Keto Chili – No Beans or Tomatoes!
Keto chili is big on beefy flavor and low on carbs. This tasty recipe uses a blend of peppers to bring out the flavors of tender beef for a bowl of deliciousness you’ll love digging into.
Does anything taste as good once the weather cools off as a big cozy bowl of chili? Most recipes are pretty carb heavy with tons of starchy ingredients like beans and flour to thicken. This keto version cuts those ingredients out so you can still enjoy a hot bowl of spicy chili without worrying about the carbs.
This recipe is based off of true Texas chili which doesn’t use tomatoes or beans. Instead the chili base is made with broth and a blend of pureed dried peppers. The result is a rich, flavorful chili that is perfect for cool fall nights and weekend game day parties.
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What You’ll Need
- Chili peppers – Use a blend of ancho chilis and pasilla chili peppers for heat and an earthy, rich flavor.
- Beef chuck roast – Cut the beef chuck into equal size pieces so it can absorb the flavors of the peppers and ingredients and become tender when cooked.
- Onion – Adds a small amount of bite and flavor to the chili.
- Garlic cloves – Garlic adds aromatic flavoring. Fresh garlic works best.
- Cumin powder – Cumin provides its signature smoky flavor.
- Beef Broth – Beef broth adds richness and body to the chili’s sauce.
- Water – Water helps puree the softened chilis.
- Red Wine Vinegar – Red wine vinegar adds some balance and a splash of acidity to the chili sauce.
- Salt & Pepper (to taste) – you can omit the salt if on a low sodium diet but it does help bring out the flavors when used in small amounts. Pepper adds additional heat, but you can also leave that out if you prefer a milder spiciness level.
How to Make It
Toast the peppers. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly toast the dried chili peppers for about 3 minutes or until they become a bit soft and fragrant.
Soak the peppers. Remove the peppers and slice them open. Carefully remove the seeds and throw them away. Place the peppers in a small to medium bowl and pour 2 cups of hot water over them. Soak the peppers for about 15 to 30 minutes or until they have fully softened.
Puree the peppers. Put the softened peppers and 1 cup of water in a food processor. Set to puree until you have a smooth paste. It should only take about 1 to 2 minutes. You could use a blender instead if you don’t have a food processor. Just make sure you scrape down the sides to make sure the entire pepper is pureed. Set the pureed peppers aside. If you want some added heat, you can substitute or add in fresh jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers.
Brown that meat. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the beef cubes and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. It will take about 10 minutes to brown the meat. You may need to brown the meat in batches since you do not want to overcrowd the skillet.
Saute the onions. Once the meat has browned nicely, set it aside in a small to medium bowl. Add the onions to the skillet and cook them for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the onions and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Bring it all together. Add the browned beef, cooked garlic and onions, cumin, beef broth, the pepper puree, and water. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and maintain a simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
Add the finishing touches. When the beef is tender, mix in the red wine vinegar and salt to taste before serving.
No Beans Chili
Beans have a lot of carbs in them. That’s why I make this easy keto chili recipe with no beans and not tomatoes. I also cut out the brown sugar and masa that a lot of Texas style chilis have that add a lot of carbs. But like Texas style chilis, I use either dried chilis or chili powders to make a flavorful chili paste.
There are a lot of different chili varieties to choose from. You can stick with just one dried pepper or mix and match them to fit your flavor and heat level preferences. Here are some of my favorite pepper varieties.
Ancho – This is a dried poblano pepper that has a mild heat level
Guajillo – This is a dried mirasol chili. It is a very common dried pepper found at most grocery stores. It has a mild heat level.
Pasilla – This is a dried chilaca chili. It has a medium to hot heat level. It also adds a rich, earthy flavor to the chili. They are often used in mole sauces.
New Mexico (Chile Colorado) – This is a popular chili with a mild heat level. It also offers a slightly fruity flavor.
Chipotle – Another popular pepper, this is a dried jalapeno pepper. There are two varieties: the morita and meco. The morita is the more common variety and the one I would suggest for this recipe. The meco is larger and usually stuffed with other ingredients before cooking. It has a medium heat level and a smokey, almost sweet flavor.
You can find the dried Ancho chili peppers here, Chipotle peppers here, New Mexico Chili peppers here, Guajillo peppers here, and pasilla peppers here.
Chili powder is also an option if you don’t have or can’t find dried peppers. You’ll need to substitute using the weight of the chilis. My recipe calls for 2 ounces of dried chilis, so you’ll need to use 2 ounces (or about 4 tablespoons) of chili powder.
You can find Ancho chili powder here, Chipotle powder here, New Mexico Chili Powder here, Guajillo powder here, and Pasilla chili powder here, or if you’re lucky, in your grocery store.
This recipe calls for cubes of chuck roast, which is typically used in Texas chili. It’s a great addition to a protein-filled keto meal. When simmered for a few hours, it becomes tender and juicy.
If you prefer you can use ground beef. I suggest 80/20 ground beef. Brown it and then drain the grease before adding it to the chili.
Can I Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze the chili for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely before portioning it into freezer safe containers or a gallon freezer bag. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top or in the microwave.
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- 3-4 Dried Ancho chili peppers
- 3-4 Dried Pasilla chili peppers
- 1.5 pounds Beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 5 ounces Onion, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Cumin powder
- 3 cups Beef Broth
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Salt , plus more to taste
- In a skillet over medium low heat lightly toast the dried chili peppers for approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove the peppers and slice open. Pour seeds out into the trash then place the peppers in a bowl and pour 2 cups of hot water over them. Let the peppers soak for 15-30 minutes, or until they have softened.
- Place the softened peppers in a food processor along with 1 cup of the water they soaked in and puree until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add beef cubes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt before browning the meat. Approximately 10 minutes. See Note #1
- Set browned meat aside and add the onions to the skillet. Cook for approximately 3 minutes before adding the garlic and continuing to cook for another 2 minutes.
- In a large pot add browned beef, cooked onions and garlic, cumin, beef broth, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Continue to cook for 2 hours or until beef is tender.
- When the chili is ready add red wine vinegar and salt to taste before serving.
- Don’t crowd the meat. If you need more space work in batches setting aside a portion of the browned beef before adding more to the pan.