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This thick Texas-style chili is filled with traditional smoky seasonings and a touch of heat, then topped with cheddar cheese. The question is, beans or no beans?

copycat texas roadhouse chili topped with onions and cheese. Extra cheese on side and jalapenos and onions too.

A cool, crisp evening calls for a big bowl of red chili, and this Texas Roadhouse copycat chili recipe will be perfect for a family dinner, a small gathering of friends for dinner or while watching the big game on TV.

This was absolutely delicious. My new favorite chili recipe. I will be making for any future chili events. —Amelia

This turned out really great. I say the more beans, the better. —Katie

Soups on! I’ve got you covered with my yummy, easy-to-make soup recipes. If you like making restaurant copycat-style chili, then check out my copycat Wendy’s chili. Try my slow cooker Savory Ground Turkey Chili in the Crock Pot and Chicken Taco Soup.

History Of Texas Roadhouse and It’s Chili

Texas Roadhouse is a chain of casual dining restaurants headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. It was founded in 1993 by Kent Taylor and is known for its Western-themed Texas atmosphere and commitment to serving great food to their customers. 

When it comes to chili, the Roadhouse serves a great bowl of red chili. However, if you want to make a copycat version, be aware The Texas Roadhouse chili recipe is a closely guarded secret, and the exact recipe used by the restaurant chain has not been publicly disclosed. 

I have carefully looked through the restaurant’s ingredents listed on their website for their chili. I have also eaten countless bowls to create this Copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe. Their chili is a hearty, savory blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices, creating a warm and satisfying meal. Also, be sure to note the exact recipe details may vary between locations. Read about the bean wars below. 

Why Make Your Own Copycat Chili Recipe

  • Location: If you don’t have a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in your area, you won’t miss out eating their great red chili when you make this amazing Texas Roadhouse copycat chili. 
  • Budget: It’s cheaper to make this great chili at home than to take the whole family out to eat.
  • Variety: This homemade chili recipe is easy to spice up, or add your family’s favorite beans or not.
  • Easy Freezer Meal: It’s a great recipe to make a double batch and freeze for a quick dinner on a busy night.

Dinner Party Chili Bar Ideas

Texas Roadhouse’s chili recipe is the perfect chili to serve when hosting a chili dinner party. Hosting a chili bar is a fun and delicious way to gather friends and family for a hearty meal. Plus, it makes entertaining easy for you. Head over to my Chili Dinner Ideas: Easy Party Food Bar Inspiration.

I share chili bar dinner ideas, make-ahead tips, decor ideas, and topping recipes. By setting up a chili food bar, you create a customizable experience where guests can build their own bowls of chili with a variety of toppings and sides.

Texas Roadhouse Chili Ingredients

ingredients for texas roadhouse chili, seasoings, tomatoes, beans and veggies
  • Lean ground beef – 80%/20% ground beef has just enough fat to give this chili its great flavor. 
  • Garlic – only use fresh diced
  • Onion – yellow onion or white onion would be good
  • Tomatoes – Do not use fresh but canned tomatoes
  • Red kidney beans – A true Texas chili does not have beans. However, beans are served in the restaurant in Georgia. The beans are optional if you want a true Texas red chili. 
  • Brown sugar – Sweet and spicy makes this a great bowl of chili.
  • Seasonings: For the savory flavor in this chili, you will need cumin, mild chili powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. 
  • Heat: To infuse a spicy flavor in your chili, you will need to have some crushed red pepper flakes for one layer of heat and then fresh diced jalapenos. You can add a little or a bunch, depending on how hot you like your chili. 
  • Masa harina – (secret ingredient) This is just traditional corn tortilla flour. It acts as a thickening agent and gives this chile a thick stew-like consistency, just like the chili served at Texas Roadhouse. 
  • Toppings: Cheddar cheese, diced red onions and pickled jalapenos (aka Cowboy Candy)

📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

🌶 Chili Tips

Why do you put brown sugar in chili?

There are a lot of savory and spicy ingredients in a good bowl of chili, so adding a touch of sweetness balances the flavor profile of a great bowl of chili.

What is Masa Harina and what does it do for chili?

Masa harina is a type of flour made from dried and ground hominy, which is corn that has been treated with an alkali solution, usually lime or lye. This process is called nixtamalization and it helps to remove the outer hull of the corn and make the nutrients more bioavailable.

In the context of chili, masa harina can be used to thicken the chili and add a subtle corn flavor. It acts as a thickening agent similar to cornstarch or flour.

How To Make Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe: Step-by-Step

  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, cook the beef. Stir often to help break it apart. After all the pink is gone from the meat, turn off the heat and tip the pan to one side to drain fat. Scoop fat out with a large spoon and then dab up any excess with paper towels.
  1. Return cooked ground beef to the heat. Stir in onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, Italian seasoning blend, and brown sugar. Cook for two minutes, stirring often.
  1. Stir in crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, vinegar, chili flakes, and diced jalapenos.
  1. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix 3/4 cup of beef broth and the masa harina. Place the lid on tightly and shake until ingredents are smooth. Stir in the masa harina mixture and cook for 10 more minutes so the chili will thicken. Tip* You could substitute the beef broth for a beef bullion cube dissolved in 3/4 cup of water.
  1. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and diced red onions.
copycat texas roadhouse chili topped with onions and cheese. Extra cheese on side and jalapenos and onions too.

Red Chili Variation Ideas

  • Instead of ground meat, substitute beef stew meat such as chuck beef cubes that have been cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • You don’t have to use beef base meat. Ground turkey or chicken.
  • Try fire-roasted crushed tomatoes instead of plain canned tomatoes.
  • Change up your beans. Try pinto, navy beans, or black beans.
  • Make the chili vegan by skipping the meat and adding a variety of beans.
  • Have a bean hater in the family? Add in diced sweet potatoes and sautéed mushrooms instead of beans.

Serving Ideas

  • Top your chili with Cowboy Candy and a side of cornbread.
  • Sever over Air Fryer Baked Potatoes and top with cheese.
  • Serve over steak fries and top with cheese for a hearty chili cheese fries meal.
  • Pour over tortilla chips, and add melted cheese and toppings typically found on nachos.
  • Make a sourdough bread bowl filled with chili and toppings.
  • Serve topped with saltine crackers, onions, a dollop of sour cream, and hot sauce.
  • Add macaroni noodles instead of beans for a great chili mac dinner.

Basic Chili Recipe Tips

There are a few basic tips to follow if you want to make the best copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili.

  • Always start with quality ingredients such as grass-feed hamburger meat. Also, be sure your seasonings are fresh. They keep in your pantry for 6 months but then lose some of their flavor.
  • To drain the fat off the hamburger, I like to take the pan off the heat and set it on hot pads, so one side is a bit higher than the other. After a few minutes, I place a few wadded-up pieces of paper towel in the lower end of the pan to soak up the grease. Discard the paper towel and repeat.
  • If your chili is too watery, here are some great tips for how to thicken chili in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot. Here you will find a variety of ideas that use everyday pantry items to thicken the chili.
  • If you have leftovers, be sure to freeze them in an airtight container. Place in your freezer for up to 3 months.

Does Texas Roadhouse have beans in their restaurant chili?

The restaurant serves its chili with beans. With this in mind, the restaurant was not originated in Texas. Its founder, W. Kent Taylor, started the restaurant in Clarksville, IN. Texas is in the restaurant’s name, but the menu was created for a broad clientele.

texas roadhouse copycat chili in a bowl with beans and their menu for the chili that says with beans

Chili Dinner Menu Idea

Let’s make this Copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili  a meal. We are going to make this menu authentic. Each item is on the Texas Roadhouse menu.

menu items served at texas roadhouse

What To Do With Left Over Chili

Best Copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe
  1. Chili Toppings: Use it on air fryer baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, nachos, tacos, burritos, or in any other of your favorite Mexican Dinner.
  2. Chili Dogs or Chili Burgers: Top hot dogs or burgers with it.
  3. Chili Mac and Cheese: Mix with macaroni and cheese, bake.
  4. Chili Stuffed Peppers: Fill bell peppers, bake until tender.
  5. Chili Pie: Pour in a dish, top with cornbread batter, bake.
  6. Chili Soup: Add broth, simmer until desired consistency.
  7. Chili Omelette or Breakfast Burrito: Use as a filling.
  8. Freezing for Later: Portion and freeze for future use.
  9. Chili Fries: Top French fries or tater tots with chili and cheese.
  10. Chili Dip: Mix with cream cheese, sour cream, and cheese, heat, serve with tortilla chips.

Need a big batch to feed a crowd? You can easily change the number of servings in the recipe card below by tapping 2x or 3x. The ingredient measurements will automatically double or triple. You can then tap print and there you have it, a recipe for a crowd.

I Want To Answer Your Questions & Hear Your Comments

Do you have a question about this recipe❓ I will answer in the comment form below👇🏼 the recipe card. Did you make this recipe? If so, could you be a gem and leave a comment and rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below? This helps others find yummy 😋 recipes to make for their family and friends.

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a bowl of copycat recipe of texas roadhouse chili
4.87 from 52 ratings

Best Copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
If you want to serve thick Texas-style red chili, then you need to make the Best Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe. It’s one of my reader's favorite recipes on Intentional Hospitality. They have tested it, and declare it's the best copycat Texas Roadhouse Chile you can make at home, hands down!

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 lbs Ground beef , Use lean ground beef 80%/20% – You could also use beef chuck cut into 1/2 inch cubes instead.
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, Use fresh diced cloves garlic, not the kind already chopped in a jar.
  • 1 cup Onion , Diced – yellow onion or white onion would be good
  • 2 tablespoons Jalapenos , Diced small. Use a little or a lot depending on you your taste buds tolerance to spicy food
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chili powder, mild
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes , These add another layer of heat to your chili, a little or a lot
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • 2 14 oz Tomatoes , Canned crushed tomatoes. Do not use fresh but canned tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz Kidney beans , Canned, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar, White

Thickener

  • 3/4 cup Beef broth, You could substitute the beef broth for a beef boullion cube dissolved in 3/4 cup of water.
  • 2 tablespoons Masa harina , This is just traditional corn tortilla flour. It acts as a thickening agent and gives this chile a thick stew-like consistency.

Instructions
 

  • In a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, cook the beef. Stir often to help break it apart.
    2 lbs Ground beef
  • After all the pink is gone from the meat, turn off the heat and tip the pan to one side to drain fat. Scoop fat out with a large spoon and then dab up any excess with paper towels.
  • Return cooked ground beef to the heat. Stir in onions, garlic, and fresh jalapenos. Cook for two minutes, stirring often.
    2 tablespoons Garlic, 1 cup Onion, 2 tablespoons Jalapenos
  • Add the seasonings. Cook for two minutes, stirring often.
    2 teaspoons Cumin powder, 2 teaspoons Chili powder, 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, 2 teaspoons Salt, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon Brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
    2 14 oz Tomatoes, 1 14 oz Kidney beans, 1 tablespoon Vinegar

Thickener

  • In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix 3/4 cup of beef bullion and the masa harina. Place the lid on tightly and shake until the ingredients are smooth.
    3/4 cup Beef broth, 2 tablespoons Masa harina
  • Stir in the masa harina mixture and cook for 10 more minutes so the chili will thicken.
  • Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and diced red onions.

Notes

Basic Chili Recipe Tips
There are a few basic tips to follow if you want to make the best copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili.
    • Always start with quality ingredients such as grass-feed hamburger meat. Also, be sure your seasonings are fresh. They keep in your pantry for 6 months but then lose some of their flavor.
    • To drain the fat off the hamburger, I like to take the pan off the heat and set it on hot pads so one side is a bit higher than the other. After a few minutes, I place a few wadded-up pieces of paper towel in the lower end of the pan to soak up the grease. Discard the paper towel and repeat.
    • If you have leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You could also freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container. Place in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 431kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 882mg, Potassium: 537mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 642IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 4mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
Author: Gina Dickson

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