Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili

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Are you ready for this Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili? Yes, it’s saucy. Yes, it’s spicy. If you are looking for a milder, maybe look for another recipe :). I actually made this recipe for an upcoming camping trip- chili dogs are on the menu and my hubs loves that spice. This is for him!

About Texas Red Chili

Texas Red Chili is a competition style chili. I realize this is not considered authentic, but it suits our family…so… This particular chili is made without beans, just the beef. It is generally pretty spicy and so flavorful. While I usually like to cut the beef into cubes, for this recipe I cut a corner and used ground beef. If want to go a little more authentic, cut a chuck roast into 1-inch cubes. Just make sure you adjust your cooking times to get a tender beef.

Homemade Chili Paste

I like to make my own chili paste too. You can buy it, but it is pretty simple to throw together and really cheap to make.

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.

woman pouring boiling water over dried chilies for homemade chili paste

Cover them in boiling water and allow to sit about 30 minutes to soften.

woman holding a can of chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce for homemade chili paste
woman making homemade chili paste in blender

Drain and add the chilis, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika to a blender. Now, you will need more water to make this liquid. I added about 3/4 cup, but start with 1/2. Add more as needed. You want it to be thicker, as it is a paste, but not so thick it won’t blend.

Homemade chili paste in small ceramic dish with dried chilis on the surface

Making the Best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili

Now, let’s get started on the chili! Add your beef, onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic to the pan.

cooking beef and vegetables in stainless steel pan

Saute on medium-high until the beef isn’t pink anymore.

Add in your chili paste, cumin, paprika, and oregano. Cook for another few minutes.

Cooking the best Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili

Next is your water, salt, and pepper. The water is added to allow extra time to cook all the seasonings together without it burning.

Once the liquid has reduced to about half, check for seasoning. Add more as needed.

Now, chili in the South is thickened with masa. If you don’t have masa on hand, use fine cornmeal. This will need to cook on medium-low at least another 5-10 minutes. It should be thick, spicy, and ready to go.

The Finished Product

Just look at that beautiful bowl of Saucy and Spicy Texas Red Chili.

We love to serve ours with cornbread. Toppings are always cheese of some sort, chopped onions, fresh tomatoes, and jalapenos.

We also love to eat it over a baked potato or even as a chili dog. Good and Spicy!!

They also go really well with these Jack Cheese and Green Chili Biscuits.

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Homemade chili paste

The spicy chili paste is simple to make and wicked hot!! Well, you can adjust heat level according to preference.
Course condiments
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chili paste for texas red chili, homeamde chili paste, spicy chili paste
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula


  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2-1 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 1/2 cup water to start. Blend until nice and smooth. Add more water as needed.
    Now, use as desired and sit back and enjoy.
0 from 0 votes

Spicy Texas Red Chili

This is a personalized version of the Texas red chili used in so many of the chili competitions. IT is flavorful adn totally spicy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili con carne, chili variation, corn and green chili recipes, homemade chili paste, homemade chili recipe, spicy chili, texas red chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula


  • 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
  • 1/2-1 cup chili paste if you want to make your own, I have included the recipe on the post
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 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 1/2 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 frezzer.
    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!

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