other recipes that call for ‘chili’ in some version like nachos, the infamous rotel dip with chili and more! enjoy!