James Coney Island Chili – a Texas favorite, you can make this anytime.

James Coney Islands are famous in Texas. Don’t miss out on your chance to have a taste at what Texans’ enjoy.  What makes their chili so special is that they use diced chuck steak instead of ground beef.  The diced meat really adds a nice rich flavor to this chili.

James Coney Island Chili

James Coney Island Chili

James Coney Island Chili

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Copycat Restaurant Recipes, CopyKat Recipes, Meat Recipes, Soup Recipes
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Serves: 1
James Coney Island Chili

This is a local favorite and boy is it tasty!


  • 2 1/2 pounds Chuck Steak (tenderized and diced finely)
  • 2 cans beef broth (Campbell's 10.5 ounce can)
  • 3 cans water (10.5 ounce can)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes with the Juice (food process, strain seeds and pulp, measure two cups for Chili, save remainder for another recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pnion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon season salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


In a 4 quart sauce pan brown diced chuck steak in vegetable oil, stir steak frequently until lightly brown. Add beef broth and water. Simmer beef mixture for 1 hour on medium low heat. After beef has been simmering for 1 hour, add 2 cups of tomatoes that have been processed in a blender with their juice. Strain after processing to remove seeds and pulp. Add all spices to meat and tomatoes and stir well. Simmer for forty five to fifty minutes on low heat, stirring from time to time.

Slowly pour enough of the thickening sauce into meat and tomato mixture, to bring it to a thick state, stir constantly. Depending how much the liquid has been reduced, you may need less of the thickener . Simmer on low heat and stir until chili reaches the desired consistently and ready to be served.

Great over hot dogs or served alone with your favorite accompaniments.

Yield: approximately 12 servings

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  • Kevin Lawrence

    Had a coney today. The chili on the dog in the photo is far too chunky, doesn’t look like the original at all.

  • Ratbert

    The recipe says to “Slowly pour enough of the thickening sauce” but there is no such sauce listed in the ingredients and no previous reference in the instructions regarding creating one.

    Also, if straining the tomatoes after processing to remove seeds and pulp, does that mean the ultimately we’re just adding tomato sauce to the mix?

    Thanks for your help in concocting this recipe, JCI is one of the top 5 things I miss about Texas.

    • Shannon

      Stephanie- Please post an answer as this is my question exactly. (Although I live in East Texas and am tempted just to drive over to JCI and get some chili to go.) What “thickening liquid”?

      • Stephanie Manley

        I will have to remake this recipe in the near future. This recipe is more than 8 years old. I am sorry, but I need to work my way back through this recipe to be clear about it. It is possibly and likely that I left out a flour and water slurry that needed to be added to this to help thicken this up.

  • Angela S

    Adding MSG? Really? Can’t we just add salt? (seriously, google “MSG neurotoxin”)

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I have deleted the 1/2 teaspoon of MSG from this recipe. I had later read about MSG and while it was an ingredient used a few years ago pretty regularly, and it is a flavor enhancer, I understand that it is not a healthy thing for people to consume.

    • MSGoblin

      The only thing MSG does to your food is make it taste better

  • joe c

    does anyone have the recipe for that chili sauce stuff that james’s coney island makes that you can squirt into your chili or on the hot dogs? it is a red sauce,chili powder based that they have as a condiment for the chili.

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I don’t have a similar recipe at this time.

    • SRad

      i love that sauce and wish someone would post the recipe

  • http://copykat.com Anonymous

    sounds good