Smoked Lamb Chili with Sausage

Chef Ben Spangler shows us his creative, innovative take on a lamb chili recipe in this dish, showing off not one, but 3 different cuts of lamb. Chef makes the recipe with spare ribs, sausages and ground lamb, but you could easily make it with sausages, a lamb shoulder, lamb bacon, or many other combinations of lamb meat, or maybe just ground lamb, or stew meat. Use the recipe as a guide and make the dish your own.

Lamb chili with sausage plated in a bowl.
Smoked Lamb Sausage Chili-highly recommended!

How to Make Lamb Chili with Sausage

First chef seasons and smoked lamb ribs. These are optional but add a great smoky flavor. After the ribs are cooked they’re diced into large chunks.  Just like regular chili made with ground beef, you start by cooking onions and adding meat, spices and chili powder along with beans and tomatoes. After everything is put into the pot, it should take about 3 hours for the beans to be tender. You can cut the cook time down to two hours if you soak the beans in water overnight.

Chef Ben Spangler.

Other Cuts of Lamb to Use

You can make the recipe with many cuts of lamb. Lamb shoulder or neck will work diced in place of the ribs. Ground meat can be used instead of the sausage. Other meats like tongue or heart can also be added as the spices will help mask any gamey flavor.


Lamb Sausage Chili
Serve the chili with sour cream and cilantro.

This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment

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Lamb Chili Preparation 5
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Smoked Lamb Chili with Sausage

Chili made with lamb sausage and smoked ribs.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lamb Chili
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 567kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Dutch oven or slow cooker




  • 1 cup salt
  • ½ cup sugar


  • 1 ea  onion
  • 3 ea  bell peppers
  • 3 ea  Jalapeños
  • 2 ea  Anaheim peppers
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 ea garlic cloves
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 ea fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups red pinto beans soaked overnight in water
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 quart water or stock beef broth is a good substitute for lamb
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 2 oz sour cream



  • Mix sugar and salt.
  • Coat lamb riblets evenly with salt mixture.
  • Allow to sit overnight or up to two days refrigerated, then rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Smoke (optional) or roast on a grate over a pan for 2 hours on a low setting.
  • Chill the ribs, then cut into medium dice.
  • Slice sausages ½ inches thick slices.

Smoked Lamb and Sausage Chili

  • Dice the peppers and onion into half inch pieces.
  • Mince garlic, cilantro and dice tomatoes.
  • Open 2 cans of stewed tomatoes.
  • Caramelize onions on medium high heat, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the lamb meat (sausage, riblets and ground).
  • Add all peppers and cook lightly.
  • Mix dry spices mix and add with chopped and canned tomatoes and minced cilantro (save some for plating).
  • Add beans and water.
  • Simmer, covered for 3-5 hours until beans are tender.
  • Serve the lamb chili topped with sour cream and cilantro



You can mix and match different cuts of lamb for this recipe. Ground lamb and stew meat also work fine, but chef recommends a combination for the best texture. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 740mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 688IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 6mg