Gluten-Free Texas Brisket Chili

Serves 6

Oh, how I love the taste buds of my fellow Texans: big, bold and hearty! This Texas-style chili with brisket is no exception. Normally, brisket chili takes all day to cook and uses a combination of dried chilis, but to make life easier I used jarred and a good-ole Instant Pot to get this rich, beefy stew on the table more quickly and with a lot less work. The end result is everything you’ve ever dreamed of on a cold day to warm you up. And the best part is that the next day’s leftovers are even better. Yee-haw! (Have more time? See below for slow cooker instructions.)

Alex Snodgrass, The Defined Dish


  • 3-pound flat-cut brisket, excess fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 ½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup low-sodium beef broth or water
  • ¼ cup mild roasted green chilis (from a jar)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (omit for Whole30 or Paleo)
  • For serving (optional)
  • 2 green onions (green parts only), sliced (½ cup)
  • 2 radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (omit for Whole30, Paleo or dairy free)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (omit for Whole30, Paleo or dairy free)


Season the cubed brisket with the salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot on the sauté function until it shimmers. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 90 seconds per side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pot and use the sauté function to cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, chili powder and paprika, and cook while stirring for 1 minute.

Return the browned brisket and all of its juices to the pot along with the fire-roasted tomatoes, broth or water, green chilis and balsamic vinegar. Stir until well combined, then turn off the heat by hitting the cancel button.

Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and be sure the vent is sealed. Hit the meat/stew button and set the cook time to 60 minutes on high pressure. When done, carefully release the pressure by turning the valve on top of the Instant Pot. Once the steam has fully released, carefully remove the lid.

Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans (if using) and stir to combine; keep the Instant Pot on warm until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve the chili on its own or topped with green onions, radishes, shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Slow cooker method

You can also use a slow cooker to make this dish. Just follow the same procedure to sauté the brisket and vegetables in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, chipotle chili powder, paprika, fire-roasted tomatoes, broth or water, green chilis and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir in the pinto beans and let cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Top with optional ingredients to serve.