Texas Chili is a classic spicy bean-free chili known as “Bowl o’ Red” that’s smoky, beefy and full of flavor. Perfect for game day, cookouts and crockpots!
Texas Chili is the perfect dinner time recipe now that the nights are longer and colder. It’s time to break out some hearty, filling recipes to keep everyone toasty. Make it the perfect meal and serve it up with a chunk of homemade Ultimate Cornbread.
There’s just something about a large pot of Texas Chili simmering on the stove that reminds me of the fall and winter months, and it tastes even better as leftovers. You can make it at the beginning of the week and enjoy it as leftovers and lunches the rest of the week.
What is Texas Chili?
So, what makes chili Texas Chili? Texas-style chili is a little bit different from your average chili recipe, in that it has no beans and is technically a kind of chili con carne.
The majority of the savory, smoky flavor comes from the ground chuck and flavorful chili mixture. In some cases, Texas Chili doesn’t even use tomato sauce of any kind. What makes true Texas Chili changes depending on who you ask, but what most people agree on is that there are no beans in it.
Texas Chili chefs take their craft very seriously, and there are a bunch of different chili cook offs around the country, and even the world, to determine which is the best Texas Chili recipe. In my opinion, the best chili is the kind that can feed the most people the easiest and the flavors are the most approachable.
To keep the flavors of this chili the most well rounded I add tomatoes and tomato paste but if you prefer to go tomato free I suggest using chunks of beef rather than ground beef for a better texture.
OTHER TASTY CHILI RECIPES
HOW TO MAKE TEXAS CHILI
- Add vegetable oil and onions to a large dutch oven on medium heat.
- Cook until the onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute stirring well.
- Add the ground beef, breaking apart as you cook it for 6-8 minutes.
- but leave the chunks a bit larger, and allow the beef to sear well.
- Add in the salt, ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika and brown sugar and stir well, cooking for 1 minute.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and whisk well until the tomato paste is well mixed in.
- Add in the beef broth and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
- Chili is done when the beef broth is reduced to the right consistency where the ground beef is not lost in the gravy.
VARIATIONS ON TEXAS CHILI
- Toppings: You can add just about anything to your chili. Try chopping up some jalapenos, or adding a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, or tortilla strips.
- Spices: To play with the flavors without having to start from scratch, you can mix in my Chili Seasoning Mix with an additional 3 tablespoons of chili powder.
- Chili peppers: Since chili is in the name of Texas Chili, you absolutely can make it spicy. Chop up some pasilla peppers, serrano peppers, or chipotle peppers to get a sweet, smoky, or strong spicy taste. For those who don’t like spice, there’s still a pepper you can add: bell pepper. It’s sweet, it has no heat, and it goes really well with Texas Chili flavor.
- Meat: I recommend using ground beef, but you can also use a chuck roast that’s been chopped down to stew meat size.
TEXAS CHILI FAQS
- Why does Texas Chili have no beans? It’s really just a tradition. Texans pride themselves on bean free chili.
- What makes chili chili? Chili is almost always a mixture of ground beef, hot peppers, chili powder, and sometimes beans, just not in Texas.
- Why is Chili better the next day? The meat in chili has a chance to break down a little more and release more flavor into the stew.
EVEN MORE CHILI RECIPES!
HOW LONG IS TEXAS CHILI GOOD?
- Serve: As with most non-shelf stable products, don’t leave this Texas Chili out for longer than 2 hours.
- Store: In the fridge, Texas Chili will stay good for up to 3 days before you should throw it out. Make sure that you properly seal it up in an airtight container or a sealable bag. Also, you need to let it cool completely down to room temperature before you put it away.
- Freeze: You can freeze Texas Chili for up to 4 months in a sealable container. Make sure you let it cool first, and that you keep it securely sealed.
- When reheating it is best to let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before microwaving or reheating on your stovetop. If you are going to heat from frozen and you know this ahead of time it is best to freeze in a shallow container or re-heat on half power.
WHEN IS TEXAS CHILI SAFE TO EAT?
Ground beef chuck is considered safe to eat when the temperature reaches 160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C), according to the USDA’s Official Website.
Texas Chili Recipe
- Yield: 8 Servings
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Course: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Author: Sabrina Snyder
Texas Chili is a classic spicy bean-free chili known as "Bowl o' Red" that's smoky, beefy and full of flavor. Perfect for game day, cookouts and crockpots!
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Add vegetable oil and onions to a large dutch oven on medium heat and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute stirring well.
Add the ground beef, breaking apart as you cook it for 6-8 minutes but leave the chunks a bit larger, and allow the beef to sear well.
Add in the salt, ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika and brown sugar and stir well, cooking for 1 minute.
Add in the diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and whisk well until the tomato paste is well mixed in.
Add in the beef broth and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
Chili is done when the beef broth is reduced to the right consistency where the ground beef is not lost in the gravy.
Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 294 calories, Calories: 294g, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 995mg, Potassium: 929mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 895g, Vitamin C: 17g, Calcium: 85g, Iron: 6g
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