Texas Chili

5 from 5 votes

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Texas chili is a hearty beef chili that will warm you up (and fill you up) on cold days. The large chunks of beef are melt-in-your-mouth tender! This is an easy recipe to use when you are trying to feed a crowd. 

Chili with cheese and sour cream on top in a white bowl.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Texas Chili Ingredients
  2. Garnishes for Texas Chili
  3. Make it More or Less Spicy
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. More Chili Recipes
  6. How to Make Texas Chili
  7. Texas Chili Recipe

This is a hearty beef chili with chunks of tenderly cooked stew meat. The spices and flavor profile are incredible giving this Texas chili recipe that is not your everyday chili. Skip the ground beef and make it with a thick chunk of meat to start. Add all the seasoning and this will warm you from head to toe, and fill you right up. It tastes so good!

A thick, rich, and hearty dinner is the perfect filling dinner that everyone loves. This recipe can be doubled or even tripled depending on how big of a group you are serving. A single recipe makes six to eight servings. If you are serving a crowd, pour it over rice to stretch out the budget even more!

Texas Chili Ingredients

Texas chili is a simple chili with all the same flavor and taste! You will notice in the ingredients there are no beans listed. This is what makes Texas chili stand out or is different compared to other chili recipes. You will love the thickness and delicious flavor this chili has to offer!

  • Canola oil – This is used to heat and saute the meat in the skillet. Canola oil is lighter than vegetable oil but still has a flavorful taste to it.
  • Beef stew meat – Sear and cook the meat in a skillet. Once the beef is browned place the beef in the pan.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves have a softer, more subtle, and less flavor compared to garlic powder.
  • Chili powder – Texans like to go big or go home! This chili powder gives that kick of spice to the chili that everyone always loves.
  • Dried oregano – Rich in flavor giving the chili recipe a savory and earthy flavor combination.
  • Cumin – Ground cumin gives a hearty and even citrusy flavor.
  • Red chili paste – Added in for heat and a little spice! This paste is also a thickener as well as gives the chili a nice, rich, red coloring.
  • Beef broth – Gives a flavored liquid to the chili that helps with the cooking.
  • Cornmeal – Thickens the chili with that buttery soft texture.
  • Red beans – Drain the red beans and even rinse them before pouring in the dutch oven to cook.

Garnishes for Texas Chili

Make this a complete meal with all the toppings and side dishes! We garnished our chili with sour cream and cheese, but you could also add chopped red onions, and slices of avocado with a squeeze of lime wedges. This chili is also delicious with a side of Cake-y Cornbread or top it off with tortilla chips! So many options and variations!

Make it More or Less Spicy

I love recipes like this one because you can easily adjust the spice level to make this a family-friendly dish. If your family doesn’t like spicy chili, you can leave out the red pepper sauce and only use 3 tablespoons of chili powder instead of 4.

On the other hand, if they do like spice, feel free to add more red pepper sauce. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes to Texas chili for an extra kick. We like the flavor of Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce in this chili.

“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.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Texas chili different?

Texas chili is different from other recipes because it does not have beans or tomato sauce. It is mainly meat, chili paste, and seasonings. It is a simple recipe with all the flavor!

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.

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!

How to Make Texas Chili

Texas Chili

5 from 5 votes
This Texas Chili is a hearty beef chili that will warm you up (and fill you up) on cold days. The large chunks of beef are melt-in-your-mouth tender!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 12


For garnish (optional)


  • Heat oil in large skillet. Add beef and brown on all sides.
  • Drain well and put beef into a large stock pot.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, red chili paste, and beef broth.
  • Stir well and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cornmeal and beans. Simmer uncovered for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Garnish with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 27gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 789mgPotassium: 504mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 795IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 3mg

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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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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.