Damn Good Texas Chili

My Damn Good Texas Chili is just that…Damn good! This recipe has been passed down from family, to friend, to neighbor over the years. I changed it up by adding a can of beer and my secret ingredient, cinnamon. Truly, it’s so good and can be served with or without beans. But who would want to live without the beans?


1 Tbl olive oil

2 lbs course ground round or ground turkey

1 large onion, diced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

4 cloves minced garlic

2, 14 oz cans of San Marzano Tomatoes

1, 14 oz can of tomato puree

1 can of beer, any kind of traditional beer will do

2-4 tbl chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp dried oregano

2 bay leaves

2-4 tsp ground cumin

1 can kidney beans, drained


In a large dutch oven, add olive oil to the pan and heat on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add diced onion and bell pepper. Sauté until both start to show some color and onions are mostly translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute more. 

Add ground round or turkey to the onion/bell pepper/garlic mixture. Season meat with salt and pepper and continue to brown. Cook to almost done, but not all the way. If you are using beef, you will want to drain the fat before moving on to next steps. If you have lean ground turkey, no need to drain.

Once meat is browned, add all additional ingredients except the beans. Taste for seasoning and add more, if needed. I typically end up adding more cumin and chili power to taste..

Last 30 minutes of cooking, add the can of beans. (Or leave out if you don’t like beans in your chili). Serve with sour cream, cheese, sweet peppers, pickled jalapeño, crackers or tortilla chips; whatever you wish. Enjoy!