6 ratings

Texas No-Bean Chili

Don't even think about adding beans to this Texas classic
Texas no-bean chili
Photo courtesy of Jack's BBQ

In Texas, chili is not chili unless it has no beans. Make the perfect Texas-style beef chili with this recipe from Texas native Jack Timmons of Jack's BBQ in Seattle. For a unique blast of flavor and spice, this dish calls for a "trinity" of chiles, a riff off a recipe from Frank X. Tolbert, the co-founder of the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook off. 

Photo courtesy of Jack's BBQ

Ready in
1 h and 5 m
20 m
(prepare time)
45 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For best results, make the chili the day before and allow the flavors to meld overnight before serving.


For the chili

  • 4 Ancho chiles, de-stemmed
  • 1 Chipotle chile, de-stemmed
  • 1 Chile de Arbol, de-stemmed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 Tablespoons paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 Teaspoons chili powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 Pounds beef, such as smoked brisket, chick, or tri-tip, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil


For the chili

In a large Dutch oven, add chiles, onion, and garlic. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the ingredients steep for 10 minutes until softened. Add paprika, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Lightly season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add beef. Sear for 5 minutes, until browned. Add beef to chile mixture and enough water to cover. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, occasionally using a heatproof potato masher to mix the meat and spices. Remove from heat, set aside to cool, and refrigerate overnight to intensify flavor.

Reheat chili in a large pot over medium heat. Ladle hot chili into bowls and top with cheddar cheese, onion, and pickled jalapeño peppers. Serve with sour cream on the side.