Texas Chili

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Ladies and gents, hold onto your bootstraps, this chili is one for the record books.

We’re thrilled to bring you our version of Texas Chili. No beans or whole tomatoes in sight, but unbelievable taste and texture, to boot. Give yourself a few hours, and you’ll have the best chili this side of the Rio Grande and beyond!

A large blue bowl filled with Texas chili topped with cheese, onions, and jalapenos next to a glass of beer and a jar of pickles.


If you’re looking to make authentic Texas-style chili, you’ve come to the right place.

We love starting off with 2 to 3 lbs of cubed ribeye steak. Building the flavor profile as you go is key to deep, satisfying chili taste.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this heart-warming pot of yumminess in your own kitchen!


Lots of folks use beef ground chuck, which is wonderful, of course.

But we love good bite-sized chunks of super tender meat that you get with every bite.

Our favorite is boneless ribeye, but you could also go with a sirloin, strip steak, or beef tenderloin.

Two large boneless ribeye steaks on a cutting board next to a wooden bowl of spices.

A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all that’s needed for the beef.

Browning the meat in a little olive oil locks in the flavor.

The meat will render some fat, so we drain the meat with a colander before returning it to the hot skillet.

A large blue Dutch oven filled with cooked ribeye piece of beef for Texas Chili.


  • Top-notch chili powder
  • Garlic and onion powders
  • Cayenne and black peppers
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • Salt

After you’ve combined all the seasoning ingredients, we recommend dividing the mixture into thirds.

You’ll add tomato sauce, chicken and beef stocks to the pot with the cooked beef and bring it to a nice simmer.

EXPERT TIP: Adding the seasoning mixture in equal portions over the course of an hour and a half, deepens the flavor and ensures all spices dissolve perfectly and help to thicken the chili.

A hand dumping a square container of chili seasoning into a pot of meat and sauce.


After an hour and half of simmering, all of the seasoning mixtures should have been added.

As the Texas chili simmers, it will reduce down and thicken to the perfect consistency, not thick like gravy, but definitely not runny either.

EXPERT TIP: For the final flavor boost, we add brown sugar, ground cumin, and a few dashes of our favorite hot sauce. These are best when added right at the end of cooking, otherwise, their flavor-profile can become too dominant in the chili.

A wooden spoon holding up a spoonful of authentic Texas chili.


Folks, a bowl of our classic Texas Chili is about a comforting as they come.

You might also enjoy our white bean chiliturkey chili, or vegetarian chili, too. But we must admit, this Texas chili, sometimes called Texas Red, is our all-time favorite.

This could easily be doubled (or tripled) to feed a crowd.

An overhead view of a large bowl of chili topped with shredded cheddar, onions, and jalapenos.

Quality chili powder is important.  You can find the very best in Fort Worth, Texas at Penderys…or easily peruse the endless selections of spice, chili powders and more at www.Penderys.com.

Be sure to provide all the classic garnishes when serving Texas-style chili. Chopped onion, shredded cheddar (or Monterrey jack), and sliced jalapenos are a must. Sour cream and even cooked rice are popular additions, too.

If you’re looking for the perfect bowl of chili to serve, you’ve arrived!

A spoon lifting a helping of Texas-style chili from a bowl of the chili with cheese dripping off the sides.

Ready to make this best chili in town, or heck, in the world? Go for it! Yee-haw!

And don’t forget, when you make it, be sure to take a picture of it and post it on Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

A large blue bowl filled with Texas chili topped with cheese, onions, and jalapenos next to a glass of beer and a jar of pickles.

Texas Chili

This recipe is classic Texas-style chili. Bold. No beans. Bite-size chunks of steak. And slow-cooked. Incredible.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chili
Cuisine: Southern, U.S., Texas
Keyword: Authentic Texas chili, Homemade chili, Texas-style chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 408kcal


  • Large pot, such as a Dutch oven


  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 3 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs boneless beef steak such as sirloin or ribeye, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot sauce ie, Tobasco, Franks
  • 1 cup white onion chopped, for garnish
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded, for garnish
  • 1 cup jalapenos pickled or fresh, for garnish


  • Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; divide into thirds.
  • Heat oil in large pot (Dutch oven works well) over medium heat.
  • Season meat with salt and pepper all over.
  • Cook meat in hot oil until browned all over. Drain. Add meat back to pot.
  • Add tomato sauce, chicken stock, and beef stock.
  • Bring to a simmer and then add ⅓ of the chili powder mixture, after 30 minutes, add the next ⅓ of the chili powder mixture, and then after another 30 minutes, add the last ⅓ of the chili powder mixture and let simmer for another 30 minutes. (This will be approx. 1 ½ hours total)
  • Add in the brown sugar, ground cumin, and hot sauce and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, until desired thickness.
  • Serve at once with garnishes on the side.



We love using nice cuts of boneless ribeye steaks.  But you can also use sirloin, strip steak, or beef tenderloin.  A combination of these are nice as well.  1 or 2 lbs of cooked ground sirloin will stretch the chili, too, if desired.
Dividing the chili powder mixture into thirds before adding to the chili makes this process easy. Simply combine all the seasoning ingredients (except the brown sugar and cumin) in a larger bowl.  And then just eyeball dividing into third into 3 smaller bowls.  
The consistency of the chili will seem thin at first.  But, over the course of the couple hours of cooking the chili will thicken and reduce down.
This can also be made in a slow cooker.  Brown the meat first, then add all remaining ingredients (except the brown sugar, cumin and hot sauce) and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (low on 4 to 5).  Stir in the brown sugar, cumin, and hot sauce in the final 30 minutes.
Common garnishes are chopped onion, shredded cheddar, fresh or pickled sliced jalapenos, dill and/or sweet pickles, sour creams, crackers, cornbread, and cooked rice. 
The chili will keep in the fridge (and even deepen in flavors) for up to 4 days.  The chili freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 870mg | Potassium: 707mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 674IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was first published in January 2017, but the recipe was tweaked with a few improvements along with new photography and a fabulous new video in January 2019!


  • 5 stars
    This is my family’s favorite meal. I add hot ground sausage (we like a kick) and several different types of beef. We love, love, love, this recipe. Thanks guys!!!!

    • Hi Julie!! Woo hoo!!! A cup of this Texas chili sounds absolutely wonderful, especially right now!! And then hot ground sausage sounds like the perfect addition!!! Thanks for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Making this recipe this week. Money is tight, so using 1 pound ribeye steak, 1 pound ground sirloin and 1 pound ground chuck. All other ingredients will be the same. Hoping for the best. Love chili and am always looking for a knockout recipe.

      • 5 stars
        Made this last night, on a gloomy, chilly, rainy Indiana evening. Big thumbs up from me and my husband, who said, “I thought I’d miss the beans, but I didn’t at all.” The blend of spices and adding them in thirds really gave the chili a great depth of flavors. So good and perfect for the weather we had yesterday. My husband emailed me this morning that he had forgotten to bring in leftovers for lunch and was really disappointed. This is definitely going onto our list of favorite chili recipes. Thanks for another great recipe — love your blog!

    • Hi Pam! Yes!!! We are so glad you enjoyed our Texas Chili! We love it so much and it fills our hearts with joy to hear when someone else loves it, too!! Thank you so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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