This Hormel Chili No Beans Copycat Recipe is so close to the original but easy to modify to your own taste and texture preferences. This chili sauce is perfect for hot dogs or hamburgers but also makes a great chili spaghetti sauce.
The making of Hormel Chili No Beans Copycat Recipe
Can one have too many chili sauces? Apparently not as I add my latest chili treat to my site, my "The Best Hormel Chili No Beans" copycat recipe to my other two, or, if you count Gail's Chili Gravy, three chili recipes.
But this recipe addition is necessary as each of my Chili recipes is uniquely different in taste and use. Lindy's Chili Gravy is more like a New York Coney Dog or Cincinnati chili recipe. My der Wienerschnitzel recipe, well, obviously that mimics der Wienerschnitzles famous flavors but for me, it's too sweet to eat all the time.
So what was missing? Well, my favorite other chili dog topping, Hormel chili without beans.
Hormel Chili No Beans vs Hormel Chili No Beans Copycat Recipe
Ingredients for Hormel Chili Copy-Cat Recipe
Fresh ingredients are one of the biggest differences between canned Hormel Chili and making this easy copy-cat recipe fresh from scratch.
Let's face it, Hormel Chili without beans is mostly sauce. There is really very little meat about it. While it's a good sauce, it also has those pesky stabilizers and hydrogenized soy, corn, and wheat products. You can do it without all of these!
- Ground beef AND ground pork - see more detail below in The Meat.
- The Spice Mix - the spice mix is made up of chili powder, ground cumin, powdered garlic, onion powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Finely chopped fresh onion - I use a yellow onion.
- Tomato Paste
- H2o - better known as water
The Meat to Sauce Ratio
Just like the original, I use a combo of ground beef and ground pork.
How much meat is up to you, but I used a ratio of 4 parts ground beef to 1 part ground pork.
As the recipe is written, this gives the end result a much meatier result than the canned version. If you would like more sauce, less meat, simply adjust the amounts of meat you use. If you want more meat, again, use more meat. Just keep the ratios the same.
Of course, if you are making a larger batch you will need to adjust the water and spices accordingly. Goes without saying right? Well, if not, there, I said it.
While it's impossible to get the meat to the exact consistency as the Hormel canned chili, since they do use textured soy protein, if you like a less meaty consistency, you can use an immersion blender to do a few quick pulses that will break those larger pieces of meat into a smoother consistency, giving you a more saucelike chili result.
And remember, you are NOT going to brown the meat, you are only going to "grey" it. It sounds horrid, but really, just get it to not be in a raw state anymore and you are good to go.
Chili Needs to Simmer
A good chili needs some simmer time to allow all the flavors to fully blend. An hour at least, two hours is better, and if you can cook it and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, better still.
Can I cook this in a Slow-Cooker or Crock-Pot?
Yes, slow-cooking is a great way to develop the flavors in this Copycat Chili Recipe. Check your manufacturer's directions for best results, but generally 3 hours on high, or 5 - 6 on low should get great results.
Can I Freeze Hormel Chili No Beans Copycat Recipe?
Yes, yes, and yes. And that's another one of the beautiful parts of making your own fresh recipe. After cooling it fully, portion it in containers and pop them into the freezer. You can then use them at will. Without waste.
I like to portion them into 1 cup servings, once frozen, I put them in seal-a-meal bags if I plan to keep the chili for more than a month so it doesn't develop any freezer burns. Freezer burns, BTW, are really more cosmetic in the case of chili, but I guess it's that old, eat with your eyes thing that makes me want to avoid it. You can also store the chili as my mother is fond of doing, in a zip-top bag. Get all the air out of the bag to make a nice flat package and it's easily stackable in the freezer.
Speaking of Freezing - Tomato Paste
You may notice this recipe only uses 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. This, of course, leaves at least a half a can sit in the refrigerator waiting to get mold on top of it or be used up quickly.
I found the cure!
Tomato paste freezes. And it freezes well.
I take 2 tablespoon amounts and drop them on a plate, stick them into the freezer, and once frozen, place them into a zip-top bag to be used at my convenience, and as needed.
Look Ma, no mold.
So grab yourself a chili dog (or try it on a hamburger for the perfect chili size). Sit back, relax. Enjoy the show, or hopefully someday, a rip-roaring nail-biting game.
Enjoy with Homemade Baked Potato Chips or Skillet French Fries for the perfect dinner, drive-in, or dive, lunch, or dinner.
Hormel Chili No Beans Copycat Recipe
- 2 pounds lean ground beef 80/20
- ½ pound ground pork not flavored, just meat
- 1 cup finely diced onion about ½ large
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cups water
- For The Spice Mix
- ¾ cup good-quality chili powder I like Gebharts
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional or to taste
- Salt to taste start with 1 ½ teaspoons and go from thereTo Finish
- ⅓ cup Wondra flour
- ⅓ cup masa
- Water as needed to make a loose paste
- Add the beef and pork to a cold pan, set heat to medium-low. Stir and break the meats up into small bits, mixing them together. As the juices from the meat begin to render, add the onion and saute until the onion is tender and the meat is cooked through - do not brown - just "grey" the meat. Add the tomato paste and cook it into the meat and onions. Add the water and stir well. (you should have fine pieces of meat floating in what seems like too much water).
- Stir in the spice mix. Partially cover and simmer for at least an hour so the flavors meld. You can simmer longer, if desired, up to 2 hours.
- Mix the Wondra flour with the masa in a small bowl. Add water and stir to form a thin paste. Add to the simmering chili and stir until the chili begins to thicken. If the chili is not thick enough, after about 5 minutes, make and add more of the flour/masa mix. Add slowly until you have a nice thick chili. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Great recipe! Tastes awesome -- best chili dogs ever!
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time to give it a positive review! Cheers ~ Lindy
I’m just double-checking, 3/4 CUP of chili powder?
Yes sir re bob, 3/4 cup. It's chili sauce after all. This is a commercial chili powder, not ground chilies or cayenne pepper. Most "chili powders" also contain salt, cumin, and ground oregano, some have onion salt and garlic salt as well. So it's not 100% spicy. Cheers ~ Lindy
Gotta have some paprika, keep adding chili powder by taste until
you hit the sweet spot. And of course around a 1/4 cup of plain white
sugar to make everything pop with flavor. I make pot to brim.
Basil goes in everything of course, simmer, simmer, simmer.,Qt.Tomato juice,and Pint of salsa.
Hormel is the bomb fpr chili dogs so just buy it and save home made for
the winter months.
OK, what you are making here sounds like a darn fine chili hot dog sauce, but it would not be Hormel Chili. No bail no paprika, no salsa. BUT that is the joy of cooking...taking a recipe and making it your own. Cheers ~ Lindy
What if I can't find masa, is there a substitute?
Masa does have a distinct flavor, but if you can't find any then I would suggest fine cornmeal or if you are just looking to thicken, increase the Wondra flour. You could also grind up some corn chips into a fine powder in your food processor. It will add salt, but the flavor will be close to masa, or even find dried hominy and grind your own. Cheers ~ Lindy
A well known replacement for masa is jiffy cornbread mix in the blue and white box.
Alas, cornmeal and masa have different flavors. While the fine cornmeal in a Jiffy cornbread mix will thicken the chili, it will not add the same 'masa' flavor. But overall would do...Thanks for writing in. Cheers ~ Lindy
We are mostly keto…. At the very least low carb So I just used beef gelatin powder and chicken stock instead of water…. It really beefed up the protein and thickened up perfectly. Thanks for the recipe : )
Thank you so much for writing in Chrissy. This is information I would not have known, not being Keto, I'm glad it worked and you enjoyed the recipe. Cheers ~ Lindy
What is “The Spice Mix”?
The spice mix is the spices listed below those words...that's just how it appears on the recipe card in this program. It should be a heading, I guess it does look like it should be an "ingredient" Hope the clarifies. Cheers ~ Lindy
Do you know if it would be possible to can this?
I would think that your could preserve it in jars using the proper methods. If that's what you mean by "can" it. However, it does freeze beautifully and what I do is put it in 2 cup Glad containers and freeze it. Once it is fully frozen I transfer to seal-a-meal bags which helps shelf life for up to a year or more. Hope that helps. Cheers ~ Lindy
We have to eat gluten free due to my son having celiac disease, we miss hormel no beans chili! The only gluten free option is hormel with beans, glad it's an option but I'd love to be able to make this no bean chili! Do you think I can substitute the wondra flour with. Gluten free flour blend?
Hi Sarah, Wondra is just superfine flour so I would think that if you used your blender or food processor to make the bread flour even finer than it is it would work. The main thing you are trying to accomplish is "to thicken with no lumps". Since you are going to mix the flour and masa together until smooth you should be able to add it into the chili just fine. Let me know how it works...Cheers ~ Lindy
Sarah, just exclude the Wondra and increase the use of masa for a gluten free option. Otherwise, you might look into using xanthan gum as the extra thickener instead of the flour, but it is not as easy to get at your local grocery store.
Hi Greg, using more masa will change the flavor of the finished dish to a certain extent, I think that using cornstarch would work as well as Wondra with less texture or flavor changes. Cheers ~ Lindy
You would have to use a approved canning substitute like clearjel since pressure canning flour isn’t a good idea (can have botulism growing) although the masa part is from corn so should be safe.
I did a little research on this Sarah, and you are correct. I didn't know this about canning with flour - it is not recommended in a CANNING sense, however, since I recommend only portioning and freezing the chili, that is what I do, and that works just Otherwise the recommendation would be to can it without the thickeners and thicken when you open the canned chili. I'll stick with freezing. Cheers ~ Lindy
No, you can't "can" this recipe because of the flour and masa. You could exclude it and add in when heating up to serve. Flour and thickness are never recommended to pressure can.
Hi Leslie, there is a mixed camp on flour use in canning, but overall, I agree it's not a good or necessary step.. It's why I just freeze my portions in plastic tubs and once frozen transfer the "block" of chili to seal-a-meal freezer bags for long term storage. Cheers