Texas Chili

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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
4.91 from 52 votes
Review Recipe

Texas Chili

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Texas chili is a delicious, hearty meal full of beef and flavor!


  • 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

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  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

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.)

Keyword texas chili
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
About the author


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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!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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 KY5 stars

  2. 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!

  3. Best chili I ever made
    Don’t need beans again!
    Keto friendly
    is the nutrition info per serving or for all 6 servings?
    Mary5 stars

  4. 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!!5 stars