Easy Beanless Chili Recipe

Fall is right around the corner and we have just the thing to warm you up: a steamy bowl of food for the soul. Recipe developer and dietician Kristen Carli has a rich and robust beanless chili for you. Chili maestros might wonder how the absence of beans affects the taste, but not to worry. It is undoubtedly delicious. 

As for the first ever steaming pot of chili, its origin is told in old legends. According to nationalchiliday.com, one story credits a Catholic nun, Sister Mary of Agreda, whose spirit supposedly travelled from Spain to the Americas, returning with the recipe. Another says Canary Islanders immigrated to Texas, bringing chili with them. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. has preferences per region. Authentic Texan chili is beanless and uses a paste made from chili peppers rather than tomatoes. The Midwest has a special twist, too; chili in Cincinnati is enjoyed on spaghetti, topped with cheese. Does chili hold any special memories from home or childhood? Carli says her nostalgia kicks in during the fall. "This dish reminds me of football season!" she told us.

No matter how you like it, as a Dietician, Carli knows sometimes beanless is best. She told Mashed, "I am a big fan of beans, but for those people that are doing paleo and the like, they would not want the beans." 

We hope you're hungry!

Gather the goods

To make this mouthwatering masterpiece, you'll begin with ground beef, salt, pepper, yellow onion, and fresh green bell pepper. Ingredients special to this recipe include chicken broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, canned green chiles, tomato paste, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Lastly, we'll garnish with some diced green onions and sour cream.

Not hip to spice? The paprika and cayenne are not a threat to your taste buds in this dish. "It is not spicy," Carli assured us. 

Brown your beef

Set a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat. Allow it the time it needs to heat up and then add in the two pounds of ground beef. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper for seasoning. With a wooden spoon, break up the meat it into small, loose chunks while it cooks. 

It should take just about 10 minutes until the beef is fully browned. 

Chop the veggies and add them to the beef

Peel and dice half of a yellow onion and toss it into the ground beef. Chop one whole green pepper into large chunks. Drop that into the meat as well. Stir the veggies and beef to combine them well. Cook these down for five minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. This forms the delicious base of your chili. From here you'll be adding the wet ingredients next.

Soup it up by adding the wet ingredients

Now let's get your beef all souped up, shall we? Add the chicken broth, the two 15-ounce cans of fire roasted tomatoes, and the 4-ounce can of green chiles. With a spoon or spatula, stir in the tomato paste to give the chili some thickness. Keep the heat set at medium and stir in the teaspoon of paprika with the cayenne pepper. 

Once this appetizing mix comes to a boil, lower the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook this slowly for about 15 more minutes.

Sour cream your beanless chili and enjoy

Here's where the magic happens! You're all set to serve your chili. And fyi, a full serving size is two small bowls, with this recipe serving six people, so there's plenty to go around. 

Why not get creative with your garnish? Ours is topped with fresh diced green onions and sour cream dollops. Kids will clamor over this with grilled cheese on the side. If you hail from the midwest, you know chili is not made without buttered lettuce sandwiches. Or why not try this with a Tex-Mex twist? "I love serving cornbread with chili or serving it with sour cream, cheese, and tortillas," says Carli.

"This stores best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days," she adds. If you're super savvy, you can even freeze it for up to three months. We know you can't wait to dive into this all-American classic. And as if it couldn't get any better, the night will end flatulence-free! 

Easy Beanless Chili Recipe
4.9 from 10 ratings
This easy beanless chili recipe makes a steaming bowl of food for the soul. Rich and robust, it's delicious even without the beans, and perfect for paleo diets.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Bowls of garnished beanless chili
Total time: 37 minutes
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Green onions, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the beef, salt, and pepper.
  2. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and stir to combine. Cook the mixture until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and bring the pot to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve the chili topped with green onions and sour cream.
Calories per Serving 478
Total Fat 32.3 g
Saturated Fat 12.1 g
Trans Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 111.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Total Sugars 9.4 g
Sodium 1,055.8 mg
Protein 30.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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