Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (2024)

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4.77 from 78 votes

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This thick and hearty No Bean Chili Recipe 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 Texas chili recipe!

Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (2)

So, I love beans as much as the next gal, and I’m definitely a fan of beans in chili, 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! Thus, enter this no bean chili recipe, also referred to as Texas chili, for the reasons mentioned above. It’s quick and easy, and it’s loaded with tons of flavor – just no beans. You could even use a couple of cups of your favorite beer to create this seriously comforting bowl 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!

If you’re looking for a crock pot version, get this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Chili or my White Chicken Chili recipe.

    Why You’ll Love This Beanless Chili Recipe

    • Low-carb. 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 lifestyle reasons.
    • Ready in an hour. If you’re short on time, you can have this beef chili on the table in just about an hour. But, of course, you can also opt to let it simmer on the stovetop for a few hours.
    • Freezes well. Chili is great for meal prep because it stores well in the fridge and freezer. Don’t be afraid to make a double batch to have some extra for later!
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    What You’ll Need

    • 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: I used a green bell pepper but red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are also fine. They vary slightly in sweetness, but any color will work.
    • Fresh Garlic: Minced or pressed.
    • Spices: This homemade chili recipe uses classic chili spices including chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. They give the dish the authentic taste and flavor!
    • Tomato Paste: 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: For added flavor.

    How to Make No Beans Chili Recipe

    This Texas chili recipe is super easy to make and it can be ready in less than an hour if you’re short on time.

    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (4)
    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (5)
    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (6)
    1. Brown the beef. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat on the stove top. 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 the remaining ingredients. 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.

    How Long Should You Simmer This Texas Chili Recipe?

    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. 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.

    Favorite Toppings Ideas

    Feel free to savor it just the way it is, or jazz it up with some of the tasty toppings listed below. However you choose to have it, you’re in for a tasty, hearty dinner.

    • Shredded cheddar cheese
    • Sliced jalapenos
    • Chopped cilantro
    • 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

    Tips for Success

    • Adjust the flavor to your preferences. If you prefer a more mild chili, be sure to use regular tomatoes instead of fire-roasted. You can also use sweet paprika instead of smoked paprika for a flight different flavor and for more heat, add some jalapenos right into the chili.
    • Add more broth as necessary. The longer you simmer your chili, the more broth you’ll need to add. If you’re simmering it for a few hours, be sure to check it periodically to add more broth.
    • Avoid simmering overnight. As mentioned above, simmering your chili for a few hours is great but I would avoid simmering it overnight as you’ll likely end up with overcooked, dried up chili.
    • Try other ground meat. Feel free to use ground turkey in place of the beef or even some ground sausage along with the beef to mix it up.

    What To Serve with Homemade Chili

    A big bowl of no bean chili makes a hearty dish on its own, especially if you add a handful of toppings. But if you want to add a side or two, consider skillet cornbread or garlic breadsticks. I’ve even served it with cooked spaghetti. I also love to use leftovers to make chili stuffed poblano peppers. For a game day twist, consider ladling this over hot dogs, creating tasty chili dogs. And, of course, don’t forget dessert. Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorites.

    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (7)

    How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

    Chili often tastes even better the next day because the spices and flavors blend together as it cools down, creating a thicker texture and richer taste. Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To reheat, place the desired amount in a covered saucepan over low heat and cook until just heated through. You can also microwave it in a pinch.

    Can You Freeze No Bean Chili?

    Yes, you can! Allow the chili to cool completely then place 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. Thaw in the fridge, then reheat on the stovetop as directed above.

    More Ground Beef Recipes

    • Ground Beef and Cauliflower Rice Casserole
    • Beef Enchiladas
    • Instant Pot Meatloaf
    • Easy Taco Casserole
    • Cheesy Skillet Burritos
    • Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (8)

    Texas No Beans Chili

    Katerina | Diethood

    This thick and hearty No Bean Chili Recipe 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 Texas chili recipe!

    4.77 from 78 votes

    Rate this Recipe!

    Servings : 8

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Cook Time 30 minutes mins

    Total Time 40 minutes mins


    For the Chili:

    For Garnish:

    • 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.

    • Serve.


    Calories: 251 kcal | Carbohydrates: 13 g | Protein: 28 g | Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 70 mg | Sodium: 541 mg | Potassium: 840 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Vitamin A: 1507 IU | Vitamin C: 20 mg | Calcium: 74 mg | Iron: 5 mg

    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.

    Course: Dinner

    Cuisine: American

    Keyword: beef chili recipe, homemade chili recipe, no bean chili recipe, texas chili recipe

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    Easy No Bean Chili Recipe - The Best Texas Chili (2024)


    What is the secret to really good chili? ›

    Only Add Flavorful Liquids

    Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

    What's the difference between chili and Texas chili? ›

    What primarily distinguishes Texas chili from other chili recipes you might find is a lack of beans, but it also doesn't feature any tomatoes. It is, largely, a ground beef dish that's seasoned with a spicy chili paste made of dried peppers.

    What makes chili even better? ›

    You can always add additional spices to taste, but this could give you a solid foundation to work from. Try adding spices like paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cayenne, or even chipotle.

    What is chili called without beans? ›

    Commercial chili prepared without beans is usually called "chili no beans" in the United States.

    What not to put in chili? ›

    Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

    What is the most important spice in chili? ›

    Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

    What is real Texas chili made of? ›

    Real Texas chili is all about the beef, chiles and spices. Of course, that's not to say beans and tomatoes aren't delicious in chili. Despite growing up in Texas, I've had many delicious chilis over the years that feature beans and tomatoes. Those chilis just aren't a true Texas style.

    What is Devil chili? ›

    Devil is an F1 hybrid variety of serrano chilli. The plant produces heavy yields of very large 9½cm (3¾in) long by 1cm (½in) wide hot peppers. Peppers are very hot and turn from glossy dark green to red when mature. Plant has green stems, green leaves, and white flowers.

    What is Texas Roadhouse chili made of? ›

    Texas Roadhouse Chili Ingredients

    Ground Chuck (80/20 ground beef) Garlic – minced garlic – you can use jarred or fresh. Onion – diced yellow onion is best. Jalapenos – I used 1 jalapeno and removed the seeds.

    What brings out the flavor in chili? ›

    Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. Warming spice blends, like Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout or Baharat are another simple and delicious way to add layered flavors to this simple one-pot meal.

    Does chili need tomato paste? ›

    Tomato paste is a great way to add bonus tomato flavor, and thickness, to a chili recipe. To get the best flavor it needs to be browned. Add a couple tablespoons (or a whole can if you want a thicker soup base) directly to the pan after cooking the meat and onions.

    What is the best meat mix for chili? ›

    When making chili, former Southern Living Test Kitchen Director, Robby Melvin, recommends using a mix of ground chuck and ground sirloin. "It's the best of both worlds," he says. "You get a balanced lean-to-fat ratio from the chuck and the hearty, beefy leanness from the sirloin."

    Who eats chili without beans? ›

    Beans in chili? Not if you're from Texas! While some people claim that chili can be made with a variety of ingredients—including beef and bean chili, chipotle chicken chili, or dare we say veggie chili—anyone from the Lone Star State would argue that traditional chili simply does not contain beans.

    Why do Texans eat chili without beans? ›

    If you go pretty much anywhere in Texas you will find chili ingredients simple and rarely differing: meat, sauce, peppers and spices. Carol Hanco*ck, President and CEO of the International Chili Society, told Texas Living there is a specific reason why Texas chili contains no beans: it's tradition.

    What state has no bean chili? ›

    Of course, those results might make you cringe if you're from the Lone Star State — Texas chili is famously bean-free.

    What makes the best chili meat? ›

    The best chili meat is a combination of meats, often a mix of ground chuck, ground sirloin, brisket, diced tri-tip, and/or some bacon or sausage. Do your best to mix smaller pieces with larger pieces to stack textures and make it your own! Happy cooking!

    Why would you put vinegar in chili? ›

    With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

    How does Martha Stewart make chili? ›

    Add chili powder, cocoa, and tomato paste; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, broth, and cooked beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until thickened slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with sour cream and chives.

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