No Bean Chili is a thick, chunky beanless chili recipe loaded with meat, veggies, and flavor! Made on the stovetop in under an hour, it’s a warm, comforting meal that tastes even better the next day.
Is No Bean Chili Actually Chili?
A major debate throughout the country is whether or not chili should contain beans. The use of noodles is also a hot topic, but we’ll save that for another day.
According to Merriam-Webster, chili is, “a thick sauce of meat and chiles,” and by that definition this no bean chili recipe fits the bill! Plus, the lack of beans makes it much more kid-friendly and easier to digest.
What’s In Gluten-Free Beanless Chili?
Just because there are no beans in this recipe doesn’t mean there’s any lack of flavor – or fiber, for that matter! Instead, we loaded it up with vibrant veggies and lots of meat for a hearty recipe everyone will love.
- Light Olive Oil – This is technically optional, but we recommend it for better browning of the meat.
- Protein – Lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken all taste great! If using ground turkey or ground chicken, opt for a higher fat 85/15 or a ground dark meat for a more flavorful taste.
- Fresh Vegetables – Yellow or white onion, celery, green bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic add lots of bulk, vitamins, nutrients, and texture, making this recipe extra filling.
- Seasonings – Dried oregano, salt, ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and bay leaves create a well-rounded savory flavor with just a touch of heat.
Note: We also like to include smoked paprika for extra depth, especially when using a lighter meat like ground turkey! You could also include extra teaspoons or tablespoons of chili powder or cayenne pepper if you really want to amp up the heat.
- Canned Chopped Green Chile Peppers – These add a small amount of spice.
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes – These create the liquid base while enhancing the savory flavor.
- Tomato Paste – Used to thicken the tomato base.
See the recipe card below for complete nutrition details including calories, carbs, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc.
How to Make a Stovetop Beanless Chili Recipe
One of our staple recipes when the weather turns cold, this no bean chili is a breeze to make and comes together quickly with minimal prep time and a total time of less than an hour.
- Brown the meat. Heat the oil (if using) in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground meat, and brown, breaking it into pieces. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pot, and set it aside.
Note: There should be a small amount of oil/grease left in the pot. If not, add an extra tablespoon of oil to cook the veggies!
- Cook the vegetables. Add the onion to the pot, and season with oregano, salt, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently until it is tender and fragrant. Then, add the celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic in with the onion.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Add the green chile peppers, and meat, and cook over medium to medium-low heat for a few minutes. Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, black pepper, and paprika.
- Simmer. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, add the bay leaf, and reduce to heat to a simmer until everything is tender and well combined.
- Serve. Remove the bay leaf, adjust the seasonings, if needed, and enjoy warm!
We don’t know about you, but when it comes to chili, we’re all about the toppings! Some of our favorite chili toppings for a bowl of chili include:
- Lime Wedges
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- Avocado Slices
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Regular or Dairy-Free)
- Sour Cream
- Green Onions
Or, serve your chili over baked potatoes, chili dogs, or gluten-free tortilla chips for a fun dinner the kids will be excited to eat! Don’t worry, they won’t even realize it’s full of veggies.
How to Store and Reheat
This beanless chili is a recipe that keeps on giving as it makes a big batch and tastes even better the next day!
- Refrigerator: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to four days.
- Freezer: Store cooked and cooled chili in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to six months.
- To Reheat: Allow leftovers to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm them in a pot over medium or medium-high heat, or heat individual portions in the microwave.
Common Questions About This Easy No Bean Chili Recipe
For no bean chili, we like to make up the bulk with lots of meat and extra veggies. You can also add gluten-free noodles! We kept the recipe fairly low-carb, but if you want more carbohydrates, sweet potatoes make a great addition, too!
Texas chili is actually an abbreviation for chili con carne, which translates to peppers with meat. Therefore, there are no beans! Texas is believed to have been the birthplace of chili con carne, a dish meant to be enjoyed more like a stew than a traditional chili.
For this recipe, we’ve found that once all the ingredients are added, about 25 minutes of cooking time should do the trick!
We haven’t tested it, but it should work! You’ll just want to brown the meat and cook the onion first. Then, add everything to the slow cooker, and simmer on low.
More of Our Favorite