There's nothing better on a cold night than a big bowl of Texas Chili! In fact, Chili is The Official State Dish of Texas and the secret ingredient is what makes this The Best Texas Chili Recipe ever!
This made from scratch chili recipe is much better than store brands like Hormel™, Wick Fowler's™, Frank Tolbert's™ or Carroll Shelby's™ Chili Mix.
Make it as spicy or mild as you like!
I've been making chili for 25 years, experimenting with different ingredients, and this BY FAR is my best version yet!
Even though this chili recipe has never been to the infamous annual Terlingua Chili Cook-off, it did win 2nd place at Downing Middle School's chili contest.
All joking aside, this is one of my top 10 recipes. I had a woman from California tell me it was her "go-to-chili-recipe" for which I am grateful.
Make it as mild or spicy as you like and if you have any leftover chili, make Tamale Pie!
Did you know that Chili has been the Official State Dish of Texas since 1977? Yep! Then Governor Dolph Briscoe proclaimed that "a bowl of red" was worthy of this title.
Why you'll love this recipe!
Quick and Easy - ready in 40-minutes!
Full of flavor - the secret ingredient makes this chili recipe terrific!
Perfect for leftovers - make burritos, tacos or a taco salad...if you have any leftover!
Here's what you'll need:
Ground beef, yellow onion, a little oil, chopped green chiles, tomato sauce, red enchilada sauce, ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, Sazon Goya seasoning, cayenne pepper (optional), salt and ground black pepper.
The Sazon Goya seasoning is usually on the "international" aisle at the grocery store.
The secret ingredient - Sazon Goya (Coriander and Annatto) is a seasoning usually found in the mexican food section of your grocer. This is what gives this chili recipe its delicious flavor!
Here's how to make it:
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil, chopped onions and beef. Cook until the beef is brown; drain and return to stockpot.
Next, add tomato sauce, diced green chiles, red enchilada sauce and dry seasonings: cumin, chile powder, paprika, cumin and the secret ingredient--Sazon Goya seasoning.
Cook on medium heat until all the flavors are well-combined. Taste for salt. Want it hotter? Add more cayenne pepper!
What makes Texas Chili different ?
It is believed that William Gebhardt of San Antonio, Texas first developed the recipe back in 1894. There are many variations of Texas chili, but the original recipe had no beans or tomato products.
The flavor is deep and rich with a hint of heat from the chili powder. That's why it's often called "a bowl of red!"
What grade of beef do I use?
Ground beef is labeled: 80/20, 70/30 or 90/10. In case you're wondering, 80/20 means the beef has 20% fat and 80% lean meat. A little bit of fat reserve enhances the flavor of the chili.
If you prefer a lean chili, use 90/10 ground beef, ground sirloin or ground turkey. No matter what grade beef you use, you'll still need to drain off the excess oil; DO NOT RINSE IT.
Beans or no beans?
Beans add fiber to the dish and fiber is a good thing. It's really up to you. True Texas Chili does not have beans.
If you elect to add canned pinto, kidney or black beans, be sure to rinse them first. The brine in canned beans impacts the texture and flavor of this recipe.
Want it thicker?
Thicken with a slurry of cornstarch or flour. Note that after you add a thickening slurry, you may need to adjust the seasonings.
How to make a slurry:
In a measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, flour or Masa flour with one cup of water. Mix well, then add it to the cooked chili. This slurry will not impact the flavor.
Want it thinner?
If you prefer a thinner version of Texas Chili, just add a little water or beef broth.
Chile powder and cayenne add some heat to this dish. If your guest cannot tolerate the spicy heat of homemade Texas Chili, offer them a dollop of sour cream to put in their bowl-the dairy offsets the heat.
Variations and substitutions for Texas chili
Here's some different ways to make this Texas chile recipe!
- Add Rotel® tomatoes (stewed tomatoes and green chiles); original, hot or fire roasted
- Chop and saute a green bell pepper with the onion
- Throw in a few slices of jalapeno
- Add a can of drained corn
- Make Frito™ pie by adding in some corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese
I also like to make chili tacos - soft flour tortilla with chili, lettuce and cheese, or top a hot dog with a big dollop!
If you're missing an ingredient look here:
- No tomato sauce? Use a can of tomato paste and water or beef broth or
- Add a can of diced tomatoes, or
- Don't add any tomatoes! Chili without tomatoes is just fine
- No onion? Use onion powder or minced onion
- No Sazon Goya? Crumble up some corn tortillas and cook them with the onions and beef
- New Mexico Green Chile Chicken Soup
- Southern Skillet Cornbread
- Chili Spaghetti Pie
- Sweet Corn Tomalito
- Tex-Mex Queso
♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating! I love to hear from you!
Texas Chili Recipe
- 3 lbs. ground beef
- 1 tablespoon oil , vegetable or canola
- 1 cup yellow onion , chopped
- 10 ounces tomato sauce
- 7 ounces diced green chiles
- 28 ounces red enchilada sauce mild or spicy
- 1 tablespoon ground paprika smoky
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 3-6 tablespoons ground chili powder start with 3; add more after chili has rested
- 1 package Sazon Goya (Coriander and Annatto seasoning)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large Dutch oven, add oil and onions and cook on medium high heat, until onions are tender1 tablespoon oil, 1 cup yellow onion
- Add beef to onions and cook until beef is browned all the way through3 lbs. ground beef
- Drain mixture and put back into Dutch oven
- Add dry seasonings, tomato sauce, green chiles, enchilada sauce10 ounces tomato sauce, 7 ounces diced green chiles, 28 ounces red enchilada sauce, 3 tablespoons ground cumin, 3-6 tablespoons ground chili powder, 1 package Sazon Goya (Coriander and Annatto seasoning), ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon ground paprika
- Allow to cook on medium heat for at least 10 minutes
- *Add water if you prefer a thinner consistency
- Add salt and pepper to tastesalt and pepper to taste
- Serve and garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocado
- If you prefer a hotter version of Texas Chili, add more chili powder and/or cayenne pepper
- If the chili is too spicy for you, add a dollop of sour cream on top, or cheese
- If you prefer a thinner consistency, add water or beef broth
- Use leftover chili to make Chili Spaghetti Pie