Texas Chili is the perfect way to feed a hungry crowd and absolutely full of flavor. This recipe is packed with a generous portion of beef (chuck is best) and an interesting array of spices that will lend a touch of sophistication to your Texas chili bowl.

Unlike a classic chili recipe made with ground beef, this recipe doesn’t include beans. Serve it with a big ol’ chunk of cornbread or garlic bread for dipping!

Texas Chili in a white bowl

What is Texas Chili?

To make Texas chili, you really only need to remember one thing. No Beans! Also, keep in mind this regional recipe generally uses only stew beef and not ground beef. Purists will argue that true Texas-style chili is designed to let the flavors of beef and peppers to prevail, and therefore they only use stew beef, chilies, and tomatoes.

But most people spice things up to some degree, and I’m in that camp. This Texas chili has an amazingly rich flavor that comes from not only the beef, but also an unexpected combination of spices and ingredients, including cinnamon, cumin, and even a pinch of unsweetened cocoa!

Overhead shot of spices, meat, onions and garlic

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BEEF for this recipe can be either stewing beef or chuck.  Chuck is uniformly marbled and the tissues break down cooked over low and slow heat until melt in your mouth tender. Stewing beef is another great option but can be made up of various cuts of beef so it doesn’t cook as uniformly.

One of the best things to love about chili is that it lets you exercise your creativity, so go ahead and experiment with all those delightful dried and canned chilies available in specialty grocery stores or even ethnic food aisles. Guajillo, ancho or pasilla peppers are all excellent options.

To Make Texas Chili

  1. Brown the stew beef in an oiled stew pot, then remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, sauté onions, garlic, and chili peppers.
  3. Stir in the seasonings and cook briefly.
  4. Add beef and the rest of the ingredients and simmer until very tender.

Overhead shot of Texas Chili recipe ingredients in a pot before being mixed together

Serving Suggestions

By now you know that the best Texas chili recipes contain no beans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve them on the side. Keep it simple. Or, mash up some kidney, red and pinto beans, and refry with some butter or lard, garlic powder and other spices. Spanish rice also make an excellent companion dish.

Cornbread should also be considered for dipping or soaking up that spicy sauce. For a tasty finishing touch, top your Texas chili with sour cream or shredded Mexican cheeses.

Overhead shot of a big pot of Texas Chili

Got Leftovers?

FRIDGE: Leftovers will keep about 4-5 days in the fridge and easily reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.

FREEZER: This recipe freezes perfectly once cooled. Pack it into freezer containers, leaving an inch of headspace for expansion or even freezer bags. It will keep for up to four months. No need to thaw before reheating. Just remove and place in a pot on low heat, and allow to get piping hot before serving.

More Delicious Chili Recipes

Texas Chili in a white bowl
4.98 from 204 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Texas Chili

Texas chili is a delicious, hearty meal full of beef and flavor!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 3 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 bay leaves

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat and brown half of the meat. Repeat with remaining beef. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat 30 seconds. Add the jalapeno peppers and onions and saute for about 10 minutes onions are softened. (Do not brown them).
  • Stir in garlic and seasoning mix and cook 30 seconds or just until fragrant.
  • Add the beef back into the pot along with remaining ingredients.
  • Bring the chili to a boil and then turn the heat down to low.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 3 ½ hours stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. If it becomes too thick, add more stock as needed.
  • Before serving remove the bay leaves and serve plain or covered with sour cream, shredded cheese, or green onions.


If you want to add additional heat, add more chipotle peppers or chipotle chili powder to taste.
While cooking the meat in the chili should slightly shred - this is normal.
4.98 from 204 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 734 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 209mg | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 1582mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2526IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Main Course
Cuisine American
White bowl of Texas Chili with a title
Texas Chili in a white bowl with a title
Texas Chili with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.98 from 204 votes (169 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe – made it for my husband who likes it hot and my daughter who likes it mild and it was the perfect balance highlighting such great flavours… from the spice selection. Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

  2. OK….you converted me. I never tried this dish or made this before. I didn’t know there was such a thing ! So I made it last night, bringing it to a boil in a stockpot, then transferring to a crockpot to cook on low all night. Brought this to work to feed staff of 7 people. It is good….differently good ! I admit it was spicy for me but two other people said it was mild. So I guess it’s what you like. The absolute best part for me….the sour cream completely toned down the spicy heat and topping it with Mexican variety cheese was fantastic. I could eat it and loved the layers of flavors. I made the receipe without cumin, I don’t like the smell or taste of it…other than that dish was made as the receipe was written. The cocoa and cinnamon really make the dish as it marries well with the chilies. no you can’t taste it, it just compliments well.

    I loved smelling it cook all night….I put a wooden spoon flat under pot cover enough to vent out the steam as directions say cook uncovered. It’s definitely 5 stars for me…I will be making it again. My husband loves hot spicy food, he had 3 bowls full and absolutely loved it. He did not think it was spicy. Good for feeding a large group too.5 stars

  3. I was born in Texas and still live here and have made too many chili recipes to count. This is my favorite by far! I omitted the cocoa and cinnamon and left the seeds in the jalapeño and those are the only changes I made. To quote my husband, “you have set the bar high with this one!”5 stars

  4. The steps need to be revisited. Add the beef and bring chili to a boil.

    When do we add the liquid stuff?

    I love your recipes.

    1. They are added in step 5 when the beef is added back into the pot.

      5. Add the beef back into the pot along with remaining ingredients.


  5. I followed the recipe EXACTLY to the letter and it was FABULOUS! The cocoa powder & cinnamon were spot-on. I served it with cheese, sour cream and Fritos. This is definitely on our rotation. Thank you!5 stars

  6. Wow, was this really delicious! The mix of spices was perfect!!! I put in a whole 7 oz. can of chipotles in adobo sauce … not just one chili as they’re super small and not that hot. I seared 4 lbs of ground beef and stew beef (50/50 quantity) because that’s what I had on hand. We love kidney beans, so added 3 cans, and a green pepper to make it stretch further than 6 servings. Cooked it all in the slow cooker for 5 hours on high and served with mac noodles and cornbread. Leftovers today will be awesome, and I will definitely make this again!! So yum, thank you!!5 stars

  7. I think this is a great recipe. I am a born and bred Texan. If I want tomatoes or beans, or anything else in my Chili; I add it. There are no “rules” on what goes in chili, but there do seem to be a lot of chili experts who would have you believe that they are the keepers of the holy grail Texas Chili recipe. There is no set recipe, so don’t let a chili snob tell you otherwise. BTW, beans are a cheap source of healthy protein and fiber that can help bulk up a meal for a family on a budget.5 stars

  8. Loved this recipe! I used it for a chili cook off today at work and won first prize! Thanks for sharing – I followed the recipe exactly and everyone gushed over how good it was!

  9. Hi there! Made this Chili for my Poker group last night in a big pot on an open fire. That was my best Chili so far, incredible. Thank you for the recipe and the taste of Texas.