Texas Chili is a bold, smoky, beefy mix of ground beef chuck, onions, jalapeños, and plenty of seasonings. This bean-free chili recipe is perfect for Super Bowl parties, cookouts, and cozy nights at home.
Have a taste for something spicy? Try my Jalapeño Mac and Cheese next.
Warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade Texas chili. I love enjoying chili during the holiday season because the temperature drops, family comes to visit, and it is a delicious and affordable way to serve dinner to a group. With a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of parsley, and a side of buttery cornbread, this is bound to become one of your favorite comfort foods!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TEXAS CHILI RECIPE
- Authentic. Real Texas chili does not contain beans so neither does this recipe!
- Family Friendly. This is hearty enough to feed a crowd on a cold winter night. Plus, everyone loves chili!
- Ultimate Super Bowl Food. Make it a dip with corn chips or tortilla chips and cheer on your favorite team.
- Quick and Easy. Chili doesn’t have to cook for hours to be tasty. In fact, this chili takes less than an hour to simmer to tender, flavorful perfection.
What is Texas Chili?
San Antonio, Texas was the birthplace of chili. Texas Chili, also known as Bowl o’ Red and chile con carne (chili with meat), is a meaty chili, typically made with ground beef and chiles. They also famously exclude beans!
Why does Texas chili have no beans?
Texas chili is a meat-forward recipe so most chili purists (and Texans) would agree, that beans just get in the way. As the meat tenderizes in the homemade sauce, it creates a mouthwatering dish. With all of the other flavors in this recipe, beans aren’t a necessity. I guarantee you won’t miss them!
Texas Chili Ingredients
- Ground beef: I use a blend of ground chuck and ground beef. Ground chuck is best because it has enough fat to withstand simmering without drying out. Chuck roast has tough connective tissue that breaks down and becomes tender during the simmering process. But you can use any stew meat you prefer for this recipe.
- Onion: Use finely chopped yellow onions.
- Jalapeños: Finely chopped.
- Bell pepper: Finely chopped.
- Seasoning: I use a blend of chili powder, Bayou City All Purpose, Bayou City Garlic Pepper, cumin, oregano, and paprika. My list is notably missing salt because the Bayou City seasonings include it. Add more to taste if you feel it is necessary.
- Tomatoes: This chili recipe uses tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Traditional Texas chili does not include tomatoes but I promise you, the flavor tomatoes bring to this chili can not be replaced with any other ingredient. You can even throw in some tomato paste if you’d like.
- Chicken or Beef stock: For depth of flavor, and a saucy texture, add some stock.
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Green onion
- Lime wedges
How To Make Texas Chili
In a heavy bottom stock pot or large dutch oven, brown ground beef over medium high heat. Once it is cooked, drain if necessary.
In the same pot, add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and let cook until fragrant. Season with chili powder, Bayou City Seasonings, cumin, oregano, and paprika.
Add your tomato sauce and diced tomato. Then add stock and cook covered for 30 minutes up to an hour. Stir occasionally.
- Add Dried Chiles: For a spicy Texas chili, add chili peppers. I suggest adding serrano peppers for heat and chipotle peppers for a sweeter spice.
- Add Alcohol: If you don’t have stock, beer will suffice as a substitute.
- Texas Chili with Beans: As controversial as this, I know some prefer their chili with beans. Or, if you need to make a meatless chili, beans are definitely an option. If you must, then I suggest using black beans or kidney beans.
- Cocoa Powder: Who knew that adding chocolate to your chili was a thing? Use unsweetened cocoa powder for a richer, more savory-tasting chili. Two tablespoons are all you need.
- Masa Harina: Add this dried corn dough to the chili mixture as a thickener.
- Slow Cooker Texas Chili: If you prefer to cook the chili low and slow, use a crockpot or slow cooker. You can also serve the chili directly from there for parties.
- Allow the chili to slowly simmer so the sauce doesn’t evaporate before the meat is tender.
- Don’t worry if the chili appears to be too thin because it thickens as it simmers.
- Do not leave chili at room temperature for more than two hours.
What to Serve with Texas Chili
There’s nothing I love more on a cold winter day than a hot bowl of Texas chili. Now, you can enjoy it as is but there’s nothing wrong with having options!
- Cornbread: While your chili simmers on the stove, whip up a skillet of buttered cornbread. I like to add a slice to my chili bowl and mash it up.
- Rice: Pour chili over a hot bowl of white rice.
- Dip: Serving this on game day? Set it out in a dish with an array of chips so everyone can enjoy it.
- Topping: Chili hot dogs, chili burgers, chili fries… you could even pour it over a baked potato. The choice is yours and there are so many options!
- Salad: Lighten up this meal and make it more nutritious by serving it with a side salad.
Leftover chili is amazing! Over time, the flavors meld so if you are enjoying it the next day, the taste intensifies.
Once the chili has completely cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months. When you want to reheat, simply add the leftovers to a pot (you can defrost it overnight in the fridge but it’s not necessary) and cook over low heat until it is evenly heated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Texas chili spicy?
This chili recipe is on the milder side however, It does include jalapeños. Add more or less to taste. If you prefer a milder pepper, try ancho (dried poblano chile peppers). For more heat, add some cayenne pepper.
What makes Texas chili different?
Texas chili is different from most chili recipes because it does not traditionally include beans or tomatoes.
Can Texas chili be made in advance?
Yes! Texas chili tastes even better the day after it is made. Make it up to 3 days in advance and store it in the fridge.
If you loved this Texas Chili recipe, let me know in the comments. For more delicious recipes, follow me on TikTok and Instagram!
Best Texas Chili Recipe
- 2 lbs Ground beef
- ½ Onion finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeño finely chopped
- 1 Bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Chili powder
- 2 tbsp Bayou City All Purpose
- 2 tsp Bayou City Garlic Pepper
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- ½ tbsp Paprika
- 1- 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
- ½ can Diced tomato
- 2-3 cups Chicken or Beef stock
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Green onion
- Lime wedges
- In a heavy bottom stock pot, brown ground beef and drain if necessary.
- In same pot, add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and let cook until fragrant.
- Season with chili powder, Bayou City Seasonings, cumin, oregano, and paprika.
- Add your tomato sauce and diced tomato.
- Add stock and cook covered for 30 minutes up to an hour.