Texas Chili is spicy, savory, smoky, and packed with flavor that comes from a homemade chili spice blend and slow simmering on the stovetop. You can make a delicious Texas Chili in less than an hour that will blow everyone away with flavor.
Texans are very serious about a couple of things: Barbecue, and Chili! The recipe for Texas Chili is different from the southwestern chili that you might be used to because there are a few big differences in how they are made.
A true Texas chili uses big pieces of meat rather than ground meat, and almost never includes beans.
If you’re looking for beans, check out my Vegetarian 15 Bean Soup Recipe.
Depending on who you ask, there may be other important distinctions between “regular” chili and Texas chili, but what I’m concerned about is making sure that this is the tastiest Texas Chili recipe ever!
So while my recipe may be a bit different than other Texas Chili Recipes, that’s just because Texas Chili is a bit different depending on who made it and where in Texas you are. I promise that you and everyone you serve it to will love this version made with stew meat, tomatoes, and a savory, spicy, smoky blend of herbs and spices.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Texas Chili is made without Beans: While most chili recipes include a mix of ground beef and kidney beans, chili in Texas is made specifically without beans. If you’re not a fan of beans then Texas chili is the recipe you’ve been looking for.
- Big Chunks of Meat: Instead of ground beef, this texas chili uses cubed beef stew meat. You’ll be amazed at how amazing this chili tastes!
- I’m Adding Tomatoes: Ok, I know that there may be some Texans out there who absolutely will never put tomatoes in their chili, but I for one enjoy the acidity that they add, so my recipe includes them! I’m sorry, but not really. It’s completely delicious with tomatoes in it.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Chili Spice Mix: this delicious blend of spices is easy to mix up and way tastier than any pre-packaged spice mix you can buy at the store. It includes the spices you’d expect in chili (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, coriander) as well as some interesting ones that make this recipe special, including Cocoa Powder and Cinnamon: These spices, usually reserved for baking, actually work really well with spicy spices to create balance and richness.
- Corn Starch: This is added to the spice mix, and acts as a thickener so that the broth in your texas chili is smooth and silky.
- Beef Stew Meat: Choose whatever cut of stew meat that you enjoy or is on sale this week. We’ll be simmering the cubes for long enough to tenderize any cut. I prefer using a cubed chuck roast when possible.
- Oil: For browning the meat.
- Onion, garlic, jalapeño: Fresh aromatic vegetables, chopped, make a flavorful base for Texas Chili.
- Canned Tomatoes: Both canned tomatoes and tomato paste are needed for my Texas Chili recipe. A 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes is perfect. Don’t drain the tomatoes, we want the juice as well.
- Chipotle in Adobo – These come usually in a jar or can. The can will have 2 or 3 peppers in it. You only need to use one of them. You can always add more for extra heat later.
- Bay Leaves: Simmer the chili with bay leaves to give it that cooked-all-day flavor.
- Beef Broth: Texas chili is a brothy stew, and beef broth complements the meat.
- Toppings: When I serve Texas Chili, I like to have shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeños, and sour cream available for topping each bowl.
You won’t use the whole can of tomato paste in this recipe, so freeze the rest of it in an ice cube tray so that you have it for another recipe.
How to Make Texas Chili
- Make the spice mix: Mix all of the spices together with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Sear the Meat: Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the beef and brown on all sides, for about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef from the pot onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Cook the veggies: Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pot and add the chopped onion and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Everything in the Pot: Add the spice mix and stir to combine. Then return the beef to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, chipotle, beef broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Serve: Remove the bay leaves and serve while still hot. Top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos, and sour cream. Enjoy!
Bay leaves bring great flavor, but they aren’t edible. Make sure to remove them from your chili!
What to Serve with Texas Chili
Toppings: Classic chili toppings are cheese, sour cream, and sliced jalapenos, but you can add more if you like. Try crushed tortilla chips, french fried onions, or sliced avocado.
Noodles: Macaroni and cheese is a great dish to serve with chili. I sometimes even put both the chili and the mac and cheese in a bowl together to make chili-mac! This Velveeta Mac and Cheese Recipe is the creamiest.
How to Store Texas Chili
Fridge: You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or for several months in the freezer. Chili eaten the next day is often more delicious because the flavors have had more time to develop.
Freezer: To freeze chili, separate it into either meal sized or individual serving size portions. Seal in a freezer safe, airtight container and freeze.
To Reheat: Frozen chili can be reheated by allowing it to thaw first, then reheating it in the microwave or on low heat on the stove.
Yes, please feel free to use ground beef if you want to. Texas chili with ground beef will be less expensive to make and just as delicious.
I think that as long as you aren’t physically in Texas that you are allowed to add beans to your chili! You can add anything else you like as well to make this your own personal perfect chili.
Made using this recipe, Texas Chili is spicy but not so spicy that it burns you! If you are particularly sensitive to spicy foods, I suggest making this using only ½ of a chipotle in adobo or skipping it altogether until you’ve tasted the final chili. You can always add more spice, but you can’t take it away.
It can be! This recipe doesn’t include any carb heavy items, but you’ll want to check labels of your tomato products if you’re avoiding added sugars. Leave out the cornstarch, or replace it with a small amount of xanthan gum if you’d like to make this a keto-friendly meal.
Enjoy this savory and delicious Texas style chili with all of your favorite toppings! If you want more chili recipes, be sure to check out my Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili, Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, and meatless Vegan Chili!
- 3 pounds beef stew meat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil divided
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped
- 1 x 28 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 chipotle in adobe diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sliced jalapeños
- Sour cream
- Mix the spices all together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef from the pot onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Pour in the second tablespoon of oil, and add the chopped onion and jalapeño, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the spice mix, and stir. Return the beef to the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and juice, chipotle, tomato paste, beef broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves, and serve while hot. Top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeños, or sour cream.
StoringFridge: You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or for several months in the freezer. Chili eaten the next day is often more delicious because the flavors have had more time to develop. Freezer: To freeze chili, separate it into either meal sized or individual serving size portions. Seal in a freezer safe, airtight container and freeze. To Reheat: Frozen chili can be reheated by allowing it to thaw first, then reheating it in the microwave or on low heat on the stove.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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