This Texas No Bean Chili is hearty, thick and jam packed with tender crumbles of meat and full of flavor! This meat lover's dream is the perfect cozy meal your family will love! It's so easy to prepare, can be made in advance and freezes beautifully! Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
1 ½tspEACH: Dark Brown Sugar & Worcestershire Sauce
Optional For Serving: Sliced Scallions, Cilantro or Parsley, Diced Avocado, Diced Red Onion, Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Sliced Jalapenos, Tortilla Chips, Lime Wedges
Brown beef: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Season with a ½ teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Use a spatula to flip the beef over and use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the beef into large crumbles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned, but not completely cooked through, about 3-4 additional minutes. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a plate or bowl. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan, or if the pan seems dry, add a splash of oil (SEE NOTES).
Sauté vegetables: Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the liquids: Add in the beer (or broth), using the back of a spoon to scrape of any brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire and bay leaf. Add in the beef along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to simmer and cover.
Simmer: Cook, uncovering to stir a couple times, for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes, or until chili is thick and saucy. Use tongs to remove bay leaf and discard. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve: Ladle warm chili into individual bowls and garnish with optional toppings. Enjoy!
You can use any variety of ground meat you like. This No Bean Chili is all about the meat and bold flavors, so you really want the meat to stand out and shine. Make sure you select the best variety for your specific taste, or try using a mix of meats for layers of flavor! (See below for a complete list of ground meats to use.)
To drain fat, I turn off the heat and just use a paper towel to carefully wipe some of the fat out of the pan. If you used lean ground beef, you may need to add oil to the pan. Just make sure you have roughly 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan.
Ground Meat for Chili:
Ground Beef – Different ground beef have different meat-to-fat ratio, so pay attention to the label or ask your butcher for help. Keep in mind that lean ground beef won’t provide a ton of flavor. I recommend an 85% blend, which is a mix of ground chuck and ground sirloin. You get the hearty leanness from the sirloin and the extra little bit of fat from the chuck which seamlessly blends into the chili and provides a richer flavor.
Ground chuck – 80% meat to 20% fat. Chuck has a juicy and rich flavor. Since it is on the fattier side, make sure you drain some of the fat from the pan after browning the meat.
Ground sirloin – 90% meat to 10% fat. Sirloin is leaner with a drier and heartier texture.
Ground Turkey – Typically 85-98% lean. If you are avoiding red meat, you can use ground turkey which has a softer consistency than ground beef. However, make sure you are not using lean ground turkey (white meat). Lean ground turkey will not be as robust in flavor.
Ground Sausage – Typically 70% meat to 30% fat. Ground pork has a milder flavor than beef. It is particularly delicious in chili when mixed with ground sirloin. Since pork is on the fatty side, make sure you drain some of the fat from the pan after browning.
Cubed Chuck Roast – Instead of using ground beef, you can use a chuck roast cut into cubes. However, keep in mind that you will need to simmer the chili on the stovetop longer, about 2-3 hours, to ensure the meat is tender.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 4 servings.