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True Texas Chili

Updated on December 29, 2013
Down South Mama profile image

I’m a home grown southern woman, mom to 3 wonderful kids, and wife to the man of my dreams. I grew up in Texas but have lived all over the

Ingredients for chili


About True Texas Chili

I grew up with my dad being our chili cook. I would go in to the kitchen and watch my dad work while he told me his recipe, and that chili to be true Texas chili should never have beans, or even tomatoes. There is even a song about it called if you know beans about chili you know that chili has no beans by Ken Finlay

While a lot of people might add beans to their homemade chili recipes, a lot of Texas chili cook offs will disqualify you if you do. In 1977 the Texas legislature officially proclaimed chili the official "state food" of Texas and some people believe that only Texans can make true chili that’s any good.

While it is well debated across Texas as to what makes Texas chili, and ever family seems to think there chili is the best, the one thing they can all agree on is the no beans. Other than that it is up in the air.

My recipes is the same one my dad made as I was growing up. It has no tomatoes or beans but is really good, I do not fell you need the other stuff. But like all my recipes please feel free to edit and make it to your taste and what your family likes. Please leave a comment below to let me know how you liked it or if you have any questions or anything to say at all.

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3.7 stars from 43 ratings of True Texas Chili

Frito pie


A bit About Texas Chili History

Most people first tried chili in the 1860s from chili stands that the "Chili Queens," women who served food in San Antonio's Military, and thought out Texas. In a way it was like one of the first fast food joints. Works would count on these chili stands for a quick meal during lunch.

It is thought that chili was not something picked up from Mexico but something that Texas itself came up with but was influenced by immigrants from the Canary Islands.

The invention of chili in the 1900s made chili very easy to prepare in any restaurant or home kitchen. That is when chili started to move across the country and we started to see thing like chili mac, Frito pie and even chili dogs pop up and become popular.

While the rest of the America started adding beans and tomatoes to their chili to make it more hardy and feeling. Texas stayed the same with there no beans because it lads itself to other foods better then chili with beans.



Co0k Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 3 hours
Ready in: 3 hours 20 min
Yields: Feeds 6 or more

Bowl Of Chili

  • 2 Lbs. lean beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil or lard
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 3 tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2-3c beef broth
  • Salt and Pepper, to tase

How To Make Texas Chili

  1. Heat up skillet over med high heat add beef and brown on both sides for 2-3minutes.
  2. Add onion and garlic cook 2 more minutes
  3. Turn heat to med- low and spices to meat and brown for another 1 minute
  4. add flour and broth to meat mix, making sure to scrape up all the stuff and the bottom of the pan. Let cook on low until the meat is tender about 3 hours
  5. Enjoy with cheese, sour cream, or other toppings you like.

A Good Chili Cook off Recipe

Chili Poll

How Do You Like Your Chili

See results


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    • profile image

      Joe G 

      2 years ago

      We like beans in our chili, but only pintos, never kidney beans, and only added to taste after the pot is finished. One other ingredient often mentioned, which is verboten and instant death in chili contests judging is beer. Gag.

      Rather than plain old ground beef most Texans tell their butchers here to "chili-grind" a chuck, which gives more texture. I have no tried this recipe, but it looks correct. If you have beef suet (kidney fat), try that for the frying fat.

    • Down South Mama profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Florida

      Jess yours looks really good but would be very hot

    • JesseUnk profile image

      Jesse Unk 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      This looks great! Very similar to my own recipe, just much milder!

    • Down South Mama profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Florida

      Yes it can. After browning the meat. cook on medium heat for 6 hours or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easy. thanks for the good question sorry it took so long to reply to you.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Can this be made in a crock pot?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My wife and I have tried chili a hundred ways it seems. She favors the tomato based with beans. I favor no beans or tomato I like a spicy chili and like to taste the cumin in it. No right or wrong. Personal taste.

    • Down South Mama profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida

      Hot peppers yes. Instead of dry spice a lot of people will ix a few efferent peppers together. Other vegetables not so much, but you can always add what ever you like to it. If you like corn, tomatoes are other veggies go for it.

    • chefmancave profile image

      Robert Loescher 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Wow...No beans. I never knew this. Do official Texas chili recipes ever include any vegetables? Corn, Green Peppers, Celery, etc.

    • Down South Mama profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida

      Your welcome. I hope you enjoy it :)

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      I'm ready for some more chili. You have given me in site to the Texas way of making chili. Thanks!

    • Down South Mama profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida

      lol Anytime u want :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have my bowl ready when do we eat ?


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