Texas Skillet Chili

K Keeton
by K Keeton
4 people
1 hr 10 min

Homemade chili is a breeze with easy Texas Skillet Chili that includes gluten-free options. Chili ingredients to gather up are: ground chuck, chili powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smokey paprika, Mexican oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, can of crushed or diced tomatoes, can of chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, masa harina, salt, green onions (optional), and water. If you are choosing a gluten-free chili option then make sure all ingredients meet the gluten-free designation. **See recipe notes.

This is such a versatile chili recipe with added sweetness, gluten-free options, and thickening options. It keeps well in the freezer for up to six months. I often make it and divide it into smaller containers and freeze it for quick impromptu meals and toppers.

Gather Your Ingredients

Easy Chili for Newbies

We have created this recipe with newbies in mind. How to make chili from scratch is really an easy process. How to make chili for beginners requires a simple, basic  recipe to be cooked in a cast iron skillet with minimal preparation and ingredients. Cooking should be a joy and this recipe is not only easy but very tasty.

Cooking chili is so easy, and this is the best easy chili recipe that you can make at home. Chili definition per the dictionary is a hearty stew that is also used as a topping condiment on other dishes and has varied recipes and ingredients. We have narrowed down the ingredients and offer gluten-free recommendations.

Our Texas Skillet Chili without beans recipe stays true to the Texas chili practice that does not include beans. We have included tomato products and brown sugar since we want a slightly sweet chili. This chili is great as a stand-alone or served with other ingredients. Chili and cornbread go great together. It is also a great chili with rice.  

Cast Iron Pan

Chili is best when cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron pan. This recipe uses a large cast iron skillet. It will retain its heat well allowing you to cook low and slow bringing out the flavors of the spices. If you do not have a large cast iron skillet then try to use a heavier skillet for cooking your chili. A heavier high-quality enamel skillet will also work well. If you do not have either, a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillets, then lower your temperature and cook slightly longer for a more flavorful chili.

What is chili in adobe sauce? We have added chipotle peppers in adobe sauce for added smokiness and heat. Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce are jalapeño chiles that have been dried, smoked, and canned in a flavorful sauce made of tangy tomatoes and spices. They should be diced and measured with some of the sauce when adding them to the recipe. This ingredient is optional and if you do not have it on hand omitting it will not alter the overall quality of your chili.

Bowl of Texas Skillet Chili with Toppings

Cooking with chili is so easy and versatile. It goes well with so many other foods, complementing their flavors. You can use it to top hot dogs, chips, enchiladas, chili mac ‘n cheese, bean dip, breakfast bowls, and nachos; really the possibilities are entirely up to you. If it sounds good it probably will be, it is just a matter of taste. Gum drops might not work, but you never know, right?

Gluten-Free Options for Texas Skillet Chili

Gluten-Free products we have used are:

  1. Fiesta spices
  2. Thrive Market spices
  3. Great Value can tomatoes
  4. Thrive Market brown sugar
  5. Embasa Chipotle
  6. De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar
  7. Maseca Nixtamasa Instant Corn Masa Flour
  8. Great Value Shredded Mexican Cheese
  9. Daisy Sour Cream
  10. Sazon Goya (con culantro y achiote), optional

Baked Potato Topped with Chili, Sour Cream and Green Onions

This recipe makes a great topper for a baked potato!

Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • 3 lbs ground chuck
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smokey paprika powder
  • 1/2 tbsp mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 15 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp chipotle peppers chopped with adobe sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 6 green onions, sliced thinly

In a large cast iron skillet brown beef lightly and add chili pepper and brown again. Drain some of the fat if needed.
Add the remainder of spices to the chili along with the crushed tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Add one cup water and allow to cook on medium until slightly reduced then lower temperature to low cooking for one hour. Add more water if necessary.
Before serving mix masa with ½ cup water and cook on medium to low for 5 minutes until thickened slightly. You may add more water to get it to the desired consistency.
If you are eating with cornbread you may want it thinner. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped green onion, if desired
  • We are using Fiesta Brand gluten-free chili powder and cumin. All the spices we use are gluten-free but if you are preparing gluten-free chili be sure to check your packaging for GF designation. Some products that are gluten-free may not be marked and need to be verified online. Your cans of tomato and chipotle should state they are GF as well.
K Keeton
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