Wheat Berry Chili

Wheat Berry Chili

Last month my husband and I traveled to one of our favorite states, aside from the one we live in of course, Montana! It’s no secret we love Montana, I mean we got married in Montana. Anyway, we haven’t been back there since we said “I DO” so we figured a trip was in order. 

During the trip, we happened to stumble upon Wheat Montana Farms & Bakery. Actually, I think I smacked my husband and told him we MUST stop. I mean, they’ve got a grain bin outside of their bakery! Thankfully for me, my husband obliged me and stopped. 


If you are a bread lover, you MUST stop. Honestly their cinnamon & caramel rolls were as big as plates I had to force myself not to order one. Instead I ordered their reuben sandwich along with a bowl of wheat berry chili. I had never heard of such a thing but it sounded intriguing. The minute I tasted it, I knew I needed to re-create it. The wheat berries added this unexpected texture to chili. Come to found out, many people sub things like wheat berries for beans. Genius! So once we got back, I decided to give it a go. 


Because I am a rebel and like to live dangerously, I added wheat berries to my typical chili recipe. But you could certainly omit the beans and just use wheat berries. To cook the wheat berries, simply rinse them well and then boil them in water for an hour. I used this recipe from Eating Well.

Wheat Berry Chili
Serves 6
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/4 cup chili powder
  7. 1 tablespoon cumin
  8. 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  9. 2 teaspoons oregano
  10. 1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
  11. 1 Brown Ale beer (any brand works)
  12. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  13. 1 - 14 ounce can tomato sauce (or) diced tomatoes
  14. 2 cups beef broth
  15. 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  16. 2 cups wheat berries, cooked
  17. 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  18. juice of 1 lime
  1. Heat a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium high. Add the beef and cook, breaking up, until browned. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon; wipe out the pan and discard any grease.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and tomato paste. Add the beer and simmer until almost completely reduced, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, beef broth, beans, wheat berries, and chipotle peppers. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens slightly, about 45 minutes.
  4. Before serving, add the juice of 1 lime. Stir well. Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings: cheese, sour cream, etc.
Prairie Californian https://prairiecalifornian.com/

Jenny Dewey Rohrich


  1. March 17, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    Sounds good; will have to try sometime, its getting sort of hot for Chili in these neck of the woods; but guess I can put it away til next winter…

  2. Nicole
    March 18, 2015 / 10:10 am

    Wheat Montana is one of my very favorite places to go to. I love their products and food! The coffee mugs and bowls are awesome too. Also, I really enjoy reading your blog!