Texas Chili

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!

If you’ve made some of my Classic Beef Chili before or my super popular Slow Cooker Beef Chili then this recipe is for you! 

Texas ChiliTEXAS CHILI

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.

Texas Chili in bowl with sour cream and cheese

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

Scoop of Texas Chili

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Texas Chili Recipe

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!
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

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions , diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef , (85/15)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 29 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 995mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 895IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg
Keyword: Texas Chili

Collage of Texas Chili photos

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. This is a fantastic recipe. Delicious chili.
    I added orange pepper, red pepper, poblano pepper and can of black beans.
    Never have added brown sugar to chili in the past. The brown sugar does add a mellow taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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