Tex-Mex chili con carne is a hearty meal with its roots in the southwest USA. The combination of meat, beans, and spices makes this recipe popular throughout the world. Make it as spicy as you like, change the meat or add vegetables; this recipe is perfect for your creativity.
I remember attending chili cook-offs when I was a kid. One bowl would be too bland, the next brought tears to my eyes from the heat. Amongst the crowded table, there was always a stand-out winner.
For me, this culinary perfection represented the ideal combination of beans, meat, vegetables, and spices. It turns out, my favorite recipes are also called Tex-Mex chili con carne.
Fast forward many years and seemingly endless attempts, and my husband has perfected our own Tex-Mex chili con carne. His secret goes beyond the proportions. It’s his own spice blend.
What is Tex-Mex?
Tex-Mex is a term used to describe a style of cuisine based on the Tejano people of Texas. Simply defined, it is a blend of flavors used on both sides of the border between Mexico and the state of Texas.
Tejanos are the Hispanic residents of Texas. They culturally descended from the original Spanish settlers from several northern Mexican states (including Tejas). The Tejanos settled in the state of Texas before it became a US state in 1845.
Tex-Mex is most commonly characterized by a combination of certain ingredients and spices into a tasty meal.
Classicly, Tex-Mex meals have some or all of these ingredients: beef, black beans, canned vegetables, wheat flour, or yellow cheese, according to the Twisted Taco. Familiar dishes are fajitas, nachos, and chili.
What you need to make Tex-Mex chili con carne
- Lean ground beef
- Kidney beans
- Cooking oil
- Chili powder blend – this is our recipe
- Bay leaf
- Any color bell peppers
- Chopped tomatoes
- Jalapeno peppers (optional)
Step by step to our Tex-Mex chili con carne recipe
Served over a carbohydrate, chili is a complete dinner. Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy it:
- We typically eat chili over rice.
- Chili is also really nice served over a baked potato. We sometimes have it when we make a baked potato bar dinner.
- Sometimes, we make a big pot and eat it for days, with one day serving it over a toasted burger bun, like an open-faced sandwich.
Our Tex-Mex chili con carne recipe
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 Tablespoons chili powder blend
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 4 cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 Tablespoon jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
- ¼ cup cheese, grated colby or similar
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- In a stockpot on medium-high heat, brown the meat, chopping it into small pieces as it browns.
- Stir in the chili powder, and let cook for 1 minute.
- Add the onion, garlic, salt, bay leaf, canned tomatoes, jalapeno peppers (optional), carrot, and bell pepper. Stir together. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked
- Add the drained kidney beans to the stockpot, stir, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Serve over steamed rice and garnish with chopped onions and grated cheese.
- The jalapenos may be omitted for a milder taste.
- Cayenne (flakes or powder) may be substituted for jalapeno peppers.
- Use several different color bell peppers to make the chili more colorful.
- -Link to our homemade chili powder recipe
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 32.1gFiber: 16.9gSugar: 0.9gProtein: 25.7g
Nutritional information isn't always accurate and it will vary based on the specific ingredients used.
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How do you eat Tex-Mex Chili con carne?
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