The Best Keto Chili! (Low Carb + No Beans)
While standard chili recipes can be very carb heavy, this keto chili packs in all the same flavor – but with only 7 grams of net carbs per serving! You’ll skip the beans and keep the carb-heavy veggies in check, while still creating a hearty dish that will warm you up on a cold winter night.
Is chili keto?
Chili can fit into a keto diet – but only if it’s made with the right ingredients. Ground meat, spices, and moderate amounts of non-starchy vegetables are all compliant on keto. However, many regular chili recipes contain beans which add in too many carbohydrates on a keto diet.
Even some bean-free chilis can end up being more carb-heavy than you’d like. For example, a quick glance around some bean free chili recipes online showed many were around 20-30 total carbs and 15-25 net carbs – higher than most keto followers would like.
Because of that, it’s important to find a specific keto chili recipe that fits your carb needs!
How to make keto chili
Alright, so you know you need a good recipe – and you’ve found one right here! 😉 Now here’s how to make it.
The secret to making a great tasting chili comes from the seasonings – and that’s where you’ll start with this keto chili. You’ll make a chili seasoning mix and create a paste out of it that will be used to create the best flavor in your dish.
Here’s what you need for the seasoning mix:
- Chili powder
- Cornmeal (don’t worry, it’s just a little bit – we’re not looking at tons of carbs from this)
- Cocoa powder (sounds weird, but it adds a unique depth of flavor!)
You’ll mix all your seasonings together, and then you’ll stir in a little hot water to create a paste. Let that sit aside while you start prepping the other ingredients.
From here, you’ll want to gather the rest of what you need for your chili:
- Bell pepper
- Ground beef
- Beef Broth
- Tomato sauce
Chop up your onion and peppers, and toss those in a pot over medium heat with your ground beef. As the beef releases some of it’s fat, it’ll help to sauté the peppers and onions all at the same time.
After the beef is browned and veggies are tender, you can drain off any fat in the pot if there’s a lot of excess. Sometimes too much of the beef fat can create a weird mouthfeel with chili, so that’s why I drain off any extra.
Now add in your garlic and jalapenos and cook for another minute, followed by adding in the chili paste you made earlier. You’ll also add in your Worcestershire sauce, and let everything cook for a minute or two until it’s nice and fragrant.
Now just add in your broth and tomato sauce, and let it all simmer for 30 minutes. Yum!
It might sound like a lot of steps, but it’s actually really simple and you’ll be impressed at the depth of flavor that happens with just 30 minutes of simmering! This low carb chili is perfect for dinner with the family or to meal prep as lunches throughout the week.
I recommend going traditional with this chili, and adding either cheddar and/or sour cream.
You can also add some chopped avocado (while it does boost the carbs a bit more, most of the carbs in avocado come from fiber), or some cilantro and chopped scallions.
If you want a little crunch, skip over the tortilla chips – too many carbs – and instead add some of the mini “Just the Cheese” snacks! They were perfectly on a big bowl of chili and the only ingredient is cheese (and seasonings).
Can you freeze this chili?
Yes! After it’s cooked, wait for it to cool for a few minutes. Then portion it out into single serving freezer safe containers. Using single serve containers is best as it a) ensures the food cools down quick enough to keep it safe from a food safety perspective, and b) it makes it easier to reheat in a short amount of time.
Once you freeze the chili, you can then pull these out to microwave for meals whenever you’d like. While the freezer keeps food safe for long periods of time, I’d recommend cooking it from frozen within 2-3 months for best quality.
This recipe makes about six servings, and each one clocks in at 10 grams of total carbohydrate and 7 grams of net carbohydrate. For most keto followers, that will be just fine for a hearty meal.
Of course, everyone’s body is different. While most people need to stay under 50 grams of total carbs and under 30 grams of net carbs per day to stay in ketosis – some people will need less than that and some may tolerate more.
If you are personally more sensitive to carbohydrate intake, you can reduce them in this recipe by using only half of the onion and half of the bell pepper in the recipe. That brings you down to 8.2 grams of total carbohydrate and 5.7 grams of net carbs per serving.
As far as macronutrient percentages go, you’re looking at about 51% fat, 12% carbohydrate, and 37% protein. That sounds a little off, but remember – that’s without any toppings! When you add some shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream to the top of it, you boost the fat considerable to put you more in line with optimal keto macronutrient ratios.
Looking for more keto ground beef recipes?
Ground beef is generally inexpensive and very convenient for keto-friendly dinners. I put together a roundup of keto ground beef recipes here, but you can also browse some of these recipes below:
- Low carb bacon cheeseburger casserole
- Keto Korean ground beef bowl
- One pot keto ground beef stroganoff
I hope you enjoy this keto chili as much as I do. If you get a chance to try it, be sure to leave a recipe rating or comment below.
Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp hot water
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 large bell pepper diced
- 2 jalapeños minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Mix all the spices for the chili paste, and add in 3 tbsp hot water. Set aside for now.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, and pepper. Brown beef, frequently breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and the beef is browned.
- If there is excess fat in the pot, drain most of it off now. If not, skip over this step.
- Stir in the jalapenos and garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the chili paste and Worcestershire and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the beef broth and tomato sauce and simmer for 30 minutes. Add any optional toppings, and enjoy!