Don’t Mess with Texas Chili

After 31 years on this earth, I have come to find that all my life, my entire idea of what chili should be is entirely wrong. Not flawed, not slightly askew, like a garbled translation leaning too heavily on artificial intelligence, but terminally, entirely wrong.

True Texans would laugh my chili straight out of the saloon. Defined primarily by what it omits, Texas-style chili would NEVER employ beans of any sort, NO vegetables (what is this, a salad?!) which excludes tomatoes as well. Not even a dab of tomato paste would make the cut.

Rather, this is a celebration of meat. Seasoned with the entire contents of a reasonably stocked spice rack, chilies in many forms are what tint this stew a fiery red. The ferocious, flavorful burn is not for the meek.

I’m not about to mess with Texas, but in this modern era, “meat” is no longer synonymous with beef. That’s why I’m thrilled to dive right into this time-honored tradition with a plant-based version that’s every bit as hearty, bold, and amazingly hot.

No cowboy in their right mind would ever turn down such a feast. Keeping things simple allows for greater flexibility in garnishes, whether you want to dress it up or down, or eat it plain. Pick and mix to your own tastes, but some of my favorite toppings include:

When it comes to creating a sound foundation, there’s no end to your options there, too. No need to keep in in a bowl when you could ladle it over:

Hungry yet? I sure hope so, because chili is best made in big batches. This one makes enough for a small family, but is prime material for freezer fodder, since I’m only a single lady myself. Portion out single servings in secure zip top bags and store flat in the freezer until ready to eat. All you need to do is drop it into a saucepan, add a splash of water, and cook over medium-low heat for an instant homemade meal.

Even if you’re an ardent vegetable lover like me, make some room on your dinner table for an exceptionally, unapologetically meaty entree every now and then. This one will satisfy any savory cravings.

Yield: Makes 6 - 8 Servings

Meatless Texas-Style Chili

Meatless Texas-Style Chili

No beans about it! This is a 100% plant-based chili that would make a true Texan proud.


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Pounds Meatless Grounds, such as Impossible or Beyond
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 (4 Ounce) Can Diced Hatch Chilies, Drained
  • 1 (7 Ounce) Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, Diced and Sauce Reserved
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
  • 2 Cups Vegan Beef Stock or Mushroom Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Ground Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


    1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, meatless grounds, and diced onion. Saute to brown the "beef" thoroughly, breaking it up with your spatula while it cooks. Cook for 6 - 8 minutes until no longer pink, and the onions are soft and translucent.
    2. Add both chilies, along with all of the adobo sauce, followed by the garlic. Scrape the bottom of the pot thoroughly to make sure nothing is sticking, and let cook for about 4 minutes undisturbed. The garlic should be highly aromatic and slightly golden.
    3. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the surface, stirring vigorously to incorporate. Make sure there are no dry patches or clumps before slowly pouring in the stock.
    4. Incorporate the vinegar, soy sauce, and all the remaining spices and seasonings. Cover, bring the mixture up to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the mixture to stew for 1 - 2 hours, until thick, rich, and intensely flavorful.
    5. Add a splash of water if it seems to become too dry, or on the other hand, whisk in an extra spoonful or two of cornmeal if it looks too watery.
    6. Serve piping hot! See the blog post above for more serving suggestions.


To replace the meatless grounds with TVP (textured vegetable protein) use 2/3 pound of TVP and 2 2/3 cups of hot mushroom or vegetable stock. Combine in a large bowl, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes until fully hydrated.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 726mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Mess with Texas Chili

  1. I’m pretty sure my husband would be salivating if he were reading this, Hannah. I’d have to see how spicy it is first, but it sounds delicious. I was aware of the differences between Texas chili and other chili types. I say the more the merrier.


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