Are you looking for the perfect no-bean chili? This Texas chili recipe is the ideal option!
It features Texas chili’s classic, smoky flavor without a single bean in sight.
That doesn’t mean it’s lacking, though. Quite the contrary, in fact. It’s packed with hearty beef and spices.
It’ll have your mouth watering and give you those signature cowboy vibes.
Enjoy it on its own with a few homemade ranch oyster crackers or served over fluffy.
No matter how you eat it, I guarantee this Texas chili recipe will hit the spot. And it’s sure to impress even the most experienced cooks.
What Is Texas Chili?
Most people associate Texas chili with two words: no beans.
However, not everyone knows why that’s the case. The explanation is pretty simple.
As we all know, Texas shares a border with Mexico.
Over the years, the two cuisines have borrowed a lot from each other. That’s why we have the beloved Tex-Mex cuisine today.
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why Texas chili recipes don’t include beans.
Texas chili is a Texan version of the Mexican dish chili con carne. (Literally “chiles with meat.”)
That’s why die-hard Texas chili fans will stick to those essential ingredients. (Meat, chiles, and tomatoes.)
This recipe adds a bit more spice and substitutes beef broth for tomatoes.
Even so, it’s classic Texas chili. And it’s not all that different from original chili con carne dishes, just a little more seasoned.
The following is what you’ll need to make Texas chili. You’ll be surprised at how few ingredients there actually are!
- Beef chuck roast. Unlike many chili recipes, you won’t use ground beef. Instead, look for boneless chuck roast, which you cut into cubes.
- Beef stew meat would also suffice. You’ll need about three pounds.
- Olive oil. You use this to saute your meat.
- The seasonings. Traditional Texas chili uses fewer seasonings. However, I like a bit more oomph in mine. So I add minced garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Be sure you use fresh chili powder and cumin. Otherwise, the flavors won’t come through as they’re meant to.
- All-purpose flour. To thicken the broth.
- Beef broth. The broth will act as the chili’s base. Without it, you’d have a big pile of seasoned meat.
You may want to add extra spices and seasonings to the chili.
Many people also add jalapenos, tomatoes, and other veggies. That’s entirely up to you. Play with the recipe however you like.
What’s the Best Meat for Texas Chili?
The recipe calls for three pounds of boneless beef chuck roast. While stew meat would also work, chuck roast is the best option.
You won’t use ground beef in Texas chili, and you don’t want the leanest cut of chuck roast.
It should have an ample amount of marbling. The fatty bits are where most of the flavor is.
When that fat breaks down while cooking, it releases all the flavor into the chili. It won’t taste “fatty,” just flavorful.
Stew meat is less flavorful. However, if you want to save time, it comes pre-cubed. You can also often find it cheaper than chuck roast.
How to Make Texas Chili
Follow these steps to make your Texas chili:
1. Saute the beef and garlic. Start by heating oil in a large skillet. Then, add the beef cubes and saute them for about 2 minutes. Next, add the garlic.
2. Add the seasonings and broth. Mix the chili powder, cumin, and flour in a separate bowl. Then, add that mixture to the beef.
Next comes the oregano, 1-1/2 cans of beef broth, salt, and pepper. Mix everything well.
3. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat. Once it begins to boil, you’ll reduce it to low heat.
4. Simmer. Partially cover the skillet and simmer for 90 minutes. Then, add the remaining broth and simmer for another 30 minutes.
5. Cool and chill. Once the chili is ready, allow it to cool completely. Then, cover it and move it to the fridge to chill overnight. Doing so enhances the flavors.
6. Reheat, add toppings, and serve. The next day, you’ll simmer the chili on the stove for 30-60 minutes to warm it. Add any of your favorite toppings, and serve.
Tips for the Best Chili
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Stir occasionally. While the chili is simmering, stir it now and then. Doing so will prevent scorching and sticking.
- Add extra broth. I usually get asked about how to thicken chili, but it’s too thick, add more beef broth. Plain water will also work.
- Make it extra spicy. Add jalapenos or cayenne to dial up the heat.
- Add veggies for a more nutrient-dense chili. Traditionally, Texas chili doesn’t include a lot of veggies. It especially doesn’t have beans.
However, you can add those things if you like. It just may not – strictly speaking – be “Texas” chili anymore.
- Add extra spices for more flavor. Sometimes, I stick to the recipe. At other times, I add other seasonings.
Cinnamon, cocoa powder, sugar, basil, onion powder, and cayenne are all good options.
Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes.
Toppings & Variations
The great thing about toppings is that there are no rules.
You can put whatever you want on top of your chili, even if that includes something crazy like sliced beets!
If you want to stick to something a little less wild, here are some of my favorites:
- Grated or shredded cheese (any variety)
- Oyster crackers (or another type)
- Tortilla strips or crushed tortillas
- Crumbled cornbread (Mexican or plain)
- Diced white, red, or green onions
- Pickled vegetables
- Sour cream
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced avocados
- Hot sauce
You might also want to spritz some fresh lime juice into your bowl.
Some people even add maple syrup or cinnamon for notes of sweetness.
Remember that you can also use the chili as a topping. Pour it over macaroni or spaghetti noodles for an even heartier treat.
As for variations, those, too, are entirely up to you. You can use stew meat or even ground beef instead of chuck roast. (
Ground beef isn’t typical in Texas chili, but you can use it if you like.)
You could also add more peppers into the mix. Jalapenos, poblanos, chipotles, and serranos are all good choices.
You could even add sweet bell peppers if you like.
How to Store Texas Chili
Transfer cooled leftovers to an air-tight container for storage.
They’ll remain fresh in the fridge for at least 4-5 days. You may even be able to keep it for up to a week.
As for how freeze chili, be sure to use freezer-safe containers or Ziploc bags. Transfer the cooled chili into either.
Then, add a date, and pop them upright (or flat if in bags) in the freezer. They’ll last for about 3 months.
You can reheat cooled leftovers in the microwave. Frozen leftovers should be thawed in the fridge overnight.
Then, reheat them on the stove over low heat. Ensure everything is heated through before eating.
What to Serve with Texas Chili
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