This Texas chili is chunks of beef that are slow simmered with a variety of spices to make a rich and hearty stew. A no bean chili that’s packed with flavor and is always a hit with family and friends.

You can never go wrong with chili, whether it’s turkey chili, green chile verde or this meaty Texas style version. Add a variety of toppings, then watch the rave reviews come in!

A bowl of Texas chili topped with cheese and sour cream.

There are so many different ways to enjoy chili, but Texas chili might be my very favorite. It’s all about the meat and spices, no beans to get in the way of anything. Best of all, it’s actually quite easy to make. All you need is a well stocked spice cabinet and some time to let things simmer.

What makes Texas chili different?

The main difference between Texas chili and other types of chili is that beans are never used. Texas chili also goes light on the tomato products. You might possibly find some tomato sauce or paste, but chunks of tomatoes are not included. This variety of chili is often made with beef stew meat or chuck roast, which is another way that it differs from other types.

Bowls of ingredients including beef, peppers, onions and spices.

How do you make Texas chili?

Start by mixing together a spice blend which includes chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander, oregano and cornmeal. This mixture flavors the chili, and the cornmeal helps thicken everything up. Brown the cubes of beef in a pan, then add onions, chili peppers and garlic. Place the spice mix in the pot and cook to deepen the flavors of the spices. Add beef broth, tomato sauce and a bay leaf, then let the mixture come to a simmer. Cook for 3 hours or until beef is tender and the chili is thick. Serve immediately with toppings of your choice, and enjoy!

A bowl of different spices.

Tips for the perfect chili

  • Choose a well marbled cut of beef such as stew meat, round roast, or chuck roast for best results.
  • This dish will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and can be frozen for 2 months. Let the frozen chili thaw in the fridge over night, then heat on the stove until warm.
  • If the chili seems like it’s getting too thick before the meat is tender, you can add more beef broth or water, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • I use both poblano and jalapeno peppers in this recipe. I remove the seeds and ribs for a milder chili. If you prefer chili with some heat, you can leave some of the seeds and ribs in the peppers.
  • It’s important to sear the meat in a single layer so it browns nicely, if the pan is too crowded the meat can steam. You may need to brown the meat in batches depending on the size of your pan.
Seared beef chunks in a pot.

Flavor variations

This chili is fabulous as-is, but you can add other flavors to make it your own.

  • Meat: While chunks of beef is traditional, I have also seen this dish made with ground beef. Sometimes I also add bacon for a smoky flavor.
  • Beans: Yes, beans are not authentic here, but you can add a can of pinto or kidney beans if you really like the flavor and texture.
  • Toppings: Finish your bowl of chili with diced onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, avocado or sliced jalapeno.
A spoon holding up a serving of Texas chili.

You simply can’t go wrong with Texas chili. It’s full of rich flavor and ultra tender meat, and is great for feeding a crowd!

More great ways to enjoy chili

Texas Chili Video

5 from 12 votes

Texas Chili

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of Texas chili topped with cheese and sour cream.
This Texas chili is chunks of beef that are slow simmered with a variety of spices to make a rich and hearty stew. A no bean chili that's packed with flavor and is always a hit with family and friends.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time3 hours 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


For the spice mix

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal

For the chili

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds beef stew meat or chuck roast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 3/4 cup poblano peppers core, seeds and ribs removed, then diced
  • 2 jalapenos seeds and ribs removed, then finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • assorted toppings such as onion, shredded cheese, avocado and tortilla chips


For the spice mix

  • Place all the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl, then stir to combine.

For the chili

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to work in batches.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until the beef is browned.
  • Remove the beef from the pot and cover to keep warm.
  • Place the onions, poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers in the pot. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Place the spice mixture in the pot. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the beef back to the pot along with the tomato sauce, chipotle pepper, beef broth and bay leaf.
  • Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook uncovered over low heat for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes, until a thick stew forms and the beef is tender.
  • If the chili is too thick before the beef is done, you can add more beef broth or water, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve immediately with toppings such as onions, cheese, avocado and tortilla chips.


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 904mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1386IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 6mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hello Sara, this looks fabulous. Have you tried this recipe in an Instant Pot yet? I hear folks in Texas donโ€™t use beans in their chili, with that being said, I love beans in chili. Any recommendation on when to add them in this delicious looking recipe? Thank you. Sorry Texas.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my kind of comfort food! Hearty, delicious and packed with flavor; easily, a new favorite chili recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I just now enjoyed a warm comforting bowl of this hearty and delicious chili. Itโ€™s windy and rainy outside. This was the perfect day to enjoy this yummy recipe. So good!

  4. 5 stars
    This Texas chili beats out all other chili recipes! The chunks of beef and special seasoning make this recipe really stand out.

  5. 5 stars
    We had this chili for dinner last night and it was out of this world delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve never made a chili like this before, but I love the idea of leaving the meat in larger pieces. Can’t wait to try this out, I love chili especially in the wintertime!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband hates beans so I never get to make regular chili. He’d always joke about making a meat-only chili and I’d just look t him like, get outta here. Haha. THEN I found this recipe. And holy moly. Now we’re ALL happy ๐Ÿ™‚