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Chili and Beans for Dinner

From a Texas Hill Country town founded by German immigrants comes the best chili I know — adapted from my Oma, although she would have used at least twice as much chili powder, or sometimes she added one or more chili petines (pequins) to the pot.

Gluten-Free Chili and Beans

Gluten-Free Chili and Beans

My grandmother really knew how to cook!  She also diced the meat rather than grinding it — tastes even better, but I don’t do that very often.

Of course, I grew up with this for dinner as often as we could talk Mom into making it.  Now my family enjoys it, too.  In fact, no one in memory has ever turned this down for dinner.   I add a side dish of steamed rice for my husband to mix with his, and definitely a tossed salad for me.  Sometimes we serve it on top of a quesadilla with a dollop of sour cream or a bit of shredded cheddar cheese [avoid these if you’re lactose- or dairy-free], but this chili is great just by itself!


Gluten-Free Chili and Beans for Dinner

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 3 – 4 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounces pinto beans, canned [make sure they’re GF], or cook your own from scratch
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder [make sure it’s GF], or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • garlic, minced, to taste


Brown meat; stir in onion and cook till just transparent.

Add water and remaining ingredients (garlic to taste, if desired); cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer, if you watch that it doesn’t dry out).

It should still have some liquid in it, but not enough to cover the meat.

Once it’s browned and all the ingredients are in it, you can put it in a crockpot for a good long time, so it’s very easy for entertaining or potlucks.

Serve with rice, cornbread, tortilla chips or fresh, warm tortillas, and a crisp tossed salad.


Entered here:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage: Texas Star Chili Cook-Off




For more gluten-free ground beef recipes:

Gluten-Free Cabbage Rolls

Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce – Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Chili with Tomatoes

Ground Beef Hash – Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Tamale Pie

Lasagne with Spinach, Gluten-Free

Stuffed Peppers, Gluten-Free