Food | Texas Hold'em Chili

Texas Hold'em Chili 

My simple recipe combines beef and bacon with a flavorful sauce and spices for a hearty pot of chili you’ll devour all winter long.  This lower-carb version contains no beans. By the way, I don't play poker and totally made up Texas Hold'em for a catchy play on words to highlight this adaptation of Texas-styled chili. Well anyway, on to the recipe.

I researched how to bulk up my chili recipe. Traditionally, I made a very simple chili recipe. Technically, I didn't cook much of anything. I would jest that it was more of assembling a chili. Now that I think back to those pots, it now reminds me of those popular Crockpot dump recipes. Just open a bunch of cans, add meat, diced veggies, and spices then set it and forget until hours later. 

Since I began to eat a low-carb diet consistently and dabbling into #keto, I've dropped my carbohydrate intake drastically. This includes some food items that are considered healthy carbs, like beans. I'm not suggesting that anyone do this. Actually, for many people, this restriction is just too strict and would be seen as drastic. That's not the case for me. 

Overall health and eating preferences are extremely personal. So, always remember, do you boo.


My chili has adapted many times over the years, including a SOUTHWESTERN CHILI, which essentially is my Slow Cooker Taco Soup with thickening slurries and reduced at length to create a thicker consistency.  

My current adaptation is Texas-style chili and it will totally fit your low carb needs. We just finished up #NationalSoupMonth and I'm not totally over it yet. Who doesn't love chili all Winter though?


2 lbs beef chuck, cubed
1 lb ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 green pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 small onions, diced 
28 oz crushed tomatoes
2 cups of beef broth
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp oregano 
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4-5 bacon strips
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp hot water


Cut bacon strips into thick bite-size pieces and saute to render fat. Set aside. In the same pan, use the bacon's fat to sear cubed beef pieces that have been liberally seasoned with salt and pepper. Once browned on all sides, set aside seared beef with bacon. The seared beef will continue cooking once the chili is combined, so there is no need to cook through at this point. Next, brown the ground beef thoroughly. Ground meats must be cooked thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria. Drain and set aside ground beef with the other meats.

Dice onions and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Over medium heat, saute peppers and onions, and add garlic once your vegetables have softened. Next, add half of all your dried spices and herbs. Allow them to bloom in the sweated vegetables and remaining oil from the meats.

Return the meats to the pans. Add broth and crushed tomatoes, stir to incorporate, add remaining spices/herbs and bay leaves. Bring chili mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Previous adaptations used a cornstarch slurry to thicken my chili but now I thicken my keto-friendly chili by using xanthan gum. Combine 2 tablespoons xanthan gum with 1 tablespoon hot water to create a xantham gum slurry. Add the slurry mixture to chili for thickening about 15 minutes before the end of cook time. An alternative method is to allow chili to simmer uncovered for the last 5 - 10 minutes of the one hour simmering time to let the liquid evaporates and chili reduces.

Printable Recipe Card 


As stated, my current adaptation of chili has gone through many variations and even the chili pictured is slightly different for the recipe presented in this very post. Why? The cubed beef that I normally buy was nowhere to be found on the day I chose to capture this recipe with photographs. I thought it was pertinent to mention. You might notice the lack of beef "chunks" in my chili and now you have a clear explanation. It was quite tasty either way. Now you can enjoy this easy chili recipe with your family soon.


We opt to use a variety of toppings so each family member can customize their own bowl. Some of my favorites include shredded mild cheddar, diced cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and a sprinkle of green onions. You can, of course, pick whatever suits your preference. 


Check out my Pinterest Board for more Low Carb and Keto friendly ideas!



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