This brisket chili recipe is a perfect way to use up any leftover smoked brisket you have on hand. When it comes to chili recipes, there are dozens, but this one is award winning, hearty, delicious, and easy to make. This is the best chili recipe and everyone will love it!
The best smoked brisket chili recipe
When you’re looking to make a pot of chili, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming. What to include, how long to simmer it, and how spicy it will be. This recipe is great for so many reasons.
Chili season is a great time of year. One of my favorite things about the first time the leaves begin to change is knowing that chili season is arriving! It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or even to eat on weekends while watching football games.
It’s easy to serve a crowd and a big hit for college kids. It’s easy to feed a small army with a bowl of chili.
This recipe is absolutely delicious. You’ll have small pieces of fall-apart tender brisket combined in a tomato style sauce.
- Comfort food – this Texas brisket chili is the definition of comfort food. It’s hearty and filling.
- Easy to make – it’s really easy to make and doesn’t have a really long cooking time.
- Ready in under 45 minutes – The smoky flavor of the brisket makes it taste like it’s been simmering all day long when it hasn’t!
- Family friendly – because this recipe isn’t overly spicy, it’s great for serving a family.
- Great way to use leftover beef brisket – you’ll get nice little brisket cubes in every bite.
Ingredients you’ll need to make this Texas brisket chili
smoked brisket – this is a great way to utilize leftover chopped brisket. You can use your favorite brisket recipe or buy some from your favorite local bbq restaurant. It will all work well here.
avocado oil – a neutral oil that has a high smoke point
onion – just a small, chopped white or sweet onion works perfect
garlic – I recommend fresh chopped garlic, but the pre-minced kind works great here!
tomato sauce – you’ll want to get the canned tomato sauce, not jarred pasta sauce
chili powder – I use standard chili powder, but a smoked chili powder and even an adobo chili powder are both great
ground cumin – it really adds a great depth of flavor to the chili
salt and pepper – I always recommend coarse kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper. White pepper works here as well.
beef bouillon – beef bouillon cubes add a strong, distinct flavor to the chili
water – this will help loosen the chili a bit so that it isn’t too thick
roasted green chiles – you can buy these canned or jarred, usually in the Mexican food section of your grocery store
pinto beans – canned pinto beans offer a great shortcut (but also optional!)
chili beans in sauce – these are also optional. You can find them with the other beans in your local grocery store. Bush’s makes a great one.
how to make leftover brisket chili
This chili recipe is incredibly simple and easy to make and doesn’t take very long.
- Start by adding the avocado oil to a large sauce pot and heat over medium heat.
- Add in the onion and sauté it until it’s softened and translucent. It will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the onion and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add in the brisket, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, bouillon cube, water, and green chiles. Mix it to combine.
- Bring the chili to a boil and then turn it down to a low simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add in both types of the beans and stir it to combine. Let it heat through for about 5 minutes.
- Serve it up and enjoy!
tips and tricks for the best chili
Sometimes chili can be overly spicy for those with a lower heat tolerance. You can lower the spice level of chili by omitting the green chiles and using less chili powder.
On the other hand, if you want to increase the spice level, add in extra green chiles and chili powder. You can also add in a little cayenne pepper.
Although it seems like simmering it is just an extra step, it really adds a lot more flavor to the entire chili.
If you’re a “no beans” person when it comes to chili, feel free to omit them entirely.
Be sure to use a large pot or Dutch oven for this. That way you’re able to stir and simmer without any issues once the other ingredients have been added.
FAQs about making delicious chili
Yes brisket is naturally a tough cut of meat. That is why it’s always recommended to cook it low and slow. By cooking it properly at a low temperature slowly, you end up with tender, fall-apart meat.
When stored properly, leftover beef brisket will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Substitutions and alterations in this recipe for leftover brisket
You can substitute the brisket for ground beef or a combination of half ground beef and half ground pork. You can also use a slow cooked chuck roast.
If you don’t want to just use green chiles or have a hard time finding them, you can substitute canned rotel.
You can replace the canned pinto beans with black beans, kidney beans, or even cannellini beans.
I often recommend using avocado oil in my recipes because it has a high smoke point and is neutral in flavor. If you don’t have this on hand, you can use extra virgin olive oil instead. You could also use vegetable oil.
You can add in diced bell peppers to the onion saute to increase the veggies. I like using a combination of yellow and red pepper.
You can replace the bouillon and water with beef stock or beef broth.
To make it easy, you can transfer the chili into a slow cooker to simmer or even just to keep it warm while serving.
The best toppings for chili
You can really top chili with a variety of things, but here are some great options:
- cheddar cheese
- diced green onions
- diced onion
- tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla chips
- dollop of sour cream
- chopped fresh cilantro
- diced avocado
- sliced jalapenos
- lime wedges
- diced tomatoes
- pickled red onions
How to store this leftover beef brisket chili recipe
One really great thing about chili is that it’s even better the next day.
The layers of flavors combine together and bring it to the next level.
For leftover chili, let it cool completely and then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When stored properly, it will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze leftover chili. I like to place servings of chili into souper cubes and then freeze them. Once frozen, I pop them out of the containers and put them in a freezer safe bag.
You can take the frozen chili out of the freezer bag and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it’s heated through.
How to reheat leftover chili
To reheat leftover chili, I recommend either placing it in a sauce pot on the stove or in a crockpot. Reheat it slowly while stirring and it will be just as good (if not better) leftover.
What is Texas Chili?
Traditional Texas chili is a type of chili con carne that has it’s own unique flavor. You’ll get more of a TexMex vibe than most other types of chili.
One of the key characteristics of a traditional Texas chili is that it typically does not contain beans. However, over time, a lot of Texas chilis have started to include beans, especially in specific regions of Texas. Traditional Texas chili tends to focus more on the meat and spices.
As far as spices in a Texas chili, because it’s more of a chili con carne, you might find things like ancho chile peppers, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, and adobo sauce.
Traditional Texas chili often has beef as the primary protein, whether it’s ground beef, brisket, or chuck.
Other chili recipes you might like
- Crockpot Chicken Chili
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Crockpot Mexican Chili
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
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- 2 lbs smoked brisket chopped
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 30 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cube beef bouillon
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted green chiles
- 16 ounces canned pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 16 ounces chili beans in sauce
- Add the avocado oil to a large sauce pot and heat over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until it’s softened and translucent. It will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the onion and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add in the brisket, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, bouillion cube, water, and green chiles.
- Bring it to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add in both types of beans and stir to combine. Let it heat through for about 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Sometimes chili can be overly spicy for those with a lower heat tolerance. You can lower the spice level of chili by omitting the green chiles and using less chili powder.
- On the other hand, if you want to increase the spice level, add in extra green chiles and chili powder. You can also add in a little cayenne pepper.
- Although it seems like simmering it is just an extra step, it really adds a lot more flavor to the entire chili.
- If you’re a “no beans” person when it comes to chili, feel free to omit them entirely.
- Be sure to use a large pot or for this. That way you’re able to stir and simmer without any issues once the other ingredients have been added.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.