Our authentic Texas chili is all beef and no beans. It takes just a little bit of prep but it’s totally worth it! A thick rich red sauce with a hearty kick to it, tender chunks of seared beef, topped with your favorite chili toppings. If you’re a fan of Houston’s Firehouse chili – especially before they started adding beans to it, you are going to love enjoying this chili at home on any day of the week!
This recipe is tried, tested and prize winning! My husband has swept up his share of chili cook-off awards with this authentic Texas chili recipe. Get ready for goodness and bragging rights 🙂 I’m going to show you how to make the best chili!
How To Make Texas Chili
This chili is simple, and built to maximize the flavor from the meat and spices. Our Texas-style chili recipe is made by toasting up three different kinds of dried chilis. The dried chilis make the base of our recipe, look for the chilis that are soft and pliable, if they’re hard and brittle they’re a bit past their prime. One dried Pasilla or chili negro, this is a mild to medium hot rich flavored chili. and two dried guajillo which are the second most commonly used dried chili, and mild, they don’t have much heat. Plus one Ancho, which is dried poblano with deep red color and wrinkled skin, and has a sweet, mild to medium heat.
What Is The Best Meat For Texas Chili
The best choice of meat for Texas chili is a well marbled chuck roast, cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces. Chuck roast has a rich, beefy flavor but it can be tough when not cooked correctly. Our Texas chili recipe calls for simmering the chili for 2 – 3 hours. During this low heat/long cook, the chunks of chuck roast will get incredibly tender as the collagen and fat breaks down. You can also use boneless short ribs, brisket or ground beef for this recipe.
What To Serve With Texas Chili
We like to serve big bowls of our Texas chili with all the toppings, and set out sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onions and jalapeños so everyone can top off their bowls with their favorite toppings. Serve with cornbread on the side for mopping up every last bit of tasty red sauce, or on top of buttered boiled potatoes to catch all the drippings.
How To Store Texas Chili
If you make a double batch or if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, our Texas chili stores easily. Leftovers will keep for 4 – 5 days in a sealed container. Then heat on the stovetop or in the microwave to serve.
To freeze Texas chili, cool the chili first. Then pack it into freezer safe containers. Leave an inch of headspace in containers and freezer bags. This Texas chili will keep for up to four months. To serve, you can defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then heat in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can also reheat from frozen, just place the chili in a pot on low heat, allowing it to defrost and warm to your preferred serving temperature.
What Makes Texas Chili Different
Texas chili is red, its stewed and it’s got dried peppers. Traditionally Texas chili is different because it was made without beans. Some people also say Texas chili is not made with tomatoes or tomato sauce, getting its red color from a thick, flavorful chili paste made from dried peppers. Today, chili making is highly creative, with new classics made using the basics of beef and chili peppers, plus chef’s choice of meat, poultry, beans and all kinds of add-ins from chocolate to cheese to coffee.
Why Texas Chili Has No Beans
Historians researching how chili came about share how cowboys near San Antonio, where chilis grew plentifully, dined on chili with their families and on long cattle drives. The San Antonio Chili Queens helped make the meat and sauce with chilis even more popular, as they served it alongside beans, tamales and chili verde. To learn more click here to visit TexasLiving.
More Award Winning Chili Recipes
Best Texas Chili – Authentic No Beans Recipe
- 2-3 lbs beef (I'm using short ribs, you can also use chuck, sirloin, ground beef)
- 2 guajillo chilis, dried
- 1 ancho chili, dried
- 1 pasilla chili, dried
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 chipotles (in adobo sauce)
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce
- 3 tbsp masa harina
- Select the dried chili you’ll be using, and remove the stems and seeds. Toast the chilis in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth, bring to a boil and simmer to soften the chilis, about 15 minutes.
- While the chilis are simmering, measure out the dried spices and cut the onions and garlic. Trim the beef of fat and gristle. Cut into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- Puree the stock and chilis in a Nutribullet, blender or food processor.
- Cut the bacon into ½ inch pieces and cook in the dutch oven, rendering the fat and crisping the bacon. Remove the bacon pieces, leaving the fat in the pot. Over medium heat, cook the beef without stirring to sear. Once one side is seared, turn to sear the other. Work in batches so the pieces are not crowded – if the beef is crowded together, it will just steam the meat.
- Once all of the beef is seared, with the heat still on medium, add all of bacon and beef to the pot. Add the dried spices and pureed liquid and cook for about 5 minutes.
- From a can or jar of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, add 2 chipotle peppers and 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce. Add the onions and garlic, cooking to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Add the diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water and stir. Add the masa harina and stir.
- Simmer for 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender. Taste and adjust the spices to your level of spice intensity. Dried peppers can vary in spiciness, and you’ll be able to kick it up even more if you like. For a direct hit of heat, I like to use Paul Prudhomme’s Chipotle Chili Pepper – it can be intense, so start with slowly and build to your heat tolerance.
- To serve, add corn chips, cheddar cheese and any additional toppings of your choice. We like to add sour cream on top, because we like it spicy and the sour cream helps tame the heat a little.
- How to make our Texas Chili Recipe in the Slow Cooker. Once you've seared the beef, you can combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.