I’ve given the famous Texas Roadhouse Chili recipe a healthy makeover. It’s packed with tender chunks of beef, sweet vegetables and a sauce that packs a punch.
I first became acquainted with this dish when my then-boyfriend (now husband) told me all about his visit to the US many moons ago. Interspersed between the chatter about exciting adventures and incredible sites, were ooohs and arrrhs about all the delicious food he ate with one of the highlights being a visit to a Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
Since then I have made many, many attempts to recreate this particular dish for him. Given that he is a very firm but fair food critic, I know that I have struck gold with this version of the classic Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe as I now have his seal of approval and go-ahead to publish here on the blog.
There’s something to be said about the gentle aroma of a homemade chili wafting from your kitchen. It certainly deserves a little smugness from the chef who prepared it! There is a degree of nurturing required for this Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe, but a little bit of gentle love and attention upfront makes for a chili dish that is deliciously rich in flavor with a slightly piquant warmth from the spices. You certainly won’t want to go back to a shop-bought packet or ready-meal after trying this.
The low and slow cooking process of this Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe ensures that the beef is tender, the vegetables sweet and a sauce that really packs a punch!
My Take on Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe Ingredients
Unlike a traditional Mexican chilli, this Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe calls for braising steak (chuck steak). I opt for the ‘low and slow’ method of cooking here to ensure the finished dish has richness in flavour and melt in the mouth beefiness. Don’t be fooled into thinking this dish is a labour of love though. It practically cooks itself once the preparation is out of the way.
You’ll need carrots, onion and celery – referred to as the vegetable trinity in my kitchen – as the starting point for this recipe. These three keys ingredients provide the base for so many dishes on which layer upon layer of flavour can be added. These veggies are a great carrier of flavour and add their own sweetness to the recipe.
I’ve suggested peppers as the other vegetable in my version of this recipe. Again, they carry flavour well and won’t turn to mush in the extended cooking process. You could add squash, sweet potato or courgette for added nutrients and fibre. Alternatively, you could leave out the extra veg altogether if you prefer.
For full instructions on how to make this Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe from scratch, head on down to the recipe card below.
Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe Variations
Veggie Chili Recipe
I sometimes do a vegetarian version of my Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe. Overall, it’s a lighter dish that takes less time to cook. I simply add extra veg – squash, peppers, sweet potato usually – and replace the beef stock for a good quality veggie stock. I also add double the quantity of kidney beans.
It would taste good with a meat alternative such as Quorn too.
How to Use a Basic Chili recipe to Create Other Dishes
This delicious Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe is a great way to feed a crowd and will stretch even further if you use it as a base for enchiladas, tachos or nachos. My family love it spooned over jacket potatoes with a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top. My husband adds jalapenos and finely sliced red onion for an extra kick.
Adding Extra Spice to Chili Con Carne
By all means add extra chili powder or jalapenos if you prefer a spicier chili. I sometimes add cubes of spicy chorizo for a meatier taste and texture. I’d suggest adding 125g of chorizo that’s been chopped into bite-sized chunks at the same time you add the peppers. Stir the chunks of chorizo in the pan for a few minutes until they brown slightly then continue with the rest of the recipe.
For more delicious recipe ideas to feed a crowd and make in advance, how about my delicious Healthy Cannelloni Recipe or Healthy Chicken Keema? Both have been given a makeover and are healthy and delicious versions of the classic dishes. They are straightforward to make, will feed a crowd and are great for batch cooking.
My Own Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe
- Large flameproof cooking pot with lid
- Large skillet or frying pan
- 1 Kg braising or chuck steak trimmed of fat and cut into 1inch cubes
- 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 Red and 1 green pepper seeds removed and finely diced
- 1 tbsp hot chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried herbs marjoram is good
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400g tin kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 beef stock cube check labels if your preference is gluten-free
- 750 millilitres water from a boiled kettle
- In a large frying pan cook the cubed beef over a medium heat until lightly browned. You may need to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer the beef to a large flameproof cooking pot. Make sure the pot has a well-fitting lid as you’ll need it later.
- In the same frying pan add 1tbsp olive oil and then add the onion, celery and carrot. Fry on a low heat for 10 minutes until slightly translucent and very soft. A gentle cook like this will ensure the veg is super sweet and adds a further layer of flavour to the finished chilli.
- Add the garlic, peppers, dried herbs, chilli powder, cumin and paprika to the frying pan. Give everything a good stir to combine all the ingredients together. Cook over a low heat for a further 2 minutes stirring often.
- Add the vegetable and herb mixture to the large flameproof cooking pot containing the cooked beef.
- Place the cooking pot over a medium heat. Add the stock cube, tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato puree. Give everything a stir and let it bubble away for a minute or 2 before adding the boiling water.
- Allow the mixture to come up to the boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes to make sure that everything is combined.
- Pop on the lid and then transfer the cooking pot to an oven that’s been pre-heated to 160 degrees centigrade.
- Cook for 2-2.5 hours until the beef is meltingly tender. Give the chili a stir after each hour of cooking. If the sauce looks too thick add a little boiled water to loosen it up.
- Serve with a side of rice or salad.
My Take on Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe Substitutes
Chili Con Carne with Pork and Beef Mince
For a less expensive version of this recipe you could replace the chuck steak for a combination of pork and beef mince. I use equal quantities of pork and beef mince (500g of each). I prefer the flavour and the end result is a less course texture. The cooking time can be reduced to 1.5-2 hours.
Chili with Turkey Mince
Turkey mince has much less fat than red meat making it a good low-fat chili option. Again, the cooking time can be reduced significantly to 1 hour. I like to cook this mid week for a hearty chilli to be enjoyed with rice and tortilla.
Can I Substitute Kidney Beans for other Beans, Pulses or Legumes?
As is only right and proper for any good chili dish I’ve used kidney beans as the legume of choice here. They add colour and texture and are especially high in fibre. Including high fibre food in our diet is a good way of helping to decrease the rate at which sugar is absorbed in our bodies and therefore preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes.
There are many other beans (legumes) that provide a good source of fibre as well high amounts of vegetable protein and vitamins and minerals (B vitamins especially). This chili would taste delicious with black beans or pinto beans as a substitution for kidney beans.
My preference is for canned beans as they are convenient and ready to use straight from the can. Avoid those that have salt or sugar added to them. Dried beans are readily available, cheaper to buy but take a little more preparation because they need to be soaked and cooked before they can be added to most recipes.
The bottom line is that beans are delicious, underrated, and underutilized. They really are something to shout about in terms of promoting good health. Incorporating beans into our diet and eating them regularly can contribute to improving gut health, maintaining blood sugar and contributing to good heart health. I rest my case!
If you’re short on time you could always blitz the vegetables in a food processer to cut out the chopping time. Just be sure to stir them often when you are initially frying them in the pan to avoid them catching and burning. This will avoid giving the overall dish a burnt aftertaste.
Although not particularly authentic, I often add extra vegetables such as courgette, mushrooms, half a butternut squash or aubergine to this dish to create extra bulk and allow the dish to stretch further. Add these at the same time as adding the peppers.
On special occasions, I might add half a glass of red wine to the pan before I add the tomatoes and stock. If you do this, make sure you allow the red wine to bubble in the meat and veg mixture for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol. This addition adds even more depth of flavor.
The cooked dish always benefits from leaving the flavors to mingle – ideally overnight. This unquestionably intensifies the flavor and also the tenderness of the meat. Good luck in trying to keep it away from hungry mouths once they smell the aroma of it while it is cooking though!
If you do manage to allow the chili to stand overnight ready to eat the following day it’ll just need a gentle re-heat on the hob or microwave until piping hot.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge a plastic container and eaten for lunch the following day. Alternatively, decant as above and pop it in the freezer for another day. It can be stored for 3-6 months. The chili freezes really well too so it’s great to cook in larger batches by doubling or tripling the ingredients. Store in portion-sized freezer-safe pots or bags for up to 1 month.