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 203 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 203 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 is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. HANDS DOWN THE BEST CHILE I HAVE EVER MADE OR HAD! I did not have the coco , skipped that ..Added 2 tbsp . Ancho pepper, used 4 jalapeno 2 chipotles & just diced them, no de-seed.Topped with aged cheddar,,, very cold today Divine5 stars

  2. Happy New Year! I had a recipe for Texas chili that so closely resembles yours however I remember browning bacon, then searing the meat in the bacon renderings…gosh it was so long ago…what are your thoughts on the bacon?

  3. Made this today. We are from Texas, and this is some of the best chili I’ve ever made. Did not deviate from the recipe at all. Husband declared excellent.5 stars

  4. Thank you so much for the effort you put into doing this and sharing with us. Best darn chili I have ever made. So glad I decided to try a new chili recipe and this 1 was it.
    Not sure what the drama queens are going on about as food is very subjective and should you want to add beans to your Texas chili, or even tomatoes, why not go right ahead!!

    Thanks again all the way from Stockholm..:)

  5. I made this recipe with only one adjustment, instead of 3 jalapenos, I did 2. I had 14 ladies at my house, plus my husband tried it to. They LOVED it!!! I mean, LOVED it! and I have to say, it was pretty darn good!! BEST Texas chili! It was right on, and very easy to make. I will be making this again soon.5 stars

    1. Great question Kari, you just brown the outside of the meat, not cook it all the way through. Enjoy the recipe!

  6. I made this for 60 people and everyone loved it. I made two different batches, one with TVP and one with beef. I put kidney beans in both at the request of my son-in-law. We ran out of both chili’s and people were asking for the recipe. I’ve made it several times since then and there is never any leftovers. Awesome recipe that can easily be tweaked for personal tastes.5 stars

  7. Gross. I follwed the recipe exactly and served it at dinner. As written it was somehow bland and overly spicy hot at the same time. I had to add a lot of salt just to make it somewhat consumeable.1 star

    1. Steve, since you are the only one that doesn’t like this recipe, I would say your taste is a little off. I wish you luck finding a recipe that you do like.5 stars

      1. chili, in general, may have tomatoes and beans. However, Texas chili, most definitely, has neither. It is a rule.

  8. Made this last night for the first time. I’ve made loads of chillies over the years and each time I’ve made it,I always get the same response from the wife and kids,”what’s for dinner Dad” and when I say chilli,they always say “oh ok”. Last night,both daughters literally licked the plate clean and the wife and son said it was the best chilli they’d ever had. They all said that I have to make it again within the next week. Thanks so much for the recipe,it really is the best chilli I’ve ever had. PS. My youngest daughter who really doesn’t like chilli has just come into the room and told me that last nights dinner was absolutely delicious and wants me to make it again.5 stars

    1. Aww Adrian, that’s amazing to hear! I’m so glad this was a hit with your family!

  9. This is fantastic. And my youngest child who as a rule hates everything I make actually requests that I make this. So, thank you!5 stars

  10. I’ve made a lot of different chilli recipes, and only this one gets 5 stars from me! The amazingly rich and meaty flavours combined with the tender beef makes this my absolute favourite. Hubby was hugely impressed, too.5 stars

  11. Holly
    Absolutely the best chili I have ever tasted. The combination of spices are spot on and the heat level is perfect. This will be my forever chili recipe. Thanks for sharing, not only talented but a beauty as well.5 stars

    1. Hi B.R., This chili should work well in the crockpot 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!