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Gochujang Chili Con Carne

Gochujang Chili Con Carne is ready for all of the toppings, and your spoon.

This is my not-so-secret recipe for smokey, savory Gochujang Chili Con Carne that’s going to blow your mind and save you so much effort.

Gochujang Chili Con Carne is ready for all of the toppings, and your spoon.

I had a hard time convincing myself to post this recipe for Gochujang Chili Con Carne. It’s my secret recipe for potlucks and gatherings.

No one in their right mind shares their personal secrets for chili!

Chili con carne is a dish made famous in Texas, which is essentially a chili that’s primarily chunks of stewed beef and a sauce made out of dried chiles. Traditionally there are no beans, and it always starts with searing large pieces of beef before bathing them in a chile broth for hours.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Multiple layers of heat. Chopped chipotles in adobo, diced jalapenos, and gochujang paste create a complex, multi-layered flavor with spice. Get your glass of water handy!
  • Simple to prepare. The prep is the hardest part. Once everything is in the pot you simply need to wait, and occasionally stir. Lots of tasting too.
  • Meal prep this, trust me. Chili is always better the next day, so feel free to make this batch ahead of time. This recipe is no different and we always try to have it ready to go.
chili con carne with the toppings

No Chile Powders

This isn’t your traditional chili, whatever that really means. There are no chile powders to be had, just fresh veggies, broth, beer, and a small amount of brown sugar and you’ve got yourself a ridiculously complex tasting chili that warms your mouth instantly. The savory gochujang will have you drooling for more. Smoked salt and chipotles remind me of cooking outdoors, giving you the essence of a campfire. I highly recommend that you double or triple the recipe below.

Creating a new style of chili using fresh ingredients was tricky. There are are few layers of heat that create the complexity you’d expect from an excellent chili con carne: Gochujang and fresh Chipotles with adobo sauce, and Jalapeños. Gochujang and jalapeños can vary with levels of heat, so hopefully, you’ve tasted yours ahead of time and are familiar with how spicy it is.

Close up of all the flavors, you can almost taste how spicy it's going to be.

Do you know Gochujang?

It’s a Korean fermented chile paste that is packed with umami and heat, making you crave more and more. I think that Bon Appetit has some of the best examples of how it can be used.

Don’t worry about it being a huge container – you will absolutely go through it all. I have access to it at local grocery stores, however, you can buy the same brand that I use online which makes it really easy:

gochujang chili con carne
This bite is for me! You can have the rest.

Rice is a great pairing for the chili, helping soak up all of those flavors. Try putting it in a flour tortilla, making an incredible burrito. Or you could simply shove it in your mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the beer?

Yes, if you don’t drink alcohol I would recommend just using a light roast coffee, which would give you a rich, earthy flavor.

Can I use this recipe with pork or chicken?

You sure can! Same seasonings and process, but the cooking time will vary for the meat to fall apart. Just pay attention along the way during the last phase of braising.

Can I substitute the gochujang?

Nope. It’s a must for this recipe. There is not a close substitute that will mimic the flavors.

I could keep writing more but you don’t really care. You should be focused on making this and sharing your feedback below!

Close up of that delicious bowl of gochujang chili con carne

More Recipes to Try with Gochujang:

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Gochujang Chili Con Carne is ready for all of the toppings, and your spoon.

Gochujang Chili Con Carne

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

This is my not-so-secret recipe for smokey, savory gochujang chili con carne that’s going to blow your minds and save you so much effort.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 4 tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • 1.50 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup Negro Modelo, or preferred dark beer
  • 5 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Use a Dutch oven, or a deep pot. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil over high heat. Lightly season the meat with salt & pepper. Sear the meat all over, you will probably need to do this in batches. Transfer the meat to a plate lined with a paper towel once browned.
  2. Add in the last 2 Tbsp of oil into the pot and reduce heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add in the diced jalapeños and red onion. Stir frequently to char on all sides for 2 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, chopped chipotle and adobo sauce, cumin, coriander, smoked salt and brown sugar. Continue to stir frequently to incorporate the spices.
  3. Whisk together the gochujang and beef broth to fully incorporate. Add this into the pot along with the beer, and fire-roasted tomatoes with juices, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the meat to the pot and bring it all to a simmer for about 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Put the lid on while cooking if you like the chili to have a thinner consistency, and simmer without the lid if you like it a little thicker.
  4. Stir in the chopped cilantro at the end. I recommend servicing with white rice and toppings such as cheddar cheese and diced white or green onions. Enjoy!


Gochujang cannot be replaced in this recipe, it’s a complex ingredient and your results will not be the same. Make sure you have fun toppings such as cheddar, sesame seeds, scallions, white onions, or even an egg. There are so many possibilities.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 120
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Comfort food
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