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!
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!
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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
- Brown the stew beef in an oiled stew pot, then remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, sauté onions, garlic, and chili peppers.
- Stir in the seasonings and cook briefly.
- Add beef and the rest of the ingredients and simmer until very tender.
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.
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
- The Best Chili Recipe – A classic family favorite!
- Easy White Chicken Chili – a fun twist on a classic!
- Vegetarian Chili – who needs meat?
- Instant Pot Chili – super fast!
- Turkey Chili – a healthier option
- Easy Crock Pot Chili Recipe – so easy
- Savory Pumpkin Chili – simmer & enjoy
- 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
- 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.
While cooking the meat in the chili should slightly shred - this is normal.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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The chili was delicious on the first night, absolutely divine as leftovers the next day. YUM!
Wow! Thick and tasty! Extremely good!
This recipe is outstanding! Made it the first time and it was a hit. Second time, I took it to the next level and added two cans of kidney beans. Amazing!
This is exactly what I wanted in a chili recipe (minus the cinnamon). It is amazing. I’m a Texan through and through.
So happy to hear that, Sunshine!
I don’t know where you are or how you eat your chili, but we TXns DO put beans in our chili.
Absolutely no. only area that does is N. TX, which is just Southern OK. or in Austin, which is not TX either
Real Texans (born and raised) do NOT put beans in chili.
Dude, I am from Texas. Texas chili always has beans!!!
Dan – you maybe from TX. I’m not sure how old you are or who taught you how to cook chili or who taught them. Do you buy canned. Same in the nicest possible way.
I’m going to make your “The Best Ever Chili”.
I saw your “Texas Chili” recipe and was comtinplating using the spices from the “texas chili” instead of the spices in “the best ever chili”. Would that be going overboard as far as taste?
It all depends on your preference, but I think it would be delicious, Mike!
Hi! Haven’t made this yet – any recommendations for how to modify if wanting to use a slow cooker? TIA!
We have never tried this recipe in a slow cooker, but it should work well. However, it won’t thicken as much as the stovetop version. To cook I would put it on low for about 8 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Let us know how it turns out!
I’ve made this chili and it was delicious. My only substitution was ground beef for chili instead of the bigger chunks because it is what I had already purchased. Awesome rich flavor from both the adobo and cocoa powder.
Great recipe. I changed it up a bit. Added chorizo (subbed for a lb of the beef). Also subbed a can of enchilada sauce for a cup of the broth. On pellet smoker 250 for 3 hrs. Good stuff
How would you change if wanting to use ground beef as a less expensive option?
Hi Amy, we have a few other delicious chili recipes that are made with ground beef like this favorite chili recipe! I would definitely recommend checking them out!
Hi Amy! I just want to suggest that you watch your local grocery stores weekly specials as sometimes you can get Chuck Roast for $3.99 per pound! However, “stew meat” , ugh, is just trimmings of all meats and is usually $5.99 per pound…You can check all of your local grocers ads weekly, online. Chuck Roast is your very best bet when it is on sale! You can cut and trim to your preference and it freezes well for up to 3 months (in my humble opinion) I sincerely hope this helps!
How do rate this recipe on a hotness scale?.. Medium or hot?
Hi Miles, I really enjoy spice so I would say about a medium at most. But you can control the heat by removing all the seeds from the jalapenos, reducing the chili powder, or make your own to control the spice levels. I hope that helps!
Real Texas Chili does not use Tomatoes. This recipe is not real Texas style Chili.
Texas chili doesn’t have any tomato products in it.
Great opinion, Duck! There are probably a lot of us who are not from Texas. I, for one, enjoy tomato products in my Chili. Flavor and Nutrition = YUM Sometimes we need to agree to disagree :)
I agree; But then it should not be called “TEXAS Chili”
I haven’t had the final product but I CANNOT wait to eat it. Typically I can tell from the smell while cooking if something is going to taste good or not. The aroma this dish gives off is AMAZING. I smelled each change from the different spices being added, some I never even thought to use in Chili.
People saying certain ‘rules’ of Chili are nuts…cause if they tried this, they’d know rules were meant to be broken and girl, this Chili has is goin on!! Thanks from KY
It say Texas chili not experimental Chili. Texas Chiliuses no Tomato at all.
I agree! Yummers!
It Should be called “Better Then Texas Chili”
You have great recipes
No giggling please…. I know what chipotle peppers are but what is a chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce and how do you buy that? Thanks! I can’t wait to try this!
That’s a great question Linda! They are a canned product with chipotle peppers in an adobo sauce. You can find it here on Amazon!
Best chili I ever made
Don’t need beans again!
is the nutrition info per serving or for all 6 servings?
So glad you love this chili Mary! Nutrition information is per serving.
Made this last night and it was really fantastic! I was a bit heavy on the jalapeños with 4, and I took the suggestion of serving over the rice, with equally great results. Thanks for posting this!!