Chili Recipe (No Beans) (2024)

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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!

If you love chili, but don’t love beans, this beanless chili is the perfect solution! We serve it with a green salad and sweet cornbread!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!

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Chili Recipe (No Beans) (1)

Chili Recipe (No Beans)

Chili Recipe (No Beans)

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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 co*ck-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.

Chili Recipe (No Beans) (2)

I want to pretend that he was SO ready to dive into that chili, but really he just wanted mommy’s attention. (He does love the chili though!)

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 tipcornbread 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!

Chili Recipe (No Beans) (3)

Yep, those are carrots. And they are delicious!

Nutritional Information

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 manual (high pressure) and then natural pressure release. Remove lid and then saute (stirring regularly) until desired consistency is reached.

Chili Recipe (No Beans) (4)

I love it in a bowl, hubby loves it on a hot dog!

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

  • Hamburger beef stroganoff
  • Mexican ground beef bake
  • Cabbage roll soup
  • Cheeseburger soup in a bread bowl
  • Quick shepherd’s pie
  • Make sure to check out all our recipes with ground beef!

Tools we love!

Chili Recipe (No Beans) (5)


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!

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How to Make Chili with No Beans

Chili Recipe (No Beans) (6)

Chili Recipe (No Beans)

OurChili Recipe (No Beans) is the perfect chili recipe made with beef and pork.

5 from 18 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: no bean chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours hours

Total Time: 4 hours hours 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 24 cups

Calories: 260kcal

Author: April Woods


  • 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.


  • If you are using smaller than an 8 quart pot, halve this recipe.

  • Brown ground beef, pork sausage, and bacon using saute feature. Drain and return to pan.

  • Add onions, chili seasoning, and cocoa powder. Saute an additional 2 - 3 minutes.

  • Add remaining ingredients + 2 cups water and stir well. Cover, set to sealing, and cook on manual (high) pressure for 45 minutes. Allow natural pressure release.

  • Remove lid and, if desired, turn on saute feature and simmer (stirring constantly) until desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, you can add a cornstarch slurry to thicken (see notes below).


  • If you are using smaller than an 8 quart cooker, halve this recipe.

  • Brown ground beef, pork sausage, and bacon in a large pan on the stove top. Drain and add cooked meat to slow cooker.

  • Add onions, chili seasoning, and cocoa powder to slow cooker. Stir.

  • Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover, and cook on high for 4 - 6 hours or low for 8 - 10 hours.

  • Remove lid and, if desired, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken (see notes below).



Calories are automatically generated. For best results calculate based on your exact ingredients.


  • Create a cornstarch slurry by whisking together equal parts cornstarch and cool water. (I typically work in 1 +1 tablespoon increments.
  • Pour slurry into simmering chili and stir for about 30 seconds. Repeat until desired consistency is reached.

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Calories: 260kcal

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Chili Recipe (No Beans)

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Chili Recipe (No Beans) (7)

originally posted 1.18.14

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Chili Recipe (No Beans) (2024)


What is a chili without beans called? ›

Chili without beans

Prepared as a quick and easy feast for ranchers and cattle drivers to make out on the range, the base of the recipe is classic chili con carne, Spanish for chilies with meat. Many are quick to point out that if beans were meant to be in chili it would have been called chili con frijoles.

What can you put in chili instead of beans? ›

Best Bean Substitutes for Chili
  • Ground meat: adding extra meat to a chili recipe is an excellent low-carb bean substitute for chili. ...
  • Chopped veggies: cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and butternut squash are terrific too! ...
  • Sweet Potatoes: cubed sweet potatoes are great and provide lots of nutrition in chili.
Aug 23, 2022

Why doesn t Texas put beans in chili? ›

If you go pretty much anywhere in Texas you will find chili ingredients simple and rarely differing: meat, sauce, peppers and spices. Carol Hanco*ck, President and CEO of the International Chili Society, told Texas Living there is a specific reason why Texas chili contains no beans: it's tradition.

What can you not put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What makes Texas chili different? ›

What primarily distinguishes Texas chili from other chili recipes you might find is a lack of beans, but it also doesn't feature any tomatoes. It is, largely, a ground beef dish that's seasoned with a spicy chili paste made of dried peppers.

Is chili good without beans? ›

This chili recipe has no beans and is packed with flavor. My husband won't eat beans but loves chili, so I had to create this variation on an old favorite. I used lots of canned tomatoes and onion in this dish which is great served over rice with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Does Gordon Ramsay put beans in chili? ›

Gordon Ramsay's recipe for chili con carne includes onion, a red chili pepper, fresh tomatoes, and kidney beans. Ramsay's chili recipe is lengthy — it includes everything from ground cumin and sweet paprika to a cinnamon stick, ground beef or beef mince, and garlic.

Does authentic chili have beans? ›

As purists would have it, traditional red (chili con carne) hasn't changed much over the years. It still consists of meat, red chili peppers, and spices—no beans, rice, pasta, or other fillers, aside from vegetables, according to ICS criteria.

Why do some people not put beans in chili? ›

No-beans side argue that beans distract your mouth from the beef and spices that chili is supposed to showcase. Texans in particular are likely to reject beans; in fact, the no-bean version is often referred to as Texas chili.

Does Wendy's put beans in their chili? ›

The Wendy's Chili recipe ingredients are simple at their core, but at Wendy's it's all about blending our signature beef with the perfect mix of hearty vegetables, chili beans and savory spices. The result is a taste that's both satisfying and sentimental, and it's the perfect comfort food anytime of the year.

What state has no bean chili? ›

Of course, those results might make you cringe if you're from the Lone Star State — Texas chili is famously bean-free.

What is the difference between Cincinnati style chili and Texas chili? ›

Texas chili is full of chili powder, often home-made and and may have cumin, but doesn't have a lot of nuance. Texas chili may be served with saltines and probably with cheese and onions, but isn't served on rice or spaghetti. Cincinnati chili is milder and sweeter and may have some seasonings like allspice.

What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Only Add Flavorful Liquids

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

What adds the most flavor to chili? ›

If you want more of a smoky flavor, add cumin, Spanish paprika, ancho chili powder, or a combination. If you are looking for more heat, add cayenne, crushed red pepper, or Hungarian paprika. If it's too spicy add a little brown sugar and some sweet paprika.

What liquid is best for chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

What is the difference between Texas chili and Cincinnati chili? ›

Cincinnati chili is thin, more like a soup and served over spaghetti with cheese on top. Texas chili is usually made out of steak with onion, peppers, garlic and tomatoes with lots of seasonings and peppers. Most have beans and it's SPICY.

What are the different types of chili? ›

  • Chili Con Carne, a.k.a. Texas Red.
  • Springfield "Chilli"
  • Cincinnati-Style Chili.
  • Oklahoma-Style Chili.
  • Chile Verde.
  • White Chili.
  • Vegetarian Chili.
  • Carne Adovada.

Does Texas chili have beans or no beans? ›

By definition it's a chili recipe with meat (typically chuck meat), chile peppers (most often dried peppers made into a paste), beer, and then it's slowly cooked with stock to reduce and thicken. Note – no beans – no ground beef.

What is the difference between Tex-Mex chili and regular chili? ›

What makes Texas chili authentic? Tex-Mex chili uses diced (not ground) beef, bison, or occasionally, wild boar; many other recipes also use beef, bison, or venison (either diced or ground) but some use pork, chicken or even turkey. Vegetarian chili, of course, does not include meat.

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