Texas Chili

4.41 from 5 votes

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Savor the bold and hearty flavors of Texas with this meaty Texas Chili recipe. Made with a fiery blend of spices and tender slow-cooked chunks of beef the size of Texas.

Spoon resting in a bowl of Texas Chili.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Texas Chili
  2. What Makes Texas Chili Different?
  3. Substitutions and Regional Variations
  4. What to Serve with Texas Chili
  5. More Chili Recipes
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. How to Make Texas Chili
  8. Texas Chili Recipe

This rich, hearty chili is the perfect meal for Texas-sizes appetites. Cowboys used to enjoy this chili on the trail so it’s a bit of a cowboy tradition. You have the choice to enjoy it just as it is, or personalize it by adding toppings such as onions, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños—making every bite a genuine taste of Texas!

Ingredients to make Texas Chili including beef, beef broth, onion, jalapeños, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, spices, garlic and olive oil.

Ingredients in Texas Chili

  • Boneless beef chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Jalapenos
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chipotle peppers
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef stock or beef broth
  • Blend of spices: chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar, coriander
Plate with spices for Texas Chili including chipotle chili powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar and spoked paprika.

What Makes Texas Chili Different?

Texas chili is unlike any other chili you’ve tasted. What makes it special? Well, first things first, there are no beans in Texas chili. Nope, it’s all about the meat and the amazing spices that give it that awesome flavor. They use the best meats, like brisket or chuck roast, and cook it slowly until it’s super tender and delicious. The spice mix they use, with things like chili powder, cumin, and garlic, makes it taste just right—robust and full of flavor. Texas chili keeps it simple, focusing on the meat and spices without adding a bunch of extra, unnecessary ingredients.

Dutch oven with cooked Texas Chili.

Substitutions and Regional Variations

The recipe below is a west-central Texas style chili due to it having cubed beef rather than ground. It’s cooked with a combination of chili powder, garlic, and cumin and tends to be thicker in consistency. Here are some more variations and regional styles to try:

  • Ground Beef: The recipe below uses tender cuts of steak, but ground beef is also commonly used throughout the state.
  • East Texas Style: This variation can have a slightly sweeter and milder profile compared to other regions. It may include a touch of tomato sauce, brown sugar, or even a hint of molasses, giving it a unique flavor profile.
  • Mexican-Texan Border: In areas closer to the Mexican border, chili can be influenced by Mexican culinary traditions. This may include the use of ancho, guajillo, or pasilla peppers, resulting in a spicier and richer flavor.
  • South Texas Style: These recipes often incorporates a variety of meats, such as beef, pork, and sometimes even venison. It tends to be spicier, reflecting the region’s proximity to the border.
  • Tex-Mex Style: In urban areas and regions influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine, you might find chili with additional ingredients such as beans, tomatoes, masa harina (for thickening) and a variety of toppings like sour cream, cheese, cilantro, corn chips, and jalapeños.
Ladle with a scoop of Texas Chili.

READ NEXT: 35+ Easy Family Dinner Ideas

What to Serve with Texas Chili

More Chili Recipes

We love chili and the warmth and comfort it brings to the table. It is one of the best dinners that can be made in an instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove. Make this on a busy school night or when feeding a crowd!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are beans in Texas chili?

The authentic Texas chili does not have beans in the recipe. You can always add them in if needed and wanted.

Who invented Texas chili?

There are several variations of chili and how it is made as well as classic and traditional chili recipes it is hard to know who invented it. The Texas chili that stands out the most is from “Chili Queens” from San Antonio from the mid-19th and 20th Centuries. These ladies sold the chili combination that started the chili fanatics.

What is another name for Chili in Texas?

If you’re in Texas you might know good old chili as Red Chili, a Bowl o’ Red or chili con carne. No beans to be found in Texas chili; just cubes of beef chuck, lots of spices and blended chili peppers.

How to Make Texas Chili

Spoon resting in a bowl of Texas Chili.

Texas Chili

4.41 from 5 votes
Savor the bold and hearty flavors of Texas chili with this meaty Texas Chili recipe. Made with a fiery blend of spices and chunks of tender slow-cooked beef the size of Texas.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 Large Dutch Oven




  • Season the beef with salt and pepper.
    Bowl of cut beef in cubes seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add a single layer of beef and brown all sides. Place in a separate bowl and continue this process until all the beef has been browned.
    Dutch oven with cooked beef for Texas Chili.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to the dutch oven and add the jalapeño peppers and onion. Sauté for 10 minutes until onions are softened. Do not brown them.
    Dutch oven with diced onions and jalapeños for Texas Chili.
  • Add beef back to the dutch oven and remaining ingredients.
    Dutch oven with beef, spices, broth, onions, jalapeños, tomato paste, chipotle pepper and garlic.
  • Bring chili to a boil then turn the heat to low.
    Simmering Texas Chili in a dutch oven and stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 3 ½ hours stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick. If it becomes too thick, add more water to thin.
    Dutch oven with cooked Texas Chili.
  • Serve plain or with sliced fresh jalapeños ,shredded cheese and sour cream.


*You can also use stew meat or ground beef for this recipe

Nutrition Information

Calories: 423kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 48gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 442mgPotassium: 1119mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1772IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 6mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 2 stars
    The ingredients look good except for the beans. Never had beans in chili eating out or making it. I’m from the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

  2. 5 stars
    I could eat this all week long! I make a toppings bar for my family to load up and customize their own bowls at dinner. Such a family favorite.

  3. This ought to be interesting! I lived in Idaho for over 16 years and Chilli there had tomatoes and beans with chunks of beef. I was told that was the first batch from the chuck wagon as the crew ate up the tomatoes. No such thing as ground beef in those days. So hence, real chili, as I grew up with had no beans or tomatoes but included onions. But now I’m spoiled and I include both into my chilli along with onions. It’s all a matter of taste. Oh and another thing, corn meal was made into bread as the crews loved it.

    1. Yes 🙂 If you don’t like the flavor of cornmeal you can always leave it out. I don’t notice a difference in taste but if you have extra sensitive tastebuds and a cornmeal allergy or aversion it can be left out.

  4. 5 stars
    Fifth Generation Texan here; grew up eating chili with beans, and that’s what I prefer. I have made this recipe twice now, and it is absolutely wonderful. EVERYBODY I’ve cooked it for has loved it.

    1. Thank you so much! We are so glad to hear you like it 😀 We love chili with beans, too. Such a compliment coming from a true Texan!

  5. Are red beans different than kidney beans? If they’re different, I have never bought them before. I have yet to find a chili recipe my husband likes better than Nalley’s (yes, the canned kind :-O). He doesn’t like chili that’s too sweet or too tomatoey. Hope this is the one!

    1. Red beans are smaller and aren’t as firm as kidney beans. You can usually find them in the same place as kidney beans in the grocery store. If you prefer kidney beans, they would also work great in this recipe. Good luck with the recipe – I hope your husband likes it!

    1. I was a contestant in the Tennessee Open Chili Cook-off, which is involved with the Texas Chili Cook-off, I was surprised but Texas Chili is bean less. Anything else is fair game. There were contestants who used some crazy ingredients like cicadas (during one of the famous cicada invasions), fish or venison, like ours one year.