Texas Chili with Gluten-Free Cornbread

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A grey bowl filled with chili and topped with cottage cheese and green onion with corn bread on the side

 This Texas-style chili recipe, which means no tomatoes or beans, has the perfect amount of heat and is super thick with tender chunks of meat. It’s made in one-pot and totally gluten free. Served with some warm cornbread or tortilla chips, it’s the perfect recipe for a cool, fall night.

You can’t get more Texas than a bowl of chili. It’s the official state dish and many people here have recipes that have been in their family for years. But there’s one thing that remains consistent – there are no beans in Texas chili. As quoted by journalist and chili enthusiast, Wick Fowler, “If you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans”.

A big bowl of chili with a spoon inside resting on a striped towel

Beans & Tomatoes as Migraine Triggers

Considering that many types of beans are one of the lesser known migraine triggers, Texas chili is the perfect route for those on the Heal Your Headache diet. Another plus is it’s also considered against Texas chili requirements to add tomatoes to the dish. Although tomatoes are allowed on the diet, the higher histamine content can make them an issue for some. They are also a source of natural glutamate, so for those who are extremely sensitive to MSG, they can potentially cause an issue. We manage to avoid both potential triggers with this recipe!

a scoop of texas chili on a spoon over a bowl

 

Choosing Chili Powder for Texas Chili

I’m not going to lie, my first time making this Texas chili recipe it came out extremely spicy. I do like a little spice to my dish, but not enough where I’m sweating at the table and chug the entire contents of my 25oz S’well bottle in one sitting. Fortunately for my lucky husband, we got to have many more nights of chili testing.

Many Texas chili recipes require you use an assortment of dried chilis that you grind up yourself, but I don’t know many of us that have time for that. I used my favorite Morton and Bassett Natural Chili Powder. It’s a little more expensive, but I love that they clearly state all the ingredients on their label versus the ominous “spices” term. Frontier also makes one that is safe. A few things to look for when choosing chili powder – make sure there’s no onion powder or cocoa powder included if you’re following a migraine diet. Those are two potential triggers. Silicone dioxide is permitted – it’s just to prevent caking of spices.

Chili without Bacon

Another widely used ingredient in chili is bacon, which most of us have had to let go of due to nitrates and high tyramine content in packaged meat. In this recipe I use good butter to add the fat and flavor that you might miss with bacon, but duck fat would be another wonderful way to go for this dish. You can actually buy duck fat in your grocery store, or make it your self by saving the drippings from any duck breast you cook. This would also make the dish dairy free as well, although ghee is also an option for those on a paleo diet.

Other Tips for Texas Chili

If you’re following a migraine diet, I highly recommend making your own broth, although I have a few suggestions for store-bought under my Pantry Staples list.

As far as servings, you’ll want to keep in mind that even though it seems like a lot of meat, you’ll lose a big chunk of that in the fat you trim and discard. I ended up getting a 2.5lb boneless chuck roast and it made about 3-4 servings for us. You may want to double the recipe or get a larger chuck roast if you’d like to have leftovers or need to feed more than 4 adults. This recipe doubles extremely well and cooks within the same amount of time too.

This is also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for those days when you just don’t feel well or need a quick meal on hand! Microwave it in increments, stirring every so often or add to a covered pot with a little bit of broth and bring it to a low simmer. 

stirring a big pot of meat on the stove

pouring broth into texas chili

a big pot of texas chili simmering on the stove

Chili Toppings

There’s so many wonderful toppings you can add to this! A few of my favorite migraine-friendly ones are:

  • Chopped green onions
  • Grated American Cheese – good quality ones are Andrew & Everett and Boar’s Head
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Chopped red radishes
  • Whipped cottage cheese – a great substitute for sour cream

 

gluten free cornbread

Gluten Free Cornbread

Another epiphany I had while making this Texas chili was that cornbread doesn’t contain any yeast, so this is one type of bread you can have fresh out of the oven. While it’s not required to go gluten free on the diet, I know many readers are following that restriction. I used the Trader Joe’s gluten free flour mix which contains brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. I think the combination of all 3 flours works well here, not making the mixture too gritty, as some rice flours can be.

While the cornbread did come out more dense than I’m used to, the flavor was still good and it had a nice crumble to it. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornmeal because that’s all I had on hand. This recipe isn’t sweet, so if you like super sweet cornbread this isn’t the one for you. I have seen other recipes add as much as 1/2 cup of sugar, but this one only has a tablespoon of honey. I’d personally rather save my calories to slather it in butter.

gluten free cornbread

Chili in a gray bowl surrounded by pumpkin cornbread with melted cheese on top

For more paleo and migraine-friendly recipes, check out these posts. And stay tuned for the pumpkin cornbread recipe that’s seen in these pictures! If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram or Facebook @thedizzycook or #thedizzycook and feel free to leave a review. Thank you!

 

4.67 from 6 votes
A grey bowl filled with chili and topped with cottage cheese and green onion with corn bread on the side
Texas Chili
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 

This recipe for Texas-style chili without beans or tomatoes is the perfect hearty beef chili that cooks in just one pot. It's gluten free and see my tips for making dairy-free/paleo.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Texas Chili, Texas-Style Chili
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 443 kcal
Author: The Dizzy Cook
Ingredients
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or ghee *see notes
  • 3 lb boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots, about 2-3 small shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups broth or stock, can be chicken or vegetable
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika I used 1/2 tbsp regular and 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Optional: cilantro, chives or green onions, and cottage cheese to garnish
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Trim the fat from your chuck roast and cut into 1/2inch cubes.

  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of ghee or butter on medium high in a large dutch oven. Cook meat till browned on both sides. I salt my meat with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt here, but if you're sodium sensitive you can wait till the very end to see if it needs any. 

    stirring a big pot of meat on the stove
  3. Add chopped shallots and minced garlic and stir for about a minute. Pour in all 4 cups of vegetable broth. Your meat should be barely covered by the broth. 

    pouring broth into texas chili
  4. Add chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Do NOT add the cumin here, it will come later. Bring all ingredients to a boil, cover and turn down the heat to simmer on low.

    a big pot of texas chili simmering on the stove
  5. Simmer for 1 hour and check. If it looks like there's still too much liquid, remove the cover and allow to simmer for an extra 30 min uncovered. If there's not enough, you can add more broth. Add the cumin here and mix in. Simmer another 30 minutes or until your desired thickness is achieved - I prefer mine a little thicker rather than soupy.

  6. Add salt, pepper, or any additional spices as you need. Serve warm or cool and add to ziplock bags to freeze and reheat at a later date.

Recipe Notes
  • You will lose about 1/2 pound of the meat weight when you trim the fat so keep that in mind for serving size
  • I prefer to use 1/2 smoked paprika and 1/2 regular paprika as I think it adds a great smokey flavor to the dish, but either one will do. 
  • To make this dairy free, you can use duck fat instead of butter or ghee. For paleo, use ghee. 
Nutrition Facts
Texas Chili
Amount Per Serving (2 cups)
Calories 443 Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Fat 46g71%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Cholesterol 250mg83%
Sodium 1899mg83%
Potassium 1237mg35%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 66g132%
Vitamin A 2471IU49%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 79mg8%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

4.67 from 6 votes
gluten free cornbread
Gluten-Free Cornbread
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Adapted from Bob's Red Mill

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal I used gluten-free, fine ground would also be good
  • 1 cup gluten free flour I used Trader Joe's All Purpose
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup kerrygold unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients and add egg, milk and butter. Fold in wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. 

  2. Pour batter into a greased 8x8in pan and baked 20-25 min until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.

13 comments

  1. Diane

    Looks amazing! Wondering if it’s ok to brown beef in olive oil. Thanks

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Hi Diane – of course! I just love the rich flavor the butter adds since you’re missing out on the bacon, but olive oil is another good alternative.

      Reply

  2. Nicols

    5 stars
    Hi – i’m struggling with the stock/broth I’m based in the UK and really not sure what to look for or where to buy from can you suggest any.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Hi – store-bought broth is really tough. Do you happen to have the Pacific brand? I know Whole Foods carries it, depending on where you live. They have a low sodium vegetable broth. It’s not perfect because it has onion, but I’ve seen a lot of people be able to tolerate it, even if they can’t have raw onion. If you’re super strict about onion, you can try to find this one from Pacific too. The only other option I’ve really found is to make your own. I have some good options in this Pantry Staples post.

      Reply

  3. Nicola

    Thanks – we don’t have a whole foods in the UK I will check some health food shops out but I’m guessing I will have to make my own. Thanks for replying

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Hi Nicola,

      I think they’ve opened a few recently if you check here…maybe one is close to you? https://www.wholefoodsmarket.co.uk/
      I’ll let you know if I ever come across one in the UK that’s safe! Wish I could ship some to you.

      Reply

  4. Nicola

    Thanks! I had no idea, just looked they are in London, I’m in Manchester, I’ve emailed them hopefully they will expand their stores soon! wish you could so! thanks for being so helpful!

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Of course! 🙂

      Reply

  5. Nancy Panyon Fick

    5 stars
    Just made this again last night. I love it. By the time you are done simmering the chili the the beef melts in your mouth. I never tried Texas chili before, but am a fan of it now. I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chili power and that was enough for me. I also made the corn bread to go with it and since I have a bit of a sweet tooth I added 1/4 cup sugar and left the honey out. It turned out perfect, not too sweet. This is a great recipe for the cold winter day.

    Reply

  6. Mickayla

    4 stars
    I found this cornbread to be very dry and crumbly. I’m not sure if that’s because I could only find medium ground cornmeal, or if it was because my GF flour blend doesn’t have xanthan gum like a lot of the ones that say “all purpose” do. Either way I wouldn’t make this cornbread again without some type of modification to the recipe, perhaps adding xantham gum when I’ve reintroduced it. The flavour was excellent though.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Hi Mickayla, Dang! The flour can have a lot to do with it. If I’m using one without a gum, I like to add psyllium husk powder and let the batter sit for a bit for baking. I’ll try this again adding an extra egg to it.

      Reply

  7. Rachel

    What can I use if I dont have a dutch oven?

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Any big pot with a lid or cover with foil!

      Reply

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