Maple Bourbon Chili

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This hearty beef and bean Maple Bourbon Chili has the deep rich flavor of bourbon with the sweetness of maple syrup.

white bowl full of Maple Bourbon Chili with toppings

I thought I would jazz up a traditional chili recipe with some bourbon and maple syrup.  These two flavors work surprisingly well together, especially in a big comforting bowl of thick, rich chili.

white bowl full of Maple Bourbon Chili with toppings

I went all out with chili toppings and topped my Maple Bourbon Chili with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions.

Watch the step by step video for this Maple Bourbon Chili Recipe below.

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bowl of homemade chili with maple and bourbon topped with cheese, sour cream, and green onions

Maple Bourbon Chili Recipe

5 from 17 votes
This hearty beef and bean Maple Bourbon Chili has the deep rich flavor of bourbon with the sweetness of maple syrup.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes


Servings 4 servings
Calories 354 kcal


  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Optional: Up to 1 cup of water I use ½ cup


  • Add the beef to a large soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Break the beef apart with a wooden spoon. Add the onion. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Beef should be cooked through. Drain off any excess fat, if necessary.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, bourbon, and maple syrup. *If you like thinner chili, add up to 1 cup of water at this point. Stir well. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low or medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Let the chili rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1portion = ¼ of the recipe | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.2g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 4.4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 8.6g
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Soup
Keyword bourbon chili, chili recipe, maple chili, sweet chili recipe
Cuisine American
Author Amanda Finks

Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    Followed the recipe to a T. It had a great taste. I must admit that it was much thicker than I expected so I added another can of tomato sause as well as a cup of water. I really liked the combo of Maple syrup and teh Bourbon.

  2. 5 stars
    My husband loves chili but I do not—until now. This is a game-changer. I use pinto beans when that’s what I have on hand and they work too.

  3. 5 stars
    This has been my go-to chili recipe for a few years now, & after sharing the link yet again, I figured it’s high time I rated it. We eat it monthly probably, & it’s amazing every time. I make it in the Instant Pot, high pressure for 13-15 min with 10min natural release & it is so good! I’ve made it with ground turkey, and as a stew with lamb or beef. The flavors work with all of it! I also usually add a diced pepper or can of green chiles, and I’ve added sweet potatoes before which were delicious. I can see why others have won so many chili cook-offs with it!

  4. Absolutely delicious! Wonderfully simple and amazingly tasty recipe. Made the test pot for myself and now it is onto Sunday funday with 20 friends. Can’t wait to hear their feedback.

  5. 5 stars
    Let me preface my comment by saying that it makes me furious when people comment on recipes from a persons page, and they have changed half of the ingredients and processes the first time they make it, especially when they have negative things to say. “You didn’t make the freakin recipe!!” is what I shout at the monitor. Anyhow, I was specifically looking for a replacement recipe for my current bourbon brisket recipe, which is good but kind of fussy and unnecessarily difficult, when I found this one. So being a direct replacement, I will I admit, I changed it right out of the gate thereby becoming that which I loathe. LOL

    What I did was instead of using ground beef, I smoked a brisket and used the specified amount of meat in the recipe. I used a good amount of salt and pepper in the brisket rub which became the bark, so I didnt add any more as the recipe called for. That could be adjusted at the end per taste. Lastly, I used fire roasted canned diced tomatoes. They were what I had on hand and they are delicious. Since the meat was already cooked. I just sweated the onion and garlic, then added and cooked the spices per the recipe. I added the brisket with the canned ingredients. I let the chili sit for a while before reheating it for a neighborhood chili cookoff. I actually tripled the recipe for the cookoff.

    How did it turn out? Tremendously! I won the cookoff hands down. It was a ferrari in a land of bicycles. This is my new brisket chili recipe, period. The other one will be lit on fire and used to start the grill. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. How large would you estimate each serving to be? I see it says 1/4 of the recipe … would you say that equals 1 cup, 1/2 cup … ?

    1. Hi Dawn, while not the author, I did just make this recipe. I’d say it made about 3 quarts of chili; give or take a little. It was enough for two people at dinner plus three servings in the dehydrator.

      A more conservative estimate may put the serving size at around 1 1/2 to 2 C per person. I will definitely double the recipe next time so I can eat, freeze, dehydrate, and reheat for leftovers the next day.

      1. I would love to know how it came out in the dehydrator. This sounds like it would be an amazing chili to have around the campfire camping.

  7. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I also won my office chili cook off using this recipe, defeating the two-time defending champion! Pretty much followed the recipe as is.

  8. 5 stars
    Fabulous!! I left out the beans, added some chopped sweet peppers. I made it a day early then reheated in my smoker. The result was awesome, won the chili cook off!

  9. I also just won a chili cook off with this! I used the Cajun seasoning almond recommended, and two different kinds of beans (I had to make 4 batches) as the store only had literally two cans of kidney beans left. Got lots of compliments on it! Thanks!

  10. Oh, my goodness! One of my autumn bucket list activities is to try new chili recipes. This one is unique and has such great reviews. So glad to have found it on Pinterest. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Won a chili cook off with this recipe. I added a good amber beer instead of water. Any dark beer would work well.
    Everyone loved it. Just remember, if you wouldn’t drink the bourbon or beer, do not cook with it.

  12. 5 stars
    I used this recipe for my first chilli competition at worm on 01/19/2018 . I got 2nd place out of about 20 entries. This is amazing! Followed the recipe to a T. Used Basil Hayden for the bourbon. Loved this recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    OMG!!! This is SOOOOOO good. I was looking for a good chili recipe using maple syrup – after all, I live in Vermont now!- and this is IT! I followed the recipe exactly, using dark syrup. I even had bourbon on hand to add to it (which is not something I usually have…but now I’ll have to keep it in stock – lol!)) This gave the dish such a rich, delicious taste. This is the chili that I’ll be serving from now on!

  14. 5 stars
    Excellent!…and pretty easy too. I actually prefer my bourbon straight up on the side, but the maple syrup really eliminates any bitterness from the beef.

  15. Chili is one of my top 5 favorite meals! I’ve never had it with maple syrup (or really anything sweet); We’ll have to try that at our house 🙂

    1. Syrup replaces sugar in the recipe. Sugar takes away from acidity of the tomatoes that why its in most tomato recipes.

About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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