Slow-Cooker Texas Chili


In the Lone Star state, chili usually means brisket in a spicy tomato-based sauce, and don't even think about adding beans. And even die-hard Texans will approve of this bowl of red. Made with two types of dried chiles—ancho and guajillo—plus jalapenos and chipotle chile powder, you'd think this recipe would light your mouth on fire, but a low and slow cook time mellows out the spicy ingredients to make a richly flavored, balanced chili. If you've never cooked with dried chiles before, fear not. All you need to do is rehydrate them in hot water and let them soak for 30 minutes to soften. Then, use a food processor to blend the chiles into a puree with some of the soaking water. Like most chili recipes, this one is best prepared a day or two in advance and tastes even better after all the flavors have had time to come together. Serve alongside your favorite cornbread recipe and favorite chili toppings and enjoy a hearty meal that practically cooks itself.

Slow-Cooker Texas Chili
Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 50 mins
8 serves


  • 3 whole dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed

  • 2 whole dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 2 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 4 cups chopped yellow onion (from 2 large onions)

  • 3/4 cup beef broth

  • 5 tablespoons minced garlic (from 8 large garlic cloves)

  • 1 (28-oz.) can tomato puree

  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced (about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, thinly sliced scallions


  1. Place dried ancho and guajillo chiles in a blender, and cover with 1 cup hot tap water; soak 30 minutes. Drain and discard half of the liquid, reserving remaining 1/2 cup soaking liquid in blender. Process mixture until smooth, about 5 seconds. Set aside chile puree.

  2. Stir together flour, chipotle chile powder, cumin, dried oregano, and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a medium bowl. Add beef cubes to flour mixture; toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

  3. Stir together onion, beef broth, garlic, tomato puree, fire-roasted tomatoes, jalapeño chile, and chile puree in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add beef mixture to slow cooker; stir to combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW until beef is very tender, about 9 hours. Stir in sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; serve with desired toppings.

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