Miranda Lambert's Famous Chili

If it's good enough for Nonny, you know it's just plain good.

Miranda Lambert's Buckshot Chili from cookbook Y'all Eat Yet?

Emily Dorio

8 to 10

You can't help but feel "Nonny" in everything Miranda Lambert writes in her new cookbook, Y'all Eat Yet? From the first words of her introduction, Lambert makes clear who was the heartbeat of her family—and whose traditions and words direct the family still.

"To this day, people talk about Nonny's cookies—and her Thanksgiving dressing. She'd say the secret 'was in the hands,' but I think it was in the heart. Everything she cooked, you could taste the love," Lambert writes.

If Nonny's gifts could be inherited, Lambert says they have been—by her own mother, Bev. "I've never seen anyone do more with less!" Lambert writes. "Out of an almost-empty pantry, she could make a dinner that would be fit for a king, Dolly Parton, or the preacher." (We shared the recipe for Bev's Famous Meatloaf a few years ago in Southern Living.)

If you're feeling right at home with these descriptions of a Texas grandmother and mother, then you're going to fit right in with the stories, family cooks, and recipes in Lambert's new cookbook.

And what recipe separates a good cook from a fair to middling one? A good chili, that's what. Lambert shares that chili was a part of many holidays, gatherings, and even her Sweet 16, when they had chili dogs and Frito pie. Her 10th birthday? Her mom threw together a honky-tonk show and chili cook-off. So you can bet, she knows a good chili when she sees one.

Y'all Eat Yet by Miranda Lambert cookbook cover

Courtesy of Dey Street Books

Ingredients for Miranda Lambert's Famous Chili Recipe

Ingredients-wise, this recipe for "Buckshot Chili" is as about as straightforward as chili recipes come. For it, you'll need ground beef (Lambert notes she prefer chili grind) and ground chuck. From the produce section, you'll also need both yellow and white onions, some extra-virgin olive oil, and a jalapeño (if you like hot chili).

Grab some cans of diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and pinto beans. Then from the spice drawer, you'll need hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.

After that, all you'll need is what you want to serve on top. Lambert suggests cheese, onions, sour cream, cilantro, and Fritos. (I'm guessing she wouldn't argue if you turned this chili into Frito Pie in honor of her 16th birthday party.)

Directions for Making Miranda Lambert's Famous Chili Recipe

The full recipe is detailed below, but here's a quick outline of how to make Miranda Lambert's chili.

First, you'll want to brown all three pounds of meat. You may need to work in batches if your skillet isn't large enough for browning so much meat. But once it's all browned, you can add it to your soup pot or Dutch oven.

While the beef is browning, warm the olive oil, then sauté the jalapeño and onions until tender in a large stockpot. Then add the browned meat as it's finished.

Stir in the canned tomatoes (both kinds), hot sauce, and all the seasonings. Bring this full mixture to a boil, then let it simmer for about 3 hours.

If you're going to add the beans—and we know how Texans feel about beans in their chili—you'll add it in the last our of simmering.

Then, all that's left is scooping the chili into a bowl and adding whatever toppings you want. Lambert also suggests you serve with her Jalapeño Cornbread recipe.

Tips for Making the Best Chili

Miranda Lambert's Buckshot Chili recipe is classic. You won't find much that disappoints, and she's already given you several ways to personalize it—add or leave out jalapeño; add or leave out pinto beans.

These tips will help you ensure the chili you make is as memorable as all the ones Lambert writes about in her cookbook.

  • Simmer for several hours: Lambert's recipe calls for simmering 4 hours. This is how the flavors of all the spices, meat, and beans meld. It's also how you get a thick, stew-like chili and not a thin, soupy one.
  • Adjust the heat: If you're sensitive to pepper, you can skip, halve, or just cut back on how much jalapeño you're adding to the chili. Same goes for the hot pepper sauce and chili powder. You can also reach for a milder chili like a poblano or Anaheim.
  • Make ahead: If you think chili is good as soon as it's cooked, wait until you try it after it has had a chance to sit for a day in the fridge. That's when the magic happens and the favors all come together. Just give it a quick simmer to reheat it.


  • 2 pounds ground beef, preferably chili grind, or ground venison

  • 1 pound ground chuck

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Miranda likes Ro-Tel)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

  • 1/4 cup chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained (optional)

  • Topping suggestions: cheese, onions, sour cream, cilantro, and Fritos

  • 1 recipe Jalapeño Cornbread (in cookbook), for serving


  1. In a large skillet, working in batches if necessary, cook the ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

  2. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and jalapeño, if using, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the browned meat, the tomatoes, hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Add the beans, if using, and simmer on low for an additional hour.

  3. Ladle the chili into bowls, garnish with the desired toppings, and serve with Jalapeño Cornbread.


From Y'ALL EAT YET? by Miranda Lambert with Holly Gleason. Copyright © 2023 by Miranda Lambert. Reprinted by permission of Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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