This thick and hearty Texas No-Beans Chili is deeply flavored thanks to an authentic blend of spices, plenty of tomatoes, and a generous portion of ground beef. You’ll love the sizzling Southwest flavor of this meaty, no-beans chili recipe!
If you’re looking for a slow cooker version, get this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Chili.
AN EASY TEXAS CHILI RECIPE (NO BEANS CHILI)
So, I love beans as much as the next gal, and I’m definitely a fan of beans in chili (lookin’ at you, Wendy’s! 😋 ). But, not everyone loves the humble legume so much, and some chili-makers, especially in Texas, refuse to pair beans with chili. For them, true chili is saucy and meaty, not bean-y!
Get this – you can even use couple cups of your favorite beer and create this seriously comforting bowl of Texas chili jam packed with tender meat, veggies, and tomatoes. No beans in sight! THEN, go a step further and turn it into Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers! Oh.My.Gosh. 🤩
IS THIS A LOW-CARB RECIPE?
Yes, this recipe is a low-carb option! Chili with beans contains more carbs, so this one is a good choice for those limiting carbs for health and lifestyle reasons.
For the Chili:
- Olive Oil: For sautéing. I recommend using a lighter olive oil, since extra virgin does not handle heat as well.
- Ground Beef: You’ll need two pounds of ground beef. Lean ground beef is good, but chuck is a bit more traditional and handles a lengthy cook time better. You can also use ground turkey.
- Salt and Pepper
- Onion: You’ll need one yellow onion, finely diced, or you can substitute a white or sweet onion.
- Bell Pepper: One green bell pepper, diced. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are also fine. They vary slightly in sweetness, but any color will work.
- Fresh Garlic: Mince or press 4 cloves of garlic.
- Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, and Paprika: These classic chili spices make the dish authentic and tasty!
- Tomato Paste: This recipe uses one 6-ounce can. Do not substitute with tomato sauce, which is less concentrated.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes: These are available canned. Use one large 28 ounce can, or substitute 28 ounces regular canned tomatoes. Do not drain.
- Beef Broth: You’ll need 2 cups of beef broth. If you aren’t concerned about the carbs, feel free to use a cup of beer. 🍺
- Bay Leaf: One whole bay leaf.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Seeded and Thinly Sliced Jalapenos
- Sour Cream
- Chopped Cilantro
HOW TO MAKE TEXAS NO BEANS CHILI
- Brown the Beef. Heat oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef to the hot oil; season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon while it cooks.
- Stir in Aromatics and Seasonings. Once the beef is browned, stir in the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Then stir in the chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and paprika.
- Add Tomato Paste, Tomatoes, Broth, and Bay Leaf. Add the tomato paste; stir to combine, and cook for 3 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaf and bring chili to a steady simmer.
- Simmer. Simmer the chili for 30-ish minutes, but at this point, you can let the chili cook for 3 to 4 hours, as long as there is enough liquid. If you would like to cook it for longer, make sure to add more liquid to the pot. Water is fine to use for the extra liquid.
- Serve. Remove the chili from the heat. Taste it for salt and pepper, and adjust. Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish with cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and/or other desired toppings.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SIMMER CHILI?
Different cooks have different opinions, of course, but in general there’s a pretty wide window! I think it takes about 20 minutes of simmering at a minimum to cook the chili enough to be tender and tasty, but from there it can simmer quietly for several hours.
Overnight is a little risky in terms of overcooking, but 3 to 4 hours total is probably as long as you should let it go. I almost always cook my chili for about 2 hours. In that time, I will probably add one to two more cups of broth, or just water.
There are so many wonderful ways to serve chili! Here are just a few suggestions:
- Sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche
- Corn chips (Fritos are especially popular)
- Saltines or oyster crackers
- Sliced green onions
- Minced white onions
- Sliced avocado
- Hot sauce
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS
- Store chili in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To reheat, place the desired amount in a covered saucepan over low heat, and cook until just heated through.
CAN YOU FREEZE NO BEANS CHILI?
- Yes, you can! Place chili in freezer-safe food storage bags or containers, leaving as little air as possible in the bag or container before sealing.
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Ground Beef Recipes
Tools Used in this Recipe
Texas No Beans Chili
For the Chili:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds ground beef, (you can also use ground turkey)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth, (you can also use 1 cup beer + 1 cup beef broth)
- 1 bay leaf
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Seeded and thinly sliced jalapenos
- Sour cream
- Chopped cilantro
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef to the hot oil; season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks.
- Once browned, stir in the onions, bell pepper, and garlic.
- Continue to cook for 4 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
- Stir in chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and paprika.
- Add tomato paste; stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes.
- Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add bay leaf and bring chili to a steady simmer; reduce heat and continue to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Please note that, at this point, you can let the chili cook for 3 to 4 hours, as long as there is enough liquid. If you would like to cook it for longer, make sure to add more liquid to the pot, 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally. Water is OK to use for the extra liquid.
- Remove from heat.
- Remove bay leaf and taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Ladle into bowls; garnish with cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and cilantro.
- For those on Weight Watchers, to reduce WW points down to 5, use lean ground turkey meat.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.