Texas No Beans Chili

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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.

side shot of a white dutch oven filled with no beans chili and garnished with bay leaves

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.

close up shot of no beans chili in a bowl garnished with sour cream, onions, cilantro, and shredded cheese

INGREDIENTS

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.

For Garnish:

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Seeded and Thinly Sliced Jalapenos
  • Sour Cream
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Etc…

overhead shot of sauteed ground beef with green diced peppers and diced onions

HOW TO MAKE TEXAS NO BEANS CHILI

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Enjoy!

side shot of diced tomatoes cooking in a white pot

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.

close up overhead shot of a cooked no beans chili in a white dutch oven

TOPPING IDEAS

There are so many wonderful ways to serve chili! Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche
  • Cheese
  • Corn chips (Fritos are especially popular)
  • Saltines or oyster crackers
  • Sliced green onions
  • Minced white onions
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced avocado
  • Hot sauce

… And, of course, yummy sides like Skillet Cornbread, Garlic Breadsticks, cooked spaghetti noodles, and even Cinnamon Rolls for dessert!

overhead shot of a cooked no beans chili in a white dutch oven

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

ENJOY!

Tools Used in this Recipe

Texas No Beans Chili

8 8 8
WW Freestyle: 8
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
This thick and hearty 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 recipe!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 251

Equipment

  • Stove

Ingredients

For the Chili:

For Garnish:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Seeded and thinly sliced jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Serve.

Notes

NET CARBS: 10 g
  • For those on Weight Watchers, to reduce WW points down to 5, use lean ground turkey meat.
Nutrition Facts
Texas No Beans Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 541mg23%
Potassium 840mg24%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1507IU30%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keywords: no bean chili, chili recipe no beans, easy chili recipe, beef chili, ground beef chili, healthy dinner ideas, healthy dinner

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1 Response
  1. Ryan

    That is NOT Texas chili. Texas chili starts with lard. Onion and garlic sautéed in it. Then cubes of beef or other red meat. Then a mix of dried chiles. Guajillos. Anchos. Arbols. Pequins. Etc.

    Tomatoes are not in Texas chili. Or bell pepper. I am not sure what this dish is. Texas chili it is not.

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