Texas Chili Recipe

Celebrate Texas Independence Day with this easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using Llano Estacado red wine. Read to the end for the GIVEAWAY! This post is sponsored by Llano Estacado Winery. 

Texas Chili Recipe | Celebrate Texas Independence Day with this easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using Llano Estacado red wine. | A Sweet Pea Chef #AD

Friends, get ready for a lil’ history lesson.

Psst: your reward will be some super tasty chili, I promise.

On March 2nd, us Texans celebrate Texas Independence Day, which is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. What happened in 1836?  Basically, a document was signed which allowed settlers in Texas to officially declare independence from Mexico and, thus, to create the Republic of Texas.

Pretty cool, right?

Mixing together the spices for the Texas chili recipe, which include cumin, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, dry mustard, granulated onion, and granulated garlic, alongside a bowl of ground lean beef and a bottle of red wine. A close up of a spoon mixing together the spices for the easy Texas Chili recipe, ready to add to the ground beef.

Before moving to Austin, Texas from California, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had been a SoCal girl for almost 30 years and I had heard so many stories about Texas.

Having lived in Austin now for the past 7 years (OMG!), I’ve learned a lot about Texas — it’s history, food (duh!), and it’s pride.

I have actually learned a good deal about Texas from Jordan when she comes home and shares what she has learned in school about her state.

Yes, 3rd grade education is going on over here.  Jealous?

For example, I have learned that the Texas state fruit is the Texas Red Grapefruit (LOVE btw). I’ve learned the Texas state dog is called a Blue Lacy Dog.  For realz – and it’s super adorbs. And I’ve learned the state dish is…CHILI.

So, naturally, for Texas Independence Day, I had to make some Texas Chili!  I am a Texan, after all.

Hand holding an unopened bottle of Llano Estacado 1836 red wine, which is used in the Texas chili recipe.Side close up view of a deep skillet cooking the Texas chili recipe, which is red and contains no beans.

So…What is Texas Chili?

Okay, so I had to do some research before taking on THE Texas chili recipe.  Because another thing I’ve learned about Texas is they are specific in how they like their authentic recipes. The absolute main thing I found out is that a Texas chili recipe contains NO beans  — like don’t even think about adding them.

Then, things got a little confusing.  Some experts said Texas chili contains tomatoes, but others didn’t.  Some said it contains chili paste, but others didn’t.  Some said oregano, but others didn’t.

It got real hard real fast to decipher.

Where was my third grader to tell me what to do?

Then I found Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s recipe for chili and it contained the following:

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • omino seed
  • chili powder
  • canned whole tomatoes
  • lquid hot sauce
  • hot water
  • salt

So I figured I’d be okay to add in tomatoes and oregano, like I had wanted.  Plus: how cool is that?!?  If it’s good enough for Lady Bird Johnson, it’s good enough for me!

Because pretty much everyone agrees, I also chose not to add any beans, much to my dismay, since I am a bean lover for sure.

Overhead view of two bowls of the easy Texas Chili, topped with sliced green onions, cheddar cheese, and greek yogurt. Horizontal image of a singular bowl of a Texas chili recipe which is used to celebrate Texas Independence Day.

How To Freeze This Texas Chili Recipe

Another great thing about this easy Texas chili recipe is that you can easily heat up the leftovers and you have a satisfying and filling lunch or dinner ready in a matter of minutes. This chili recipe yields a good 6 servings total so you could make it, have some, and then throw the leftovers in the freezer.

Here are some tips for how to freeze chili:

  • Allow the chili to cool completely. You may want to transfer to a large bowl and then place in the refrigerator to cool more quickly.
  • Freeze in either gallon– or quart-sized freezer bags or freezer safe containers for easy thawing and storage.
  • Leave enough space at the top of the bag to allow for expansion during freezing. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the top of the bag and seal securely.
  • Place the chili-filled freezer bags in the freezer, in a single, flat layer (using a rimmed baking sheet is helpful). Allow to freeze completely. Then, stack them on top of each other or standing side by side.
  • Thaw bags of frozen chili in the refrigerator overnight or add to a deep pot, frozen, cover, and cook on medium to thaw.

Follow these easy freezing tips and you’ll be set for tasty Texas chili left-overs.  Just be sure to wait on adding any toppings until it’s ready to eat and avoid adding before freezing.

Overhead view of two bowls filled with red Texas chili recipe, topped with green onions, cheddar cheese, and a dollop of greek yogurt, alongside a bottle of red wine which is used in the easy chili recipe.

Llano Estacado $25 Giveaway + 10% off!

Okay, class…now that you know why we celebrate March 2 in Texas, did you see the wine I chose to add to my Texas chili recipe?  Yep, a 2015 1836 Red Wine from the amazing Llano Estacado Winery out here in Texas.  Named 1836 to commemorate the pride of Texas independence, this wine goes PERFECTLY in this chili and adds so much flavor and, of course, helps keep the chili maintain its “Bowl o’ Red” status as THE Texas chili.

Plus Llano Estacado has graciously given me a $25 Llano Estacado gift code to share with one of you.  All you have to do to win this code and to grab yourself a free bottle of amazing Texas wine is to share in the comments below how you like your chili recipe — does it line up with the Texas chili recipe style or something else entirely?  Beans?  No beans?  Tomatoes?  Share in the comments below for a chance to win.

You can take 10% off an online order from the Llano Estacado website using the following gift code: SWEETPEACHEF10. This code is redeemable now through March 9.  

Psst…you can also enter to win on Instagram and Facebook, too!  Good luck, y’all!

Texas Chili Recipe

4.92 from 12 votes
Texas Chili Recipe | Celebrate Texas Independence Day with this easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using Llano Estacado red wine. | A Sweet Pea Chef #AD
Texas Chili Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Celebrate Texas Independence Day with this easy Texas Chili Recipe, made without beans and using Llano Estacado red wine.
Categories: Clean Eating. Gluten-Free, Easy Dinner, High-Protein, One Pot Meal, Weeknight Dinner
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: chili recipe, texas chili, texas chili recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 203 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs grass-fed 90-10 ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional, for heat)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup Llano Estacado 1836 Red wine
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • greek yogurt, for topping
  • sliced green onions, for topping
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.

  2. Add the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the ground beef and seasonings (chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, cayenne, pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, oregano, sea salt, and cumin) and break into small crumbles, stirring to combine.

  4. Cook the meat, stirring occasionally in the pan, until well-browned, about 6-8 minutes.

  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and Llano Estacado red wine, and stir to combine.

  6. Cover and cook on medium for 20 minutes.
  7. To serve, top with a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include any additional optional toppings.

Nutrition Facts
Texas Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 203 Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.9g14%
Saturated Fat 2.5g13%
Cholesterol 22.7mg8%
Sodium 103.2mg4%
Carbohydrates 17.3g6%
Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugar 4.3g5%
Protein 9.2g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post is sponsored by Llano Estacado Winery.  This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend. 

Lacey Baier

Hey there! I’m Lacey Baier and I’d like to welcome you! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, as well as cleanish, my clean-eating supplement brand. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

24 thoughts on “Texas Chili Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been using this recipe countless times, and it is a hit every time I make it! I sometimes substitute the meat for turkey and keep everything as is. This meal is perfect for low carb keto diets, and is just delicious and easy to follow.

  2. I made this last night, and it came out really good, but I did have to add some stuff: My crushed tomatoes were not the ones in puree that are so typical, so that is probably one reason why I had to add a can of tomato paste, which helped the color and taste tremendously. I also added a splash of red wine vinegar (because that acidity is just a flavor that my palette expects in chili–I’m from Texas, born and bred). Also, I added more salt, more chili powder, part of it chipotle chili powder, and I halved the cumin because I thought the amount might be a little strong. Then, contrary to internet belief, Texans typically do like beans in their chili, so I added two 15 oz cans kidney beans and one 15 oz can of pinto beans–closer to the end of cooking so they wouldn’t be mush. And lastly, I added just a couple of teaspoons of masa to barely thicken it so that the base wasn’t watery. At first I thought that the wine was a mistake, but after all of the flavors melded, it added a nice. uncommon complexity. And I cooked it for closer to an hour to reduce the liquid a bit. But it turned out smashing-good!

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe, but I did add one cup of lager; another cup of water; beef stock, instead of chicken; a can of Goya black beans that I rinsed and drained; and a small can of Libby’s cream of corn. I added the extra water, because it was a bit salty, just to dilute it a bit (my fault, I added 1 packet of Goya beef bouillon, when it should have only been half of a pack); I added the lager, because I saw it in so many Texas Chili recipes that I thought it might be good, and it was; I added the cream of corn to thicken it a bit, and it worked; I changed the stock, because I felt that the stock should be the same as the meat I used.
    All in all, everyone loved your recipe. I wish we could have been able to attach a photo, the chili came out so pretty.
    Thanks a bunch Lacey, for this recipe that has been a welcome dish during this pandemic!

  4. I`m not a native Texan. I have only been here for fifty years, thanks to the military. Upon getting into the Tx. food sceen I`ve tried to learn as much as possible about the how what when and why when it comes the true Tx. dishes. In my digging around some of the things that have popped up are not all written but appear form being in different places at different times. Traveling around has been a great help, both in and out of Tx. Since Chili is one of the great dishes of the southwest Going from region to region talking with chili lovers has given me an understanding of how important chili has become in the southwest culture. I`ve found the deeper you get into the southwest the harder it is to find chili with only meat. Once a person gets into New Mexico a bowl of chili bound to have beans. It may be because the native Americans of the southwest raised beans as a staple. I have met a lot of people on my chili trips, give it a try. People are very willing to share just how it should be made. AJ

  5. Please put a Texas brewed beer in the chili and not wine. NO Texan puts wine in chili. This is a straight up Cali rendition of what is thought Texas chili is. Also leave out the greek yogurt and instead top with cheese, onion, and sliced fresh jalapenos. Most of this is correct but the rest is the reason Austin has a new saying, “Don’t California my Austin”. Gop to B.B. Rovers before it closes and get their all meat chili if you want a true Texas chili.

  6. 5 stars
    I like a few beans along with diced tomatoes. I also add brown sugar to offset the acid in the tomatoes. Yummy!

  7. 5 stars
    I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, where Laano Estacado is located, and I always put beans in my chili, which may actually get me dis-invited from family reunions were this made known. I also like to put a lot of beef in mine, so much so that is is more of a beef dish than a chili dish.

  8. 5 stars
    II add tomatoes,oregon , cumin, chili powder, three kind of meats and absolutely no beans. garnish with cheese, onions, sour cream or yogurt.
    great recipe like how easyyou freeze it .Thank You

  9. 5 stars
    I’m a Texan and I put beans in my chili *gasp*! Looking forward to trying this recipe tomorrow night. My New Yorker husband has become a chili fan, even though I tend to be heavy handed with the cayenne. I like it hot, I can’t help it!

    1. 5 stars
      I also like the beans in mine.. I put a little Cayenne in but mostly I use hatch red chili powder best flavor ever..

  10. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. It has all the things I like in chili (the more the merrier) and NO BEANS! I don’t care for beans. I haven’t tried yogurt, but I’m willing to experiment.

  11. I make it with beans and tomatoes, but I’m good with no beans too….both are delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    Lacey, I love your recipes and have made the most of your instant pot expertise! I am an imported Texan too – via London (isn’t that Far East Texas?) and I am fixin’ to try your super easy Texas Chili! I love black beans in mine, and sometimes drain them then put them through the processor so they thicken the chili and hide in plain sight. Would this be a ‘faux’ Texas chili? Probably, but it would still be delicious!

  13. I always have beans in mine – lots of beans. But hubby won’t eat it so I do for lunches. My guess is that he would luv Lady Bird’s and your recipes. Will be making it this next week. Thanks. I live iI
    N Fort Worth but I never thought of this – duh!

  14. I use canned petite diced tomatoes, kidney beans, Williams chili seasoning, and hamburger meat. I’ve never tried with wine before….thats a good idea!

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