Are you ready for this Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili? Yes, it's saucy. Yes, it's spicy. This is my nod to the 12 wonderful years we spent living in Texas. It is the state food and for good reason.
What Makes Texas Chili Different?
Let's start with the beans. There are NO beans in Texas chili. It is a big no no in chili competitions. I grew on chili with beans, so this has been a change for me.
It is made with chili paste. I will explain all about this below. It is pretty simple to make. This is a spicy chili sauce, but you can adjust this with the amount and type of peppers you use. This adds a depth of flavor you will love!
Here is where my recipe deviates a little from the traditional Texas chili, I do add tomatoes into mine. I love them and prefer my chili with them. If you want to leave them out, go for it.
Typically is made with roasts or steaks cut into chunks. I needed a quicker cooking time for mine, so I went with ground beef. If you prefer it with chunks of beef, you will just need to adjust the cooking time.
- Beef- I used ground chuck for mine, but traditionally it is roasts or steak cut into ½-1 inch chunks.
- Onions- Even if you aren't really into onions, they are so good in this recipe!
- Bell Peppers
- Chili Sauce- I include the recipe for this below.
- Tomatoes- as noted above, skip these if you are going for traditional Texas chili
- Garlic- Always garlic
- Paprika, Cumin, Oregano, salt, Pepper- this is all I used for spices. The heat will come from your chili sauce.
- Cornmeal- This is used as a thickener.
Notes For Making Authentic Texas Chili
This is not a 15-30 minute meal. Please know that good chili takes time, so set aside a few hours when you are making this. enjoy the process and the smell in your home! Slow and low folks.
Just to reiterate what I stated above, Texas chili has NO beans in it. Just don't do it. Or, don't call it Texas chili if you do!
Start with decent beef. I love to use local ranchers as I trust their products. Ask around, I bet you will be able to find some in your area as well. I used ground beef, but you can also cut up chuck roast, sirloin, etc. YOu can also use stew meat as well.
Chili paste is really essential in these recipes. I am showing you how to make your own. It is actually really simple to do and has great flavor.
I love to add a little masa or cornmeal towards the end of cooking time. After you mix this in it will thicken the chili up beautifully.
How To Make Homemade Chili Paste
Start by choosing the dried chilis of choice. There are plenty of options out there, so choose one that best suits your pain level tolerance ( I mean your heat level tolerance).
I used a Japanese chili pod, but only because I couldn't find a cayenne or serrano. Those are our favorites.
Cover them in boiling water and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes to soften.
Drain and add the chilis, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika to a blender. Now, you will need more water to make this liquid. I added about ¾ cup, but start with ½. Add more as needed. You want it to be thicker, as it is a paste, but not so thick it won't blend.
As a note, if you have not worked with hot chili peppers before, you need to be careful. Make sure if it touches your hands, you will need to wash them well. Do not touch your face, especially your eyes when you are working with hot peppers.
Step-By-Step Guide For Texas Chili
- Add your beef, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic to your pan and cook through.
- To this, add in your chili paste, cumin, paprika, and oregano. Cook for another few minutes.
- Next is your water, salt, and pepper. Cook until the liquid reduces.
- Check for seasoning.
- Stir in corn masa to thicken.
How Long Is The Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili Good For?
One of the really great things about chili is it holds well for a long time! Like 2 weeks long. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
It also freezes well. So if you want to save it for later, freeze it in an airtight container. It holds well for at least 1 month, maybe even longer.
Because it holds well for so long, it is a great recipe for meal prep. Read below for ways to serve this spicy authentic chili.
Ways To Serve Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili
- Chili with cornbread- our favorite
- Chili Fries
- How about chili dogs?
- On a baked potato
- In a quesadilla
- Frito pie
- Over rice
- you get the idea right?? Chili is versatile!
Biscuit and Bread Ideas To Go With The Chili
- Jack Cheese and Green Chili Biscuits
- Whole Wheat Biscuits
- Sprouted Wheat Biscuits
- Skillet Cornbread
- Parker House Rolls
- Sundried Tomato and Olive Scones
Spicy Texas Red Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef I also love to use a ground chuck
- 1 cup chopped onions we like a rough chop, as we like chunks in the chili. You can cut them to whatever size you prefer.
- 1 cup chopped bell peppers we like a rough chop, as we like chunks in the chili. You can cut them to whatever size you prefer.
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes you can also use 1 cup crushed or diced tomatoes if you prefer canned
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- ½-1 cup chili paste if you want to make your own, I have included the recipe on the post
- ¼ cup paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
- ⅓ cup masa or fine ground cornmeal
- Cook ground beef, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains in the ground beef.
- Stir in the chili paste ( I would start with about ½ cup to begin with), paprika, cumin and oregano. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add water and about 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Let this simmer on medium until about half the liquid is gone. Mine took about 25 minutes to get to this point. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. I added more chili paste as it wasn't quite hot enough, but if you don't love that burning heat, lay off now.
- Now, masa or cornmeal is used as a thickener for chilis and is very popular down South. Add in your masa and stir. Continue to cook at least another 5 minutes to cook the masa and allow the chili to thicken.
- Serve the chili immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the chili if you prefer. It can be held for up to 1-2 months in the freezer.
- We love to serve ours with a good helping of grated cheese, onions, fresh tomatoes and corn chips. It is also amazing served over a baked potato. How about a chili dog? Yes, it is amazing there as well.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
Homemade chili paste
- blender or food processor
- 2-2.5 ounces dried chilis Check the heat level of chilis you want to use. I used a Japanese pod chili for mine. Use whatever heat level you are comfortable with
- 3-4 cups boiling water
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if you want it less spicy, use 1 pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce use less if you want it less spicy
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½-1 cup water
- Place dried chilis in small bowl. Pour boiling water over the chilis and allow to sit 30 minutes to soften. Move them occasionally to make sure all sides soften. Now, they will still seem a little dry, but they will be good to go. Drain the chilis and add to blender or food processor. Add in remaining ingredients, with only ½ cup water to start. Blend until nice and smooth. Add more water as needed.Now, use as desired and sit back and enjoy.