Terlingua Chili Recipe

Terlingua chili in white bowl with toppings

This chili recipe is packed with flavor and has a little heat.  True Terlingua chili does not have beans, but you can add them if you want!




  1. In large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow to sit for ten minutes.  Mash with a fork into a smooth paste.  Using your hands, mix in the meat along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the bacon grease over medium heat.  Add the onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cayenne until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 4 minutes more, until the garlic is softened and lightly browned.
  3. Add the meat mixture to the Dutch oven, 1 pound at a time, breaking up with a spatula.  Cook until the meat is browned.  Pour in half a can of the crushed tomatoes and scrape the pan to get any browned bits.
  4. Add the remaining crushed tomatoes, beans, soy sauce, sugar, canned chiles, and beer.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 1 hour on low heat.  Remove the lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until it has thickened a little.
  5. Check for seasonings and add salt if desired.  Serve in bowls with sour cream, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.


This can also be prepared in a slow cooker.  At step four, add all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

If using a pressure cooker, cook on low pressure for 20 minutes rather than simmering on the stovetop for 1 hour.

Keywords: Terlingua chili, chili with meatloaf mix, chili with pinto beans