Texas Chili

Texas Chili

February 25: National Chili Day

Leatherface may have put massacred meat in his chainsaw-style chili, but there is one ingredient that we cook without in Texas—beans! Traditional Texas chili does not contain legumes, unlike other chili con carne recipes we have cooked before. The Tex-Mex spicy stew is so popular that there are several cook-offs and contests throughout the state as well as all over the country. For chills, we eat chili when we watch horror movies like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” For chilly days, we eat chili when we want warmth during winter temperatures. Beans or no beans bones about it, eat chili on National Chili Day!


(Adapted from Lone Star Brewing Company)


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 pounds chuck beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (8 ounces) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of flour thinned with water to make a paste


Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Brown the beef. Mix in the onions, tomato sauce, hot water, chilip, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and paprika. Cover and cook over low heat for an hour or until the beef is tender. Pour in the flour-water mixture to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.

Texas Chili


  • This basic Texas chili recipe can be adapted to include more or less chili powder, sliced green bell or jalapeño peppers and garlic.
  • Use leftover chili, melted shredded cheese and corn chips to make Frito Pie (also known as chili pie) on National Corn Chips Day on January 29.