Low Carb No Bean Chili Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Keto Chili is made without beans for the ultimate low carb comfort food. And this easy and tasty recipe can be made right in your Instant Pot, or let it simmer all day in your slow cooker. If you’ve never tried no-bean chili, this hearty meal is sure to satisfy you!

Crock filled with chili and topped with cheese and sour cream

I’ve been making what I consider to be the best chili recipe for years. So when I was looking through the Naturally Keto cookbook by my friend Brenda Bennet from Sugar Free Mom and saw this chili recipe without beans, I knew I had to try it.

Why?

Though we do enjoy a slice of Bacon Cheeseburger Crustless Quiche sometimes, we aren’t exactly low carb in our house. However, I am gluten free and do try to keep my family from going carb-crazy. So I like to mix in some low carb dishes some times.

And with family and friends and readers increasingly following the keto diet, I wanted to have a go-to keto chili recipe for times when my classic version wouldn’t fit the bill.

So when Brenda introduced this recipe by saying that her husband, who had always been a meat and potatoes kinda guy until he recently started the keto diet and seemed to prefer more traditional meals, thought it was delicious and didn’t miss the beans, I knew this was the one!

Closeup of Keto Chili in a bowl dripping over the edges

No-Bean Keto Chili Recipe

In order to keep it low carb to be friendly for the keto diet, this is a chili recipe without beans. While beans are packed with fiber and protein, they are fairly high in carbs. With about 12 grams of net carbs per 1/2-cup serving, beans are typically excluded from more ketogenic diets.

What do you call chili without beans?

Some people will argue that no-bean chili isn’t actually chili. It’s more of a meat sauce or spicy stew. However, in some parts of the country, you wouldn’t dare put beans in chili. But this Texas-style chili con carne (aka “with meat”) also typically does not include tomatoes.

So the no-bean chili recipe you have here is more like your traditional beef chili with beans, only the beans are left out. However, with all of the ground beef, vegetables, and spices, you still get the heart and satisfying comfort food you crave, with enough of a kick to warm you from the inside.

Overhead of a bowl of No-Bean Chili with a spoon

How to make Low Carb Chili

With just about ten minutes of prep time, you can cook it fast or cook it slow and have a cozy and comforting bowl of low carb chili ready for you right when you want it. Yes, you can make this no-bean chili recipe in your pressure cooker in just minutes, or let it simmer all day in your slow cooker. Either way, you are in for a flavor-packed and satisfying meal that might have you ditching all of your other chili recipes to make it extra meaty and without beans!

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

While this does appear to be a long list of ingredients, many of the ingredients are herbs and spices you probably have on hand, as well as other basic pantry ingredients. So don’t let that deter you. They all come together to make this a full-flavored and hearty dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Oil – avocado oil is recommended, but any neutral oil will work.
  • Onions
  • Jalapeno peppers – feel free to adjust based on how hot you like your chili.
  • Bell peppers – I prefer red bell peppers, but you can use any type you prefer.
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder – NOT chili seasoning which may contain fillers that are not low carb/gluten free.
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Marinara sauce – storebought or homemade, but be sure to use a brand or recipe that does not add any sugar, such as Rao’s.
  • Beef broth
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Tomato paste
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – this may seem unusual, but it enhances the flavors and is reminiscent of Mexican mole

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Here is a brief overview of the two methods to make this no-bean chili. You’ll find the full amounts and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. Feel free to scroll right down, or keep reading for more tips, tricks, and suggestions.

How do you make low carb chili in an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?

By using an Instant Pot, you can cook the entire dish in one pot in practically no-time, but you still get the flavor and texture of simmering it all day.

  1. Saute onions, peppers, and jalapenos in oil in your pressure cooker.
  2. Add the ground beef, garlic, and dry seasonings and cook until meat is browned, crumbling it as it cooks.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, close and seal the pressure cooker, and set on Manual Mode on High pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. After the cooking time is done, do a Quick Release.
  5. Serve hot with toppings, if desired.

How do you make low carb chili in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker?

If you only have a few minutes of prep time in the morning, but no time in the evening, then simmering your chili all day in a Slow Cooker is the way to go.

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute onions, peppers, and jalapenos.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until meat is browned, crumbling it as it cooks.
  3. Stir in the garlic and dry seasonings.
  4. Transfer to your slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  6. Serve hot with toppings, if desired.
Low Carb Chili in a crock with bowls of cheese and sour cream for topping

Make it a Meal

Toppings for keto chili:

  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese Whisps instead of tortilla chips
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Low carb sides to serve with no-bean chili:

If you have family or friends that aren’t low carb and they just can’t comprehend the thought of chili without beans, then you can always heat up some that they can stir into their chili. 

Or just get another slow cooker fired up and make Crockpot Turkey Chili with Black Beans and Pineapple! 

Keto Chili without Beans topped with cheese and sour cream

Can you freeze chili?

While you can store this keto chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, it is also freezer-friendly. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container, then wrap the container tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a zipper freezer storage bag. 

Once sealed, you can freeze it for up to 4 months. This makes it perfect for meal prep since you can even freeze in containers that are individual portion size!

Instant Pot Low Carb Chili from the Naturally Keto Cookbook

More about Naturally Keto by Brenda Bennett:

The only real reason you need to buy Naturally Keto is that you love good food. This book is filled with over 125 recipes for every meal of the day. You can have Cinnamon Crumb Muffins or Sausage and Bacon Quiche for breakfast, There is Kale Caesar Salad or Chicken Crust Pizza for lunch. Taco Casserole and Skillet Chicken Parmesan for dinner. And even Boston Cream Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert.

These are dishes that appeal to anyone, whether they are total carb-lovers, just getting started on a low carb lifestyle, or total keto diet experts. So that means you can cook one meal for the entire family and they are sure to devour it. Plus she provides lots of allergy-friendly swaps and substitutions.

But the best part is that Brenda focuses on real food and minimal “special” ingredients. Sure, you might have to buy some low carb sweetener to make the desserts or swap out the usual potatoes or rice for their cauliflower counterparts. But really these are dishes that anyone can make and everyone will love.

Instant Pot Keto Chili in a crock with cheese and sour cream on top

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More of my favorite low carb dinner recipes

Instant Pot Keto Chili in a crock with cheese and sour cream on top
5 from 1 vote

Low Carb Chili (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

This easy keto Chili recipe you can make in your pressure cooker or crockpot is the ultimate low carb comfort food! Hearty and delicious, even without beans!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 36 mins
Slow Cooker Cook Time 4 hrs
Total: 46 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 cups diced white onions
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, storebought or homemade (be sure it is sugar free)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Toppings (optional)

  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  • Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the saute mode and pour in the oil. Add the onions, jalapenos, and bell peppers and saute for 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender.
  • Add the ground beef, garlic, and dry seasonings and cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring often to crumble the meat.
  • Stir in the marinara sauce, broth, tomatoes with green chilies, tomato paste, and cocoa powder. Cover and set the Instant Pot to the manual mode on high pressure for 20 minutes. Perform a quick release of the pressure. Remove the lid carefully, watching out for the steam.
  • Serve hot, with or without the optional toppings.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapenos, and bell peppers and saute for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring often to crumble the meat. Stir in the garlic and dry seasonings. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the marinara sauce, broth, tomatoes with green chilies, tomato paste, and cocoa powder. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  • Serve hot, with or without the optional toppings.

Notes

Nutrition facts do not include optional toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Chili (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 865mg36%
Potassium 786mg22%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 774IU15%
Vitamin C 27mg33%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

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