Steak'n Shake-Inspired Chili Recipe

 Steak'n Shake-Inspired Chil

Steak'n Shake-Inspired Chili Recipe

Steak'n Shake's chili is my all-time favorite restaurant chili. It’s got a really specific, thick texture-almost like a sauce-that is unlike any other.

After more than three tries, I finally was able to create my own version of chili inspired by theirs.


  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • One 10.5-ounce can of French onion soup
  • One 15.5-ounce can of dark kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dark cola (such as Coke®, Pepsi®, etc.)
  • Garnishes: diced onions, grated cheese, oyster crackers
  • Serve with: spaghetti (optional)


Brown the ground beef and salt in oil in a Dutch oven–style pan (with high sides). Drain the beef and set it aside.

Pour the French onion soup and half of the can of kidney beans (some liquid from the beans is fine-do not drain) into a mini blender. Blend for 1 minute, pulsing, until the mixture is completely puréed.

Add the soup and bean purée and all the remaining ingredients to the pot with the beef. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 1 hour

Serve with diced onion, grated cheese, and oyster crackers. You can also serve on top of spaghetti for a Steak ‘n Shake three-way!


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