Johnny Cash Chili


Johnny Cash Chili

This Johnny Cash chili recipe will have you walking the line... the line for more chili, that is!

Johnny Cash Chili
Johnny Cash Chili

Johnny Cash Chili is a unique recipe inspired by the legend himself. This homemade chili is great for warming up on a cold night or after a long day when you need a hearty meal. The flavors in this easy chili recipe do not disappoint and will have you and your family going back for seconds.

While this chili has quite a few ingredients, the unbeatable taste will make all the preparation worth your while. We think this recipe is pretty amazing as is, but it can be easily customized to fit your personal tastes. For instance, if you're a vegetarian, leave out the meat. If you're not into spicy foods, leave out the peppers. However you choose to prepare this dish, you won't be disappointed.


Cooking Time1 hr 45 min


One Pot MealYes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 3 (16-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 large green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3-5 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, chopped very fine (optional)
  • 2 envelopes (1.25 ounces each) mild chili seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chili beans, undrained
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar or honey to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely ground corn meal or masa flour


  1. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, place half the oil and brown half the ground meat and steak until the outside is nicely browned, about 7 minutes the meat may still be pink inside. Drain in a colander set over a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the oil, ground beef and steak.

  2. In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until onions are softened. Return the drained meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, peppers, and seasonings and stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and spices to suit your taste.

  3. Add all of the beans and the beer and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. Taste the chili if it is too spicy for your taste, add sugar or honey in small amounts until the flavor mellows. Cover and simmer on low heat another 30 minutes. Sprinkle in the cornmeal and stir, then cook uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chili is now ready to serve, or chill, tightly covered, and hold up to 2 days.

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Now, this is a chili about hearty and flavorful. Yum!!! The combination of the sirloin and ground beef will no doubt give it a great beefy texture that most people love their chili to have...I know I do. And the multitude of beans and veggies makes this a complete meal. I'm probably not gonna do the habanero peppers, as I like the idea of not burning a hole through my, but the cornmeal is a really nice touch and something I would've never thought to use.

I love this Johnny Cash chili dish but I would leave out the spicy condiments because I cannot stand spicy food. I like this recipe because it has a Mexican appeal because of the cumin powder. My favorite is the chili recipe placed in between a hotdog bun, therefore a chili sandwich. I want to customize this to fit my taste.

This is a really delicious bowl of chili. I made this for dinner last night, and it is completely different from other chilis. It still has that great chili taste, but the cornmeal and the beer bring it to a new level. I did cheat a little, and let this simmer in the crockpot. I used the crockpot up until the cornmeal was added. The smell is amazing, and fills the house. I added some jalapeno cheddar cornbread to complete the meal.

This recipe sounds great. My son is a Johnny Cash fan. I would definitely cut the recipe in half. I would also omit the 2 envelopes of chili seasoning mix since the chili powder, cumin and cayenne are usually what is in the chili seasoning packets. The recipe directions could stop at step 4. The rest of the steps should be mixed with steps 1 - 4. It was a little confusing to read after step 4. This would be a great recipe on a cold day.

I don't love spicy foods, so I was nervous to taste this chilly. Luckily, it wasn't too spicy, but it definitely had a kick. I loved the hearty taste - I would throw this on some noodles and make Chili Mac!

This was not my favorite chili recipe, but it is hearty and has a nice kick!

It had the perfect amount of kick.

This chili was just spicy enough for me. This would be a good recipe for when I'm in the mood for a filling meal.

I wish I could afford a Swiss Diamond skillet. Would be nice but I can cook just fine in my cheap stuff.

I have not made this particular chili yet, but it is Very similar to the recipe I wrote out for Cash back when I worked for him. I did not mention venison in mine, nor did I include kidney beans. I often made it for my music business friends. I stopped using that recipe when I started using a recipe given me by Marty Robbins. Marty taught me how to make Mexican food. He had a restaurant called " Rose's Cantina where a lot of those recipes were used. It was operated by a Mexican couple he had brought from Az. I want to point out that John Carter was NOT his ONLY child. He had FOUR beautiful daughters with his wife, Vivian Liberto Cash. They were recording star Roseanne, Cathy, Cindy and Tara. John was the only son, but certainly not the only child.

Thank you for pointing out the typo. We updated the text to "only son." Thank you for commenting!


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