My cousin calls our Chili Recipe (No Beans) the BEST CHILI EVERRRRR. She and her husband make it at least once a month! It’s savory, filling, and oh so satisfying!
Chili without beans is perfect for folks who are doing avoiding grains or gluten, and is even whole30 compliant if you use the right chili spices!
Chili Recipe (No Beans)
Ingredients for chili with no beans
- ground beef – I tend to use a lean ground beef since we will be draining off the fat.
- pork sausage – we usually use mild pork sausage, but if you like a really spicy chili then this is a great place to add more heat!
- bacon – oh yes, you read that right.
- onion – I like to use a sweet yellow onion to offset the spice.
- tomato – we use a few different iterations of tomato in this recipe. Yum! (We do not use tomato sauce!)
- hot peppers – not too many, because my kids wouldn’t eat it. But you can always add more.
- sweet peppers – lots and lots of sweet bell peppers. You’re going to question my sanity – that is, until you try it!
- celery – just a little bit of celery. Trust me on this one.
- carrots – carrots are the ingredient that people always look at me cock-eyed over. But I promise, you’ll love the way they work in this no bean chili!
- seasonings – I have a secret seasoning that will sound weird, but mmmm mmmmm mmmmm.
Suggested toppings and garnishes
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Diced tomato
- Sliced jalapenos or green chilies
- Chili powder
How do you make chili without beans?
⭐ First, brown ground beef, pork sausage, and bacon on high heat. Drain and return to large pot, pan, or dutch oven.
⭐ Then, add onions, chili seasoning, and cocoa powder. Saute an a little longer.
⭐ Next, add remaining ingredients and stir well.
⭐ Finally, cook covered on low for several hours.
What is chili with no beans called?
Chili that doesn’t contain beans is still called chili, although for some folks those are fighting words! Many Texans believe that chili is ONLY meat and a tomato based sauce. No beans OR vegetables allowed!
All that said, I have sometimes heard this referred to this as beef chili.
Is chili good without beans?
Oh my goodness, chili is so good without beans. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a chili recipe with beans too, but this no bean chili recipe is deep and rich and so incredibly savory. It’s a great alternative to traditional chili and tastes amazing in a chili pot pie!
Can chili without beans be frozen?
Chili with no beans can definitely be frozen! I love to make a double batch in my super giant stock pot and freeze half for later. You can also do what we did in the video below, and portion out/prep the uncooked ingredients and freeze them for later.
Pro tip – cornbread freezes well too, so you can make a double batch of both and then have them ready to eat in no time on a busy night!
Is this Chili Recipe (No Beans) healthy?
Chili without beans is healthy depending on the diet you follow. One thing I love about this recipe is it is totally grain free (just watch what chili seasonings you are using). So that means our bean free chili is gluten free, paleo compliant, and whole thirty compliant. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it might even be keto friendly!
This no bean chili recipe is on the calorie dense side because of all the meat, but it is also super full of protein and tons of healthy vegetables! I definitely don’t feel guilty when I eat it.
Is chili without beans gluten free?
If you use a gluten-free chili seasoning (typically available right next to the classic seasoning packets), then this recipe will be gluten free.
Can this be made in a slow cooker or crock pot?
Yes, saute meat on the stove top, then drain off fat. Add meat along with remaining ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook covered on high for 4 – 6 hours or low for 8 – 10 hours. If mixture seems to dry, add 1 – 2 cups beef stock, chicken stock, or water.
Can this be made in an instant pot?
Yes, brown meat using saute feature, then drain off fat. Add meat along with remaining ingredients to your instapot. Cook covered on high for 4 – 6 hours or low for 8 – 10 hours. If mixture seems to dry, add 1 – 2 cups beef stock, chicken stock, or water.
More chili recipes we love
Chili Dog Casserole – This simple chili dog casserole is a fan favorite in our house. So much easier than making chili dogs one by one!
Breakfast Chili – Chili for breakfast is a thing! And it’s a really really GOOD thing! After you try this you’ll wonder where chili for breakfast has been all your life.
Chili Mac – Sing it with me… these are a few of my favorite things… woah. Yes. Chili + mac and cheese = happy mouth.
Wendy’s Copycat Chili – Legit tastes just like the real thing!
Chili Pot Pie Recipe – Only a few steps and you’ve got a delicious and unique dinner recipe! I like to use a pre-made crust for quick prep.
Turkey Chili – Trying to keep it light? This recipe is low in fat and calories, but high in flavor!
Easy Chili Dogs – Classic and delicious. My dad asks for these when he visits!
Pumpkin Chili – Get into the feel of fall with this hearty chili made special with the addition of pure pumpkin.
Quick Chicken Chili – No time for an all day chili simmer? No sweat. This Last Minute Chicken Chili is ready in no time and perfect for a simple weeknight meal.
Make sure to check out all our different chili recipes!
More recipes with ground beef
Make sure to check out all our recipes with ground beef!
Tools we love!
- Large Stock Pot – This 8 quart stock pot will fit your chili and have some room to spare. I have it and love it!
- Wooden Spatula – I don’t know about you, but I feel more like a real cook when I use a wooden spatula.
- Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker – This recipe fits exactly into my 6 quart instapot.
Complete this meal with our serving suggestions!
I love to crumble sweet cornbread into my chili and my husband is a fan of scooping every last bit out of the bowl with chunks of our easy beer bread recipe. If my son were king of the castle (which he definitely thinks he is), we would always eat chili over a bowl of homemade mashed potatoes.
What we can all agree on though, is finishing off the meal with a pile of cinnamon roll cookies!
How to Make our Chili Recipe (No Beans)
Chili Recipe (No Beans)
- 2 ½ pounds ground beef
- 2 pounds mild pork sausage ground (you can usually find this in 1lb tubes near the bacon)
- ¼ pound bacon chopped into small pieces
- 1 large yellow onions diced
- 2 packages McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning 1.25 ounce packages - they have a gluten free version too!
- 1 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 can Rotel mild
- 1 can tomato paste 6 ounces
- 6 green bell peppers diced
- 1 large piece of celery diced
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes not drained (14 ounces)
- 1 ½ cups carrots diced
- Brown ground beef, pork sausage, and bacon. Drain and return to pan.
- Add onions, chili seasoning, and cocoa powder. Saute an additional 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Cook covered on low all day, or at least 4 hours. Alternatively, use manual for 45 - 60 minutes in an electric pressure cooker.
originally posted 1.18.14