Lady Bird Johnson’s Pedernales Chili

Lady Bird Johnson’s Pedernales Chili is perfect if you are looking for a good chili recipe? Lady Bird Johnson was known to pass out this recipe to all.

pedernales chili in a skillet

Pedernales Chili was a chili recipe from Lady Bird Johnson’s cook, Zephyr Wright. She used to pass out this recipe to everyone. If you are looking for a classic Texas chili, this recipe is the one you want. This chili has no beans.

This chili con carne recipe was the chili that was served at the White House. The recipe was so popular she printed it out on recipe cards to pass out to anyone that wanted the recipe.

History of Pedernales Chili

This recipe was served at the LBJ Ranch, and at the White House. The Chili got its name from the LBJ ranch.
Pedernales is the name of the ranch owned by the Johnson family.

Flavorful Chili in a short amount of time!

This chili does not take long at all to prepare, in fact, you can have this savory and slightly spicy chili in just about an hour.

Chili Simplicity

This recipe is not made with exotic ingredients, in fact, this recipe is very easy to make. You will need beef, chili powder, onions, tomatoes, and some hot sauce. This chili con carne is simply delicious and is quite the historical treasure.

Recommended variations

This chili recipe is over 70 years old, and a lot has changed this Lady Bird Johnson that created this recipe. Our taste buds have gotten used to heat, so you may want to add additional heat to this chili. This recipe is also a bit thin. You may want to add some masa, or even some crushed up corn chips to thicken this chili.

beef chili in a skillet

Can’t get enough chili? Try these chili recipes

Chilis Original Chili Recipe
Wendy’s Chili Recipe
Quick Chili – a tried and true family recipe.

pedernales chili from lady bird johnson

Lady Bird Johnson's Pedernales Chili

Make Lady Bird Johnson's Pedernales Chili at home with this recipe.  As with many Texas Chilis, this recipe has no beans. Give this recipe a try for your next chili cook off.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lady Bird Johnson's Pedernales Chili
Servings: 12
Calories: 294kcal


  • 4 pounds chili meat (beef chuck ground or cut into + inch dice)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 14.5 ounces canned whole tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2-6 generous dashes of liquid hot sauce (I recommend Frank's Red Hot Sauce)


  • Saute the meat, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until lightly colored. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, hot sauce, and 2 cups hot water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Skim off fat while cooking. Salt to taste.


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4mg
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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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