Texas-Style Chili

When the weather starts to get a bit chill-y (pun intended), I make chili. I recall my mom making chili from different types or a combination of proteins that she would actually grind herself. A combination of dried herbs, spices, fresh vegetables and pastes were ingredients to choose as options. I prefer lean ground beef sirloin or chuck, but she would add venison and pork to enhance the flavor. I enjoy all of the ingredients packed in this spicy, thick version my mother and I created.

Like most recipes, I have tweaked for my family and friends with additions and substitutions from time to time. Always the question, “with or without beans?”.  Yes and no…depends on how I am feeling and if I have on hand. IF I add beans it’s ALWAYS dark red kidney, my mother would add pinto; just a preference. I love the layer of flavor beer adds to chili but of course you can substitute with broth or water. Chili freezes well and serves a crowd. Leftovers are fabulous on hot dogs, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs and more! I shared my recipe with Beef Loving Texans years ago and you can find on their site as well. Enjoy!


Texas-Style Chili

Yields 8 servings


2 lbs. Ground Beef, (90% lean)

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. Kosher salt

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained

1 cup beer

½ cup (2 oz.) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


Sour cream

Sliced green onions

Shredded cheddar cheese


Heat a large Dutch oven over MEDIUM-HIGH heat; add oil. Lower heat to MEDIUM; add onion, bell pepper and jalapeño pepper stirring occasionally until tender, approximately 4-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.

  1. Add Ground Beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking beef into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings, as necessary.

  2. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, black pepper and salt; cook 1 minute.

  3. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes & green chilies, and beer; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add shredded cheese. Serve with your favorite toppings.

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