Real Texas Chili Variations

This best-selling mix is wonderful with the 5-ingredient recipe on the back of the package but sometimes you need a bit of variety. Try one of these variations next time you're craving some award-winning chili!

Please note: all these make enough to feed a large, hungry crowd so use your largest pot or halve if you don't need too many leftovers.

Cincinnati Chili with a Texan Twist


  • 32 oz Spaghetti

  • 4 T Olive Oil

  • 3lbs Ground Beef (best is a mix of fattier and leaner cuts)

  • 3 White Onions, chopped

  • 3 T Minced Garlic

  • 1 (28 oz) Can of Tomato Sauce

  • 4 c Water

  • 2 (28 oz) Cans of Diced Tomatoes

  • 1 package Real Texas Chili Mix

  • 1/2 C Red Wine Vinegar

  • 4 t Ground Cinnamon

  • 4 t Ground Allspice

  • 1/4 C Light Brown Sugar

  • 1/4 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

  • 4 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded


  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion until just starting to soften. Add ground beef and garlic and cook until beef is brown.

  2. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, light brown sugar, and cocoa. Heat over medium-high until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least an hour.

  3. Fifteen minutes before ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add spaghetti. Cook past the al dente stage. Drain.

  4. Serve chili over spaghetti and top with cheddar cheese.

Vegetarian Texas Chili

(aka Heretic Chili)


  • 3/4 c Olive Oil, divided

  • 4 lg Bell Peppers (any color)

  • 4 Poblano Peppers

  • 4 c Cauliflower, chopped

  • 2 lg White Onions, chopped

  • 8 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

  • 4 c Vegetable Broth

  • 2 (32 oz) cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained

  • 4 (15 oz) cans Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 (15 oz) cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 c Beer (may substitute 1 c Vegetable Broth)

  • 1 (12 oz) can Tomato Paste

  • 1 c Cider Vinegar

  • 3 T Soy Sauce

  • 6 T Lemon Juice

  • 1 pkg Real Texas Chili Mix

  • 4 T unsweetened Cocoa Powder

  • 4 T Salt

  • 2 t Sugar


  1. Wash bell peppers, poblano peppers, and chopped cauliflower and place on a baking tray in an oven set to broil. Let brown, turning the peppers and stirring the cauliflower until the peppers have brown blisters and cauliflower is partially golden. Remove from oven and let cool a bit before seeding and chopping peppers.

  2. Heat 1/3 c olive oil in largest pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and jalapeno and cook until soft. Add bell peppers, poblano peppers, and jalapeno (if using) and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. 

  3. Add all remaining ingredients to pot and mix to combine.

  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for at least an hour.

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