Texas Chili

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
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This easy Texas Chili recipe is meaty, hearty, flavorful, and healthy! Because there are no beans, there’s extra meat and extra veggies – a satisfying meal all in one pot.

Perfect Texas No-Beans Chili

When it comes to chili, I kind of think you’re a beans person, or else a no-beans person. For some of us, beans just don’t really sit well, so many chili recipes are off-limits. And that’s totally understandable! Other people just don’t care for the taste or texture.

Now, you guys know me: I like beans. I have a lot of bean recipes on the blog. But I have to admit, this Texas no-beans chili really won me over. Even though I usually love beans in my chili (check out this Chunky Beef Chili, and you’ll see what I mean), I really enjoy the flavors and textures here, even without my beloved beans!

Stirring a skillet of Texas chili.

What Makes Texas Chili Different?

Texas chili is famous for not only having no beans, but a lot of recipes also are made without tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes, or any tomatoes at all. I don’t go that far – I still like tomatoes in my chili, and you’ll find them in this recipe. But it’s definitely a hearty, earthy chili that’s big on meat and spices, in true Texas style.

From top left: Diced green chiles, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, beef broth, tomato paste, ground beef, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, bell pepper.

The List of Ingredients

OK, so, there’s no beans, but there are tomatoes. What else will you need to make this chili? Let’s get into it

  • Ground Beef: Extra lean ground beef is my favorite – no draining needed!
  • Onion: Dice up one yellow onion, or substitute white, sweet, or red onion. Whatever you have.
  • Bell Pepper: I like green bell pepper here, but again, feel free to use any color.
  • Jalapeño: Seeded and minced. This is optional.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic, minced or pressed.
  • Green Chiles: A small can of diced mild green chiles adds a punch of flavor with no hassle.
  • Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste: For a tangy, rich depth. Don’t skip these!
  • Spices: Mild chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Beef Broth: You could also use chicken broth or vegetable broth, but beef has the best flavor. 
  • Optional Toppings: Sour cream, cilantro, onion, shredded cheddar, avocado, and jalapeños are all toppings that we love with chili.
Overhead shot of a serving of chili in a white bowl, with toppings.

How to Make Texas Chili

It’s easy to make Texas style chili. If you are used to making chili at all, this recipe will probably seem pretty familiar (and if not, no worries!). Here’s how to do it:

  • Cook the Beef, Onions, and Peppers. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray or oil, and place it over medium heat. Add in your ground beef, onions and green bell peppers. Brown the meat, breaking it up as you go, and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Add the Remaining Ingredients. Once the meat has browned completely and the onions and peppers are mostly soft, add the garlic to the skillet, and cook for about 30 seconds to release its fragrances. Then stir in everything but the toppings (so the green chiles, tomato sauce, seasonings, tomato paste, and beef broth). 
  • Boil, and then Simmer. Stir the chili well so that the tomato paste dissolves, and bring it to a boil. Then turn down the heat to medium-low, and just simmer the chili for about 10 – 15 minutes. Stir it every once in a while so that it doesn’t scorch. If it seems to be cooking too high, turn the heat down more. Add water if it gets too dry.
  • Enjoy! Take your Texas chili off of the heat, and serve it with your favorite toppings. 
A skillet of chili cooking on a stovetop.

Tips for Success

Want to know more about making a great part of Texas chili? You’re in the right place! I’ll give you all my best tips and tricks. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Add Heat: This is a pretty mild recipe as written, but feel free to add in extra red pepper flakes for that extra kick. 
  • About the Chilis: If you like the heat, you can also leave the seeds in the jalapeño when you dice it. You can also double the jalapeños or replace the jalapeño with a Serrano pepper. Of course, you can also replace the jalapeño with a little chopped bell pepper for a very mild dish.
  • Adjust Thickness: Texas chili is also a thicker chili thanks to the tomato paste and cook time, so thin it out as you’d like with water or more beef broth.
A bowl of homemade Texas chili topped with diced onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.

What Do You Eat with Texas Chili?

You can serve this bold, homemade chili recipe with all of your favorite toppings and sides. We particularly love these tasty recipes:

  • Cornbread: Naturally! Who can resist a square or triangle of buttery, homemade cornbread? Crumble it into your bowl, or enjoy it on the side – you can’t go wrong. This Sweet Cornbread made in a skillet is an old-fashioned delight.
  • Beer Bread: Now I know you probably love cornbread, but have you ever tried Beer Bread with chili? Match made in heaven.
  • Potatoes: Nothing beats a classic Baked Potato, and it’s so easy to scale up and make more for a crowd.
  • Fries: Chili Cheese Fries are epic when topped with this no bean chili! The perfect game day dinner!
  • Hot Dogs: Another game day favorite, the Chili Dog! Top your Air Fryer Hot Dog with a hearty scoop of this chili with some cheddar cheese and onions.
Texas chili in a bowl with various toppings.

How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers

Texas chili stores well for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover the pot, or just transfer the chili to airtight containers.

To reheat your chili, just put it on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s warmed through. You may need to add a little broth or water if it seems extra thick. You can also microwave individual portions, if you prefer.

Does Texas Chili Freeze Well?

Yes, you can definitely freeze this. In fact, this is a great recipe to double so that you can save half for later. To freeze this chili successfully, cool it down first, and then transfer it to freezer containers or freezer bags. Mark them with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Saw them out in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Close-up shot of chili in a cast-iron skillet.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 4 Servings

Texas Chili

This easy Texas Chili recipe is meaty, hearty, flavorful and healthy! Because there are no beans, there is extra meat and extra veggies – a satisfying meal in one pot.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Additional Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds extra lean ground beef
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4 oz can diced mild green chiles
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth

Optional Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Onion
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeño

Instructions 

  • Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add in ground beef, onions and green bell peppers. Break apart the meat as it cooks and as the onions and peppers soften. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once the meat has browned completely and onions and peppers are mostly soft, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Stir in green chiles, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, more salt and pepper, tomato paste and beef broth. Increase heat to medium high. Stir to dissolve the tomato paste as it starts to boil.
  • Once the tomato paste is evenly mixed in and it has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you notice the chili is getting too thick and/or is starting to scorch on the bottom, reduce the heat or add in a little water.
  • After 10 to 15 minutes, serve with any desired toppings. 

Notes

  • Storing and Reheating: Texas chili stores well for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover the pot, or just transfer the chili to airtight containers. Reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally and adding water if needed. You can also microwave individual portions, if you prefer.
  • Add Heat: This is a pretty mild recipe as written, but feel free to add in extra red pepper flakes for that extra kick. 
  • About the Chiles: If you like the heat, you can also leave the seeds in the jalapeño when you dice it. You can also double the jalapeños or replace the jalapeño with a Serrano pepper. Of course, you can also replace the jalapeño with a little chopped bell pepper for a very mild dish.
  • Adjust Thickness: Texas chili is also a thicker chili thanks to the tomato paste and cook time, so thin it out as you'd like with water or more beef broth.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.