Keto Chili

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5 from 748 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 748 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

Ingredients  

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

* 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. 

Nutrition

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

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I did add some celery as well and this was a fabulous recipe. You honestly would never know the beans were not in it. TY for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I have made multiple versions of this chilli. As a single man, I prep cook for the entire week on one day. This chili has been a staple in my diet for 3 solid weeks. Or at least different versions of it have been.

    Today I made what I think is my favorite. I grew some jalapeno peppers and bell peppers on my deck. I pickled those for a bit over a week with salt, vinegar and some herbs and garlic. I added in cauliflower, mushrooms, extra bell pepper, a splash of high-quality balsamic vinegar, cholula hot sauce and I even tempered in six eggs to make it more filling. It’s so tangy. Sour cream mellows it down.

    This is a very versatile recipe and every time I try something new it is just a different version of delicious.

    And the keto taco seasoning recipe is also great.

  3. 5 stars
    I have tried several meals that are worth the time and prep that are keto and this is got to be one of my number ones it is so flavorful makes enough for 12 people though so I can’t wait to freeze and have for my lunches. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. I made this and had to turn around and make it again. Absolutely delicious. I did add in riced calliflower the second time to make it go further.

  5. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Try replacing the ground beef with ground chorizo sausage (Johnsonville makes a pretty decent one that will work well for this recipe). For more kick (and to make things a tiny bit easier), I strongly recommend replacing the fresh tomatoes and peppers with RO*TEL HOT diced tomatoes with habaneros. Those two simple substitutions take this already great recipe to a whole new level!

  6. 5 stars
    I haven’t had it yet, but looks and smells amazing! I decided to convert this recipe to an “Over The Top Chili” on my Big Green Egg. The 2 lbs of Beef was seasoned and put into a ball on a rack above the Dutch Oven so the drippings of the 90/10 could drip down into the chili, it will be smoked with Pecan Wood at 275 until the Beef is 250, then it will be crumbled into the chili below. I also added a 1/4 tsp of Cayenne and White Pepper. I will report the results. Can’t Wait to try this Keto Chili!

  7. 5 stars
    Great recipe. It’s even more amazing when you use ground venison. Nice bold chili flavor without all the carbs.

  8. 5 stars
    I have been cooking for a very long time and chili was always a family favorite. THIS chili, well this chili is excellent … outstanding as a matter of fact. The flavors are wonderful and again I used ground chicken instead of beef. Truly a warm, wonderful, delightful meal …

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this chili! I’ve been doing a keto-friendly diet for about a year now, and this recipe is perfect – easy and very flavorful. I’ve made it with ground beef and most recently with leftover smoked brisket. Fabulous! The key is to simmer for the full hour and a half for the flavors to blend. I’m going to try it now with the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! 😃

  10. This chili recipe is delicious as-is! However my family provided a little critique to help out “be better”. Red pepper flakes for a little added burn and the smoky paprika sounded interesting too.

    Thank you, Arman, for sharing these great healthy recipes!