Chilis Original Chili Recipe

Did you know Chilis chili recipe was the foundation for this famous restaurant chain a time ago? Their recipe changed, but this was the recipe they used to pass out as their original recipe.

A spoon of homemade Chilis original chili over a bowl of it.

I was recently researching recipes for my column at Parade Community Table, when I came across for a couple of blog posts about someone who loved Chili’s original chili, and he was upset that they changed their recipe. Now I know that Chili’s used to make most everything in the restaurant, and now it is made in a central location and sent out to restaurants. Yes, they still cook some things there like hamburgers, steaks, and other items. Many restaurants follow this practice, so you always get food that is consistent across their restaurants.

I remember going to Chili’s many years ago and getting a hearty thick bowl of chili that tastes amazing. I don’t go there as much any longer, but I know that while I loved their endless soup and salad lunch combo, it wasn’t quite the same as it used to be. Drewcipher knew why, and received a copy of their old recipe.

For my fellow Texans’, you will love this chili, it has no beans. Chilis chili is a thick, rich chili that is very hearty. If you wanted to thin this chili out, I would add more water, this chili may be too thick, and too spicy for some. I think it is perfect, and wouldn’t touch a thing. I love that this recipe has you cook the onions in a different pan than the chili. I think this adds a nice layer of flavor to the onions. It also keeps their texture much more defined. I am a fan of cooking the onions separately, and I will do this going forward now. Now this recipe isn’t to “copycat” their current version, but an older one, one that I think is much more flavorful than this current version. I hope you enjoy it.

A bowl of homemade Chilis Original style chili.

Do you love Chilis recipes? Check out my other copycat recipes from Chilis.
Copycat Chilis Southwest Egg Rolls
Chilis Salasa – Seriously good, and seriously delicious
Prezidente Margarita – this is the perfect cocktail to get your weekend going.
Chilis Slow Cooker Queso – Perfect for tailgating
Chilis Monterey Chicken – This is a great way to update your ordinary chicken breast.
Chilis Margarita Grilled Chicken – Have some margarita mix? Try this on chicken
Chillis Chocolate Brownie Sundae – This is for your chocolate lovers
Chilis Black Beans – Here is a great way to make some black beans

A bowl of homemade Chili's original chili next to a plate of cornbread slices.

A spoon of copycat Chilis Original style chili over a bowl of it.

Chilis Original Chili Recipe

Here is the chili recipe that Chilis started serving in their restaurants.  This is the no bean chili recipe that put them on the map. 
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chilis Recipes, Keto, Low Carb
Servings: 8
Calories: 626kcal


Chili Spice Blend

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/8 cup salt you can use less if desired
  • 1/8 cup ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper add more if desired

Chili ingredients

  • 4 pounds ground chuck - ground for chili
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon masa harina


  • In a small bowl combine the chili spice ingredients, mix thoroughly. Heat
  •  a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Place meat into the stock pot and cook until the meat is browned. Drain if desired. While meat is browning combine chili spice mix, 3 1/4 cups of water, and tomato sauce in the bowl. Stir until well blended. 
  • Add chili seasoning liquid to the browned meat. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Saute onions in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat in a skillet until the onions are translucent. Add the onions to the chili. Reduce the chili to low and simmer for one hour stirring every 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup water with masa harina. Mix well. Add to chili stock pot, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.


Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 2226mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jack

    Thanks for posting this. I used to go to the original (and only one at the time) Chili’s on Greenville Ave. in Dallas. They served chili, Tacos and burgers and not much else and it was fantastic.
    So once again thanks for the recipe.

  2. Ceil

    Can fine cornmeal be used in place of the Masa Harina?? that only comes in 5 pound bags, no use for it unless I make tamales~

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