Wonderfully chunky no-bean chili is ready in just 30 minutes, and it’s as flavorful as if you’ve cooked it for hours! Keto option included.
This no-bean chili is such an amazing comfort food. It’s tasty, hearty, and very filling. The best part: this recipe is super easy. It’s ready in just 30 minutes!
My late father in law used to make amazing chili. He would make a huge pot of it, and we would all rave about how good it was, and how it became even better the next day. His recipe did contain beans, and it was delicious.
Can you have chili without beans?
There seem to be different opinions on the question of what is “real chili” and whether it includes beans or not.
I actually like both versions. But for anyone who prefers to avoid beans (such as anyone on a keto or paleo diet), this recipe is obviously the better choice.
A quick and easy chili recipe
While I realize that chili is supposed to be cooked lovingly for at least an hour over low heat, I’m way too impatient for that.
So this recipe is ready in 30 minutes – and it’s intensely flavorful and absolutely delicious. If anything, the meat is juicier because of the shorter cooking time.
The ingredients needed to make no-bean chili
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty chili. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.
Seasoning paste: Cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, tomato paste, and minced garlic. Spices are delicious and healthy, but make sure they are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish!
Vegetables: Onion, bell peppers, and diced tomatoes.
Ground beef: I normally use lean ground beef (85% lean and 15% fat).
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
Beef stock: Store-bought is fine. When I have some homemade bone broth in the freezer, I use that.
Dried bay leaf: Adds an extra layer of flavor, but not mandatory.
A keto version of this recipe
If you need this recipe to be keto, you can make a few adjustments to lower the carb content. A small onion and fewer tomatoes will significantly reduce the carb count.
Detailed instructions and nutrition info for the keto option can be found below, in the recipe card’s notes.
How to make no-bean chili
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix the seasoning paste. You start by mixing together the ingredients for the seasoning paste.
Cook the beef and vegetables. Next, you cook the onion, peppers, and beef in olive oil with some kosher salt.
Add the remaining ingredients. Add the seasoning paste. Then add the beef stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, more salt, and black pepper.
Simmer. Now simmer the chili, covered, until the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to stir occasionally.
How to serve it
More chili recipes that you might enjoy
And pumpkin chili may sound suspicious, but it’s wonderful. It’s actually my favorite chili recipe these days. And no, you can’t actually taste the pumpkin!
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No Bean Chili
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 (6 oz can) tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (8 oz)
- 2 medium bell peppers – red, green, or one of each, chopped (10 oz total)
- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes, no salt added, undrained
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, with a fork, mix together the seasoning ingredients to create a thick paste.
- Heat the the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, bell peppers, beef and one teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring to break up the meat, about 7 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and meat is browned.
- Add the seasoning mixture (use a small spatula to scrape it off the bowl) and cook, stirring to mix it into the beef and vegetables, one more minute.
- Add the beef stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, the remaining salt and the black pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Garnish the no bean chili with your favorite toppings, such as red onions, scallions, sour cream, shredded cheddar and guacamole.