Slow Cooker Texas Style Chili

This shredded beef Texas chili is rich and hearty, made with 8 simple ingredients! Just saucy chunks of tender beef that shreds apart with the lightest pull of a fork. YUM.

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Why I Love This Chili

Is there any better feeling than walking into your house, when it’s dark (already) at 5pm, and smelling the juicy, spicy, richness of Texas-style chili in the slow cooker?

This chili is rich and hearty, simple and uncluttered. No beans, no veggie chunks – just saucy chunks of juicy, tender beef that shreds apart with the lightest pull of a fork.

My friend Ang made this recipe for us years ago, and we’ve always laughed about this recipe that she used because the 2010 Food Network original that she was working from has a full 3/4 cup of chili powder in it.

We are not doing the 3/4 cup of chili powder thing, but I did using that old, nostalgic-to-me recipe to build this version.

The chili is beef, savory, rich and dark, but it’s also mild enough that my two littles love it, especially when dolloped with sour cream, which is one of their favorite food groups.

Final pro-tip: I’ve made this into a casserole on more than one occasion, topped with cornbread buttermilk biscuits, and I’ll get that recipe onto the internet very soon.

How To Make This Slow Cooker Texas Chili

Brown the beef.

Coat the beef with the salt; sear it in a hot skillet and brown the beef. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Browning beef in a dutch oven.

Cook the onion and garlic.

Brown them right in all that rendered fat from the beef. Flavor! Yummy!

Cooking onions and garlic in a dutch oven.

Add spices, tomatoes, and chiles.

Get all your other stuff in the pan and let it cook for a few minutes. Again, flavor!

Cooking spices, tomatoes, and chilis in a dutch oven with onion and garlic.

Move to the slow cooker.

At this point I like to move it over to the slow cooker to let it hang out on low for 6-7 hours.

Stirring ingredients together with the beef in a slow cooker.

Shred the beef.

I usually just pop the forks right in there and pull the meat apart gently to get big, tender chunks.

Shredding beef in a slow cooker with two forks.

You’re Done! Yum!

Shred and serve with cheddar cheese, cornbread, sour cream, and green onions!

A bowl of Texas chili with sour cream, cheese, and green onions.


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A picture of Slow Cooker Texas Style Chili

Slow Cooker Texas Style Chili

  • Author:

  • Total Time:
    8 hours 15 minutes

  • Yield:
    56 servings 1x


This shredded beef Texas chili is rich and hearty, made with 8 simple ingredients! Just saucy chunks of tender beef that shreds apart with the lightest pull of a fork!




Slow Cooker Texas Style Chili:



  1. Prep everything: Chop, measure, get everything all set up first.
  2. Brown the beef: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Toss the cut beef chunks with salt. Add the beef to the pot and let it cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes on each side until it gets nice and browned. You may need to do this batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove beef chunks and transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Saute onions and garlic: Add onions and garlic (and a bit more oil if needed); sauté until golden and softened. This process should lift a lot of yummy browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add spices: Add the brown sugar and spices; sauté for 3-5 minutes until nice and fragrant.
  5. Add tomatoes and chiles: Add green chiles and crushed tomatoes; simmer for 3-5 minutes until bubbly and delicious. 
  6. Cook low and slow: Pour tomato mixture into the slow cooker over the beef chunks; gently nudge them around so they are surrounded in the sauce. Cook on high for 4-ish hours or low for 8 hours.
  7. Serve: Shred the beef into big tender chunks (you should be able to do this directly in the slow cooker) and season with more salt to taste. Serve with sour cream, cheddar, green onions, and cornbread.


Chili Powder: Every chili powder tastes a little different as they all use their own unique blend of spices. I like the Simply Organic chili powder, but have enjoyed this with honestly all of the chili powders I’ve used during testing. I think as long as your chili powder smells good and tastes good to you, it’ll be spot on.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: texas style chili, chili recipe, beef chili recipe, slow cooker chili, slow cooker dinner recipe

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Frequently Asked Questions For Texas Chili

What is Texas chili?

Regular beef chili uses ground beef, sometimes beans, and often extra veggies (like this one – so good). But Texas chili is shredded beef chili that’s traditionally made with just beef, chiles, and spices. No beans, no chunks of extra veggies. Traditionally it’s made with no tomatoes – the dried chiles and the spices are what makes the saucy base of it. I am using a can of tomatoes here, plus canned chiles instead of dried ones, so this is more of a Texas-style chili vs. a full blown Texas chili.

Can I use the Instant Pot?

Yes, it will work. I’ve done it and cooked on high pressure for about 60-70 minutes. But I much preferred this in the slow cooker. It just thickens differently, tenderizes the meat differently, and just generally works better.

Can I cook this in the oven?

Yes, you could bake this in a pot (ideally a Dutch oven), add a cup of water, and bake for about 3 hours at 300 degrees, with the lid slightly ajar. I haven’t done this personally, but judging by the other recipes out there, this should work! (If you try it, leave a comment to let us know!)

Can you make this vegetarian / meatless?

Here’s a recipe for my favorite vegetarian chili!

Can you freeze this?

Yes! You can freeze this before or after cooking.

Can you make this without browning the beef and the veggies first?

Yes. I’ve done it and it’s still delicious! I think for max flavor, the browning is ideal. But if you don’t have time, just toss it in the slow cooker and go!

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