This thick and chunky no bean chili hits the spot on a cold night and is a must for game day! Made in one pot on the stovetop and it can be ready to eat in less than an hour.
Why you’ll love this chili
Sometimes you don’t want beans in chili – Beans are a commonly used ingredient in chili recipes. But let’s face it, sometimes they can be a little rough on the stomach or maybe you’re just not in the mood for them. Whatever it is, this beanless chili will be your go-to alternative chili.
High protein dinner – If you’re looking for a meal that’s packed with protein this is it.
Ready to eat in less than an hour – Some chili needs hours to simmer on the stove or in the slow cooker. While you can definitely cook it longer on the stove, it really only needs 30-40 minutes.
Tastes even better the next day – As with most chili, the bean-free chili tastes even better the day after you make it. The flavors have more time to marry together giving it a richer flavor.
Ingredients you’ll need
- ground beef – I like to use lean ground beef, usually 90/10 or 93/7. You can use a higher fat content, just be sure to drain the excess grease so that the chili isn’t too greasy.
- onion and garlic – the aromatics that add lots of flavor to the chili.
- poblano pepper – Most chili uses bell peppers, but I love using a poblano chile for it instead. It’s a mild chile, so no need to worry about it being too spicy.
- chili powder – for this recipe I really like to use ancho chile powder. It isn’t a blend like most chili powder you see in the store. The flavor is smoky, a little sweet, and mildly spicy.
- cumin, oregano, smoked paprika – Combined they add earthy and smoky flavors to the chili.
- diced green chiles
- chipotle chile in adobo sauce – Adds a smoky and spicy element to the chili.
- tomato sauce
- crushed fire roasted tomatoes – You can use regular crushed tomatoes, but fire roasted adds an extra layer of flavor.
- beef broth
How to make no bean chili
To make this chili you’ll need a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add a little oil to the pot and then add in the ground beef, salt and pepper. Crumble it with a wooden and let it brown. Once it’s cooked, dump it out onto a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
Add a little more oil to the pot and then add in the poblano, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté until they’ve softened and then add the ground beef back in.
Add the dried spices, chipotle chile and adobo sauce and the cilantro in and stir everything together. The green chiles, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and beef broth get added into the pot and stirred together.
Bring the chili to a boil and then lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes. You can simmer the chili for an hour or two, just be sure the heat is on low and you stir it occasionally. If it looks too thick add in additional broth.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef
- Ancho chile powder can be replaced with a mild red chile powder or the more commonly found chili powder in all grocery stores.
- Poblano chile can be substituted with a bell pepper.
- Vegetable or chicken broth can be used in place of beef broth
- If you don’t want to use a chipotle chile either omit it or substitute with a seeded and finely chopped jalapeño.
- Cheese – shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack are two of my favorites
- Greek yogurt or sour cream – I always use plain Greek yogurt. I love the creaminess and tang it gives the chili. It’s also a great way to tame the spiciness.
- Scallions and cilantro
- Crushed tortilla chips or corn chips for crunch
- Avocado or even this green chile guacamole would be good.
Storage and Reheating
The chili can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-6 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Be sure to cool the chili completely before putting it in the freezer.
To reheat the chili, either microwave it in 30 second increments or reheat it in a saucepan or pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Be sure to remove frozen chili from the freezer the night before you plan to use it and let it defrost in the refrigerator. If the chili is too thick, add in a little broth to thin it out.
More chili recipes
Did you make this No Bean Chili? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder (I like to use ancho chile powder)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted if possible
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- Add the oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add in the ground beef, salt and pepper and crumble with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through and then dump it out onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess grease.
- Add the onion, poblano, and garlic to the remaining grease in the pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until they've softened. Add the ground beef back into the pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients into the pot and stir everything together. Bring the chili to a boil and then cover with a lid, lower the heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally. The chili should be a little thicker after simmering. If the chili gets too thick add additional broth.
- Serve the chili topped with shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, avocado, and scallions, or toppings of your choice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 780mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 48g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.