lone star beef chili recipe

Classic Lone Star Beef Chili

Seeking out a Texan classic that’s a real winter warmer? Look no further than this Lone Star Beef Chili recipe (and no beans allowed!).


Did you know that real Texas chili doesn’t contain beans? Truly. It’s actually somewhat offensive to serve a Texan chili with any kind of pulse or legume. Even more offensive to name it Texan-style when the offending bean is present. I mean, it’s not unreasonable when you consider it. What could be more Texan than leaving out vegetables to make room for more meat?!

Try this easy recipe for creating a seriously comforting bowl of Texas red, made even better thanks to the addition of a generous amount of beer. And once you’ve created the chili, why not go a step further and turn it into Frito Pie?


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Classic Lone Star Beef Chili

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 min



2 pounds ground beef

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 can (10 ounces) of diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce

1 and 1/2 cups beer (brewed in Texas preferred)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoon cornmeal or masa harina

Salt to taste


  1. Set a large dutch oven over high heat. Add half the olive oil and brown the ground beef. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan and stewing the beef in it’s own juices.
  2. Remove the beef and set aside to drain. Add the remaining oil and onion, and cook until nicely browned.
  3. Add back in beef, along with garlic, chili powder, cayenne, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Add in the beer, diced tomatoes and green chilies, and tomato sauce, then bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and allow to bubble and simmer so sauce reduces and thickens, and the flavors intensify, about 1 hour.
  5. After an hour, stir through the cornmeal which will help to thicken the sauce. If sauce starts to get too thick, add a little water, and if it’s not yet thick enough, continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached.

9 thoughts on “Classic Lone Star Beef Chili”

  1. Love your videos. I haven’t tried THIS recipe, but I can tell you Texas chili will have chunks of chuck roast and no tomatoes in it. No ground beef. For an updated version, I used Dr. Pepper with great results in place of Shiner Bock, which is the preferred beer for Texas chili.

  2. This is our go to chili recipe when we’re using ground beef. Freezes well, so we always have some on hand for quick meals!

    1. Living in Texas for a few years I learned quickly that there are no beans. I was told that is yankee chili. Lol. Every loves when I make this. Yes I use Shiner. I mix lean ground beef and ground bison for a more lean version. Sometimes I will even chunks of stake.

  3. This is the BEST Chili I have ever made and BEST Chili that I have ever eaten. I did not know how chili would taste without beans. I know now! I”ll never have chili again with beans. When I take a bite of that “Classic Lone Star Beef Chili”. I can tell you. Slow dancing is over. It”s all rock “n” roll.

  4. Great recipe with lots of flavors. We use it for chili dogs, frito pie or wonderful just by itself with a little shredded cheddar and onions on top. Have made it many times over the years. Thanks Jess!

  5. Thank you for sharing this. We are trying your recipe and really liked it. But, we are forking it to use for Taco Meat and using Taco Seasoning. I know it sounds strange, but this is an EXACT DUPLICATE of Taco Bell meat — if you use taco seasoning. We reduced the beef broth to 3/4 cup and eliminated the beef. Added one can of 4 oz diced green chili’s. But, other than that, it is an excellent recipe and allows us to eat at home and not pay OUTRAGEOUSLY for the slop that Taco Bell serves up.

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