How To Make Keto Friendly Chili

How To Make Keto Friendly Chili

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When the weather cools down, you know it’s time for Chili. 
Actually, I love chili any time of the year, but during cold weather, I get a passionate yearning for a bowl.
Chili is one of my most favorite go-to meals to prepare, It’s so delicious.

One of the reasons for the popularity of chili con carne meal is that it’s so easy to make, even though there are many different chili recipes out there. For me, it is a great food adventure.

Some people like it spicy and hot and some prefer it less spicy. Some cooks use ground beef while others insist that the beef should be chopped. There are even chili recipes that use chicken, turkey, pork, or other types of meats.

Another ingredient that’s pretty much a constant in the traditional chili recipes is some form of beans, you’ll find a wide range of preferences. Pinto beans, red beans, black beans or white beans…. there are recipes that use each or them or even a combination of several. 
Also, the other omission that’s pretty much a constant in our chili recipes is some form of tomato: canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or tomato paste.

But What If You Are On A Ketogenic Diet. Is Chili Bad For Keto?

Unfortunately, our traditional chili made with beans and a lot of tomatoes defiantly not a keto friendly option and will wreck your diet.

The carbs in beans are just too high for anyone on a keto or paleo diet. If you look at the nutrition info for Pinto beans as an example, a common ingredient in a traditional chili, contains 45g grams of carbohydrates, 15g of protein and 1.1g of fat. Which is the exact opposite of what you aim for if you are on keto. Majority of people on keto average around 20 grams of carb a day. Keeping that in mind, we need a chili recipe that comes in at roughly 7 grams of carbs per serving.

So to make a low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly chili, we should eliminate beans. 
I know you might think a chili without beans could affect the flavor. But don’t worry! By adding some more dense ingredients you can still enjoy a deliciously spicy and meaty chili. 
You should even know that there were no beans in the original Texas chili recipe.

And that is where this easy keto chili recipe comes in. It’s a delicious keto beef chili full of veggies that can serve the whole family. 

L’ets start:

A keto chili in a bowl

For keto chili con carne, I’d say that the essential ingredients are the following: ground beef, chili powder, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, some kind of oil to brown the meat in, and water.

I’m preferring ground beef for my low carb keto chili because it’s one of my secret keto weapons as I like to call it. It’s the quickest and least expensive type of beef to use. Ground beef full of nutrients and vitamins and it’s keto friendly as it contains a high amount of protein and carb free.
For optimal Ketogenic nutrition, I recommend the grass-fed ground beef.

You do not need to be a professional chef to make a perfect chili. Just follow the recipe instructions without forgetting any of the essential steps. And at the end of the night, you can relax and enjoy your keto chili.

Start by adding onion, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, and garlic in a large crock pot over medium-high heat. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
In this recipe, I’ll be using ground beef.

Add the beef to the mix and keep stirring until no longer pink, about 7 to 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, mix chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and thyme together in a small bowl.
Stir the spices into the beef mixture and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes to the slow cooker, and continue to stir over medium heat. 
simmer for about 4 to 6 hours. Adding 1/3 cup water at a time, as needed. The longer the better the flavor will get.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

No Bean Chili Recipe:


Easy keto low carb Chili recipe without beans. Spicy, meaty and ready in 15 minutes. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 30 mins
Keyword: Chili
Servings: 6
Calories: 385kcal
Author: Harriet


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6oz)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water


  • Place a pot over high heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the ground beef, keep stirring until no longer pink, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir for about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat, add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes, stir well.
  • Continue to cook for 4 to 6 hours. Adding 1/3 cup water at a time, as needed.
  • Serve while still hot topped with sour cream, cheese, and green onions, as you like. 
  • Enjoy!

What To Serve Your Chili With:

Personally, I serve mine with chopped onions, Mexican cheese (panela or cotija), cilantro and fresh jalapeno peppers. Some might serve with sour cream, grated cheese, cilantro, and avocado while others might add beans, rice and corn tortillas on the side but that’s obviously not a keto friendly option. However, feel free to get creative here, just make sure the toppings you choose corresponds to your diet.

Low Carb Chili In An Instant Pot:

You can make this keto chili recipe in both a crock pot and an instant pot. Just select the saute mode setting on the pressure cooker. Then add the onion, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, and garlic.
Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the beef to the mix and keep stirring until no longer pink. Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir until combined.

Now, close the lid. Turn the pressure valve to sealing. Select the “Meat/Stew” function. After 30 minutes of high pressure, allow the cooker to naturally cool and release pressure for about 10 minutes. 
Remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot back to saute mode. Allow the chili to simmer more for 10 to 20 minutes until the liquid gets thicker. 
Bom! you got your quick low carb chili. 

Personally, I have to admit I prefer to cook my chili as slow as possible over really low heat, it always tastes better and you’ll have a week’s worth of chili. Remember, the longer it takes the better the taste will be. 
Another trick here, if you’re making your chili in a crock pot, try to make it a day before. The second day chili always tastes better, seriously, you need to try it if you haven’t before.

Can I Freeze This Keto Low Carb Chili Recipe:

Yes, definitely you can freeze this keto chili using freezer bags. It’s always great to have chili in the fridge.
Don’t forget to remove the remaining air from the bags. And when ready to eat, just reheat it using the microwave! this definitely makes dinner time easy!

Can I Replace The Beans?

I’ve talked about eliminating any type of bean, but you may wonder if there is any low carb replacement that can add more flavor and texture to our chili. Well, it’s definitely not easy to find a keto friendly replacement for beans but let’s see some of the most common worthy solutions: 
Mushrooms: Adding chopped mushrooms can provide a nice, chewy texture. And also can give that flavor you’re looking for in the chili. Raw mushrooms have around 2.6g of carbs (link), which makes them a great substitute for beans.
Radishes are just like mushrooms. They have 3.9g of carbs which is perfect for our keto rules. Once well cooked, they are the closest thing you’ll find to replace any sort of bean. They give that extra texture and flavor to your chili and they are keto friendly.

Final Thoughts:

This was one of many keto chili recipes out there. As you’ve probably noticed, low carb chili is so easy to make. Just be precise with the amount of carb you add, avoid the beans, substitute for mushrooms or radishes if needed, and add plenty of healthy meats. Another popular way of doing keto chili is by substituting ground beef by the ground turkey, you can still get meaty chili and the fat amount will be smaller. You can even try to combine both.

Give this recipe a try, and also try making your own. Feel free to play around with the spices to your liking and the toppings as well, just, as usual, make sure it’s keto friendly.


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