Keto Chili


5 from 548 votes
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This keto chili is made without beans or legumes, but is perfectly thick is comforting! Made in just one pot or pan, it’s simple to make but sure to impress! 3 grams net carbs per serving. 

keto chili

Keto Chili

I’m here to prove you CAN have comfort food on a keto diet. I’ve made keto meatballs and I’ve made keto meatloaf. When the cooler months hit, there is nothing better than a keto chili. 

Growing up, there were a few staple recipes my mom would have on her dinner rotation. There was the ever expected spaghetti bolognese and the fall back stir fry. However, when we entered the cooler months, she’d regularly be making her famous chili.

Mom’s chili is award winning, and that, my friends, is not a joke. In 2017, she won an Australian based magazine’s hunt for the best chili recipe, and her prize winning recipe was shared with millions of readers around the country. Now, I obviously had to steal her recipe and give it a low carb makeover and upon a recent taste test- It’s just as good as the original!

I’ve been meaning to share a keto chili recipe for quite some time. It’s the kind of dish I make once every few weeks and freeze leftovers for easy weeknight meals. It uses simple and fresh ingredients and requires minimal prep.

No beans and no legumes are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture is thick, hearty, and loaded with soft and tender vegetables. It’s smoky, meaty, and slightly spicy, and keeps you satisfied and full for hours!

When the weather cools down and we spend more time indoors, I love having friends over for cozy dinners and serve them this chili- NO ONE ever knows it’s low carb and they leave with full and happy bellies!

Ingredients to make keto chili

keto chili ingredients

For the chili

  • Olive oil– While any oil can be used, it’s best to stick to a flavorful one, like olive oil. It meshes well with the tomato based ingredients.
  • Onion– Finely chopped. 
  • Bell pepper– Use a mix of red and green bell peppers. 
  • Garlic– Freshly minced. 
  • Ground beef– While 80/20 ground beef is preferred (20% fat), any ground beef can be used. 
  • Tomato paste– Also referred to as tomato concentrate. 
  • Tomatoes– Unlike traditional chili recipes that call for canned tomatoes, we use freshly chopped tomatoes which makes all the difference in terms of flavor and texture. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste.
  • Beef broth– The secret ingredient which gives the chili an even more meaty flavor. 

For the spice mix

  • Keto taco seasoning– Skip the sugar-laden store-bought varieties and use this homemade version! 
  • Chili powder- If you can’t tolerate spice, you can omit this completely. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste. 

To garnish

  • Guacamole– Avocado is the perfect pairing for any Mexican-inspired dish! 
  • Sour cream– The creaminess balances out the richness and heartiness. 
  • Shredded cheese– Tasty or cheddar. 
  • Tortilla chips– These magic 2 ingredient keto tortilla chips can also be cut into strips. 

How do you make keto beef chili? 

how to make keto chili

Start by sauteeing the onions, peppers, and garlic in the olive oil for several minutes, until fragrant. Add the ground beef, break it apart, and cook until no longer pink. Add the remaining ingredients and allow the mixture to simmer 1 1/2- 2 hours until it has thickened. 

Tips to make the best recipe

  • I try not to use ground beef that has more than 20% fat, as it can make the overall chili quite oily. If you don’t have leaner ground beef, you can pan fry the beef separately and soak up the excess oil before adding it to the pan with the other ingredients.
  • If you’d like to make this chili in less time, you can keep it simmering over medium heat and remove it from the stovetop after 45 minutes.
  • Do not add excess salt before tasting the final dish. The beef stock AND the taco seasoning already have salt added into it. 

Slow cooker or crockpot keto chili

If you’d prefer to make this chili in a slow cooker or a crockpot, you can easily do so. Simply cook all the vegetables and beef in the pan before adding it to the slow cooker. Reduce the beef stock by half and let it cook on low heat for 6 hours. 

Beef chili flavor variations

This recipe is delicious as written, but here are some other ideas to change up the flavors! 

  • Protein– Easily swap out the ground beef for other proteins, like ground chicken or ground turkey. You can also use diced chicken thighs or steak (go for a slightly fattier cut). 
  • Vegetables– Amp up the vegetables by adding other low carb vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or even spinach. I personally love adding chopped cauliflower for extra bulk. 
  • Spices– For a spicier kick, add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. For a slightly Italian spin, you can never go wrong with some Italian seasonings. 

What do you serve with keto chilli?

This keto chili is hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but you can go the classic route and serve it with some keto cornbread. Other great options include keto biscuits, coconut flour biscuits, or soak up the juices with some simple keto tortillas.

Storing, freezing, and reheating chili

  • To store: Like any good stew or curry, chili tastes better the longer it sits before serving. Store chili in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to one week.
  • To freeze: Place leftovers in a sealable container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • Reheating: You can either microwave the chili or reheat it on the stove until warm. 

low carb chili

More keto Mexican recipes to try 

keto chili recipe

Keto Chili (Award Winning!)

5 from 548 votes
This keto chili is made without beans or legumes, but is perfectly thick is comforting! Made in just one pot or pan, it's simple to make but sure to impress!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 47 minutes


For the chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 2 lbs ground beef 80/20 * See notes
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 28 oz tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or any stock

For the spice mix

  • 2 tablespoon keto taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan or skillet and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, peppers, and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef and break apart. Let it cook until mostly browned.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, including the spice mix, and reduce to low. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 1 ½- 2 hours, until thick. 
  • Pour the thick chili into bowls and add shredded cheese, sour cream, and parsley.


* We used 80/20 beef, but you can use a leaner cut if you prefer. If you use a very fatty cut, pre-cook the beef and soak up excess oil. 
TO STORE: Like any good stew or curry, chili tastes better the longer it sits before serving. Store chili in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to one week.
TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in a sealable container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: You can either microwave the chili or reheat it on the stove until warm. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 23gFat: 19gSodium: 510mgPotassium: 749mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 960IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Very good flavor. I used Penzey’s Chili 3000 (no sugar-blend of seasonings) and Penzey’s smoked paprika because I love the smoky flavor. I also added a bit of celery. It is one of my new favorite Keto meals. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband says this is the best chili he has ever eaten!! And he is kind of picky 🙂 I did add onion and celery too. We served it with green onions, cilantro, sour cream, and shredded cheese! Yummy!

  3. I loved the chili. I used the 80/20 hamburger. It was a little too greasy, so the next time I will brown the hamburger in a separate pan and drain most of the grease off. I did go crazy over the spice mixture. I used chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and a dash of cinnamon.Fabulous!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a very good base recipe. Good ingredients and easy to prepare. But my old Sicilian taste buds needed quite a bit more spices. I always use more garlic and garlic powder than required, but I also added a lot of cayenne pepper and hot mexican chili powder. I’ll definitely make this again. Always enjoy Carolyn’s recipes.

  5. 5 stars
    Wow … I just started Keto lifestyle recently to lose house-bound Covid weight & just eat healthier. Been researching recipes and every tasty one seems to be yours and on your website. I just made the chili this afternoon with virtually no changes except small can of jalapeno. Super delicious … was surprised how beefy it tasted. Thank you so much! Planning on making you “Best Keto Stuffed Peppers” later this week.

  6. Just made this. Awesome! Per my restauranteur hubby, I added a pinch of red pepper flake and a pinch of white pepper to enhance the spice level.

  7. 5 stars
    This was really good. I’m not normally a fan of chili, but I cannot deny just how yummy, and simple, this recipe was. To be completely forthcoming, I did add chopped up bits of leftover smoked brisket to the pot. The smokey flavor permeated the whole concoction and was quite amazing.

  8. 5 stars
    OMG!!! This recipe is amazing! I don’t even miss the beans! I used air fried Keto tortillas for that extra crunch! Thanks so much!!!

  9. 5 stars
    Wow! I don’t really like most chili, but wanted a freezable keto recipe and thought what the heck. THIS IS AMAZING!!! I changed the following: upped the garlic a bit, added a green bell pepper too, also celery, carrot and a little red pepper flake. Cooked it in the Instantpot. SO DANG GOOD!!! Thank you, thank you 😋

  10. 5 stars
    This chili was awesome. I used beef ground for chili, rather than regular ground beef. I also added Chipotle Chili Pepper and one envelope of Sazon Goya. This is not the first thebigmansworld recipe I have used and they have all been good!