Easy Texas Chili with Rice
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This spin on classic Texas chili combines a much easier DIY chili paste with lean beef stew meat to simplify the recipe. It also adds rice at the end of cooking to create a super hearty dish that’s perfect for meal prep.
As a new Texan, I did my best to stick to traditional Texas chili guidelines like no beans or tomatoes. Though I did sneak two tablespoons of tomato paste to shortcut the chili paste process. Hopefully the convenience factor makes up for my betrayal!
Texas Chili Ingredients
Like I mentioned above, most traditional Texas chili recipes combine a homemade chili paste with onions, garlic, beef broth, and beef chuck steak. This version mostly sticks to the script except for cooking down chili peppers to make a paste.
Here’s what you’ll need for the shortcut chili paste:
- tomato paste
- chili sauce like sriracha (I used San Antonio based Humble House’s Guajillo and Red Jalapeño sauce)
- ground ancho chili powder, crushed chipotle peppers, and ground cumin
You can play around with the dry spices and chili sauce. As-is, the chili is fairly spicy so if you’re spice intolerant, you may want to scale back.
The Beef and Remaining Ingredients
You’ll need two pounds of lean beef stew meat, which is pre-cut into pieces like you’ll see below. If you have trouble finding this, most stores will make this from beef chuck, which you can cut yourself.
For nutrition comparison, the beef I used had 140 calories, 25g of protein, 4.5g of fat, and 0g of carbs per 4-ounce serving (raw).
Aside from the beef, you’ll need:
- fresh serrano or jalapeño peppers (bell peppers would work as well for reduced spice)
- salt, pepper, and some oil
- instant white rice (or your choice of rice)
How to Make Texas Chili
While this recipe is called slow cooker Texas chili, feel free to cook your chili on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker. I used a combination of a 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi and stainless steel skillet for searing the beef.
If you’re using a crockpot, you’ll need to cook both the beef and veggies in a skillet before adding to the crockpot. I like the Foodi because it has a sauté function in addition to a slow cook function.
If you have a large stainless steel pot, you can do everything in that and simmer for a few hours instead of slow cooking.
Making great Texas chili starts here. Be sure to start by patting the beef dry with a paper towel and seasoning well with salt and pepper. Let the beef rest while you prepare the chili paste and other vegetables.
This time with the seasoning allows the beef to absorb the seasoning. You can see the difference just 10 minutes makes in the two photos on the left below.
Once everything is ready to go, add the beef to a hot skillet with the oil and give it a chance to develop a good sear/color. If you’re using a smaller skillet, you may want to cook the beef in two batches.
Don’t worry about cooking the beef all the way through in this step.
The Veggies and Chili Paste
You’ll notice I cooked the veggies at the same time as the beef right in the Foodi. If you’re using the same skillet and adding to a crockpot, set the beef aside and throw the veggies in.
At this point, you’re pretty much finished. Cook the onion and peppers until tender, add the garlic, and follow that with the chili paste.
Then you’re ready to add the seared beef and beef broth to cook for a few hours.
Slow Cooking and Adding the Rice
Since this version of Texas chili adds rice, you don’t need to cook the broth down or add any thickeners like flour or corn starch. Simply give the chili 2-3 hours in a crockpot on high or simmer on the stovetop for about 2 hours.
If you’re using an Instant Pot or the pressure cooker function on the Foodi, my guess would be 20-30 minutes on high.
What you’re after is beef that’s really tender and cooked through to 160F internally.
There should be plenty of liquid remaining to cook the rice in. Instant rice will take about 30-45 minutes to cook and absorb most of the liquid. If you use another rice, it may need about 2-3x the time.
Recipe Modification Notes
You can get an idea of the amount of liquid remaining after the rice cooks from the recipe photos. If you’d like more liquid, you could use 2 cups of rice instead of 3. This would also reduce the calories and carbs per serving by 31 and 7 grams respectively.
If you’d like to make this Texas chili without rice altogether, I’d suggest cutting the amount of beef broth in half. This will likely decrease the cook time as well.
Most of the peppers used in this Texas chili are on the lower end of the Scoville scale, a scale measuring peppers’ pungency and spice levels. Mike at Chili Pepper Madness has a great Scoville scale infographic in case you want to modify the heat in your chili.
Time to Get Cookin’
I think that’s all ya need to know. Hopefully I didn’t give you information overload for this one. I just like to give options, ya know?
If you have any questions about this Texas chili or make it with a modification that totally rocks, let us know. Drop a comment at the bottom of this post or join my Facebook group with 10,000 other healthy home cooks and share it with the gang.
Texas Chili with Rice
Lean beef stew meat cooked with onion, garlic, peppers, a DIY chili paste, and copious amounts of rice for an uber hearty, meal prep friendly chili.
- 2 lbs Lean Beef Stew Meat
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil divided
- 1 Onion diced
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 3-4 Serrano or Jalapeño Peppers diced
- 8 C (64oz) Beef Broth
- 3 C (276g) Instant White Rice
Easy DIY Chili Paste
- 1/4 C (60g) Tomato Paste
- 1/4 C (60g) Humble House Guajillo and Jalapeño Sauce or sriracha
- 2 Tbsp Ground Ancho Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tbsp Crushed Chipotle Pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
Use a paper towel to pat the beef dry before generously adding salt and pepper. Set aside while you prep the veggies and chili paste.
Dice the onion and peppers, mince the garlic, and mix all the chili paste ingredients together.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot before adding the beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes to sear one side before flipping and cooking another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. (I used a stainless steel skillet to transfer to my Ninja Foodi to slow cook.)
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions and peppers. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tender before adding the garlic. (I used a Ninja Foodi which has a sauté function in addition to slow cooking.)
Cook another 30-60 seconds until fragrant before adding the chili paste.
Stir well before adding the beef back to the pot.
Add the beef broth to the pot. (If you used a stainless steel skillet or cast iron skillet to sear the beef, use a bit of the broth to deglaze the skillet and get all the crispy bits into the pot.)
Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. (Make sure the thickest cuts of beef are cooked to an internal temp of 160F and are tender.) Add the rice, cover, and cook for another 30-45 minutes until most of the remaining broth has been absorbed.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, more guajillo sauce, or your choice of fixins. Enjoy!
- Each serving has 6 Smart Points.
- For ingredient modification notes, see post above.