Texas Chili Cook Off

Mom’s Annual Chili Cook-Off

The Best Texas Chili…The Great Debate!

Texans take preparing chili, very…very seriously and they love showcasing their chili expertise at events like chili cook offs!! If you’re from Texas and can’t make a good chili, well, let’s just say people question your right to call yourself a Texan, haha. On top of being able to make a chili that tastes great all while pressing the limits of intensity of heat your mouth can handle, the ingredients are hotly debated. Beans or no beans? Bell peppers? Simple ground beef or go roque with other cuts or animals? Please comment below and tell me what YOU think Texas Chili is! And leave a link to your favorite recipe!

Old school, die hard, Texas chili fans say it’s simply ground beef, chili powder and their own original concoction of seasonings, tomato sauce and onions (the secret to individuality and great taste being the seasoning).

Below I’ve included my chili recipe. Sometimes I add a few things, sometimes I make it a little simpler, no beans, with beans…whatever I’m in the mood for, but below is MY favorite way to make it. I don’t make my own blend of spices 100%, but I do add to and leave out from the store bought mix to make it my own. It makes it a pretty easy way to prepare some delicious Texas chili (although I’ve heard once you add beans, it’s no longer “Texas” chili…but I disagree!)

Don’t forget to keep scrolling after the recipe to read all about our family’s annual chili cook off!!

My Texas Chili Recipe
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 pound of lean ground pork
  • 1 12 oz can of diced tomatoes and green chilis (Rotel)
  • 1 12 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 package of 5 alarm chili mix
  • 1 12 oz can of pinto beans with jalapeno
  • Extra chili powder to add in (I can’t give you a measurement, it’s really to your taste.
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon of black pepper
  • Ground cheddar cheese for topping
  • fresh diced onion for topping
  1. Brown hamburger and pork meat, spoon out the excess grease once it’s fully cooked. Don’t rinse as it takes away the flavor and you want a little bit of fat.
  2. Add in the diced onion, diced tomatoes and green chilies, tomato sauce, and start adding the ingredients of the 5 alarm chili mix. I only use the packet of chili seasoning mix and ground red pepper (you don’t have to use the whole packet of pepper, it depends on what you or your family can handle), pinto beans, chili powder, garlic paste and black pepper.
  3. Once you add all of these ingredients, add the water. I don’t use the mesa provided because I don’t like a super thick chili and I don’t add a lot of water. I have about a cup on hand so I can add as I see fit to reach the thickness I enjoy.
  4. Simmer chili on medium low for at least an hour.
  5. Top with cheese, chili, sour cream, chives, or whatever you like!!
  6. Serve up and enjoy!

*I tend to enjoy a very strong chili flavor, that’s why I add extra chili powder.

What’s the Chili Cook Off All About?

People become extremely competitive in their quest to showcase their chili making prowess, so it’s no surprise that when fall arrives, there are loads of chili cooks offs statewide. My favorite one to attend (and I’m TOTALLY biased) is my Mom’s! It’s always the weekend before Halloween and is a mixture of fall celebrations and spookiness for the kids to get into ghoul mode! The gist is, the men, with absolutely no help from their wives, are to prepare an original chili recipe and bring it along with a little cash to enter into the chili cook off. Judges are selected and try the chili…rating each one on taste, consistency, color, heat, etc. The highest score wins the cash pot and the title until they compete the next year. Chili dogs, bowls of chili, Frito pie…any way you can imagine enjoying your chili, it’s available!

The women are responsible for desserts…so you can imagine the massive amounts of food! This year, my favorite dessert was cookies my sister ordered from a local small baker and they were beautifully made and delicious. The business is, Cookies by Chels, and if you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area…look her up!

She makes all kinds of themed cookies and they are wonderful and tasty. Her sugar cookies are flavored with almond extract (from what my taste buds tell me) and they are fantastic!Cookies by Chels

Hocus Pocus, Halloween themed cookies!

Beyond some great chili eating and delicious desserts, we ended the night with a hayride around the ranch. We bundled up with blankets, piled onto a big trailer with the kids and went for a spooky ride through the countryside. This year, after the ride, the last kid standing was my nephew, so we sat around the fire with family and made s’mores. You really can’t beat quality time with family and friends and this event is a blast every year. If you missed it…don’t miss it next year!

Now go make you some chili and enjoy this fantastic fall weather!


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