What is more satisfying than chili on a cold winter day? A big bowl of chili is the perfect comfort food for any evening you need to be warmed up with a hot, delicious meal.
This isn’t just any chili — it’s keto low carb chili, which means it has all the same taste and satisfaction while still being keto-friendly and full of healthy fats. By leaving out the beans, and adding in nutrient-dense ingredients like bone broth and grass-fed ground beef, you get all the flavor without the added carbs.
This keto chili deliciously satisfying and low carb, and takes a total time of just 10 minutes to simmer on the stovetop. Plus, it’s easy to make in batches and store, cutting down on meal prep time throughout the week.
The best thing about chili is how versatile it is. While this recipe is prepared on the stovetop, you could easily use a slow cooker or Instant Pot — two incredible kitchen tools for a hectic lifestyle. Using an Instant Pot results in a shorter cook time, while whipping up a Crock-Pot chili allows flavors to really marry together. Simply cook the ground beef until brown, then transfer to a Crock-Pot for a “set it and forget it” meal.
PS: Keep reading past the recipe for more handy tips and tricks for making this low carb chili!
- In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add chopped celery and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer celery to separate bowl and set aside.
- In same pot, add beef and spices and brown beef until cooked throughout.
- Lower heat to medium-low, add tomato sauce and beef bone broth to cooked beef, and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add celery back to pot and stir until well-incorporated.
- Garnish, serve, and enjoy!
Optional garnishes: sour cream, cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeno, cilantro, green onion
|Serving Size||1 cup|
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 359 Calories from fat|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 22.8g||35%|
|Carbohydrate 6.7g (Net: 5.2g)||2%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|
If you check out the nutrition facts, this bowl of low carb chili contains just 5 grams of net carbs, making it a filling meal as well as a tasty one, too. For extra flavor (and another dose of healthy fats) add a dollop of full-fat sour cream on top.
What do you need to make this low carb keto chili recipe? Some of the ingredients include:
- Avocado oil
- Grass-fed ground beef (85/15)
- Kettle and Fire Bone Broth
How Do you Make No-Bean Chili?
While almost all chili recipes are gluten free, they still rank high in carbs. A cup of homemade chili with beans can include upwards of 29 grams of total carbohydrates. Even with the added dietary fiber, you’re still looking at 22 grams net carbs[*].
As with most keto recipes, you can still enjoy the foods you love, with a few swaps in ingredients. In this easy low carb chili recipe, you out leave the beans and swap in celery and ground beef. This gives you the same thick, meaty bowl of chili you always crave without the extra carbs.
Why Are Beans Not Allowed on Keto?
Individuals who follow a plant-based diet typically view beans as a protein source. However, when you take a hard look at the nutrition data, their protein (and fat, for that matter) are relatively low.
On keto, roughly 70-75% of your calories should come from fat, 20-25% from protein and just 5-10% from carbohydrates. If you look at the nutrition info for legumes below, you’ll see beans have a high carb, moderate protein and very low fat composition — the exact opposite of what you want on keto. This is why legumes (or beans) are typically not found in low carb recipes.
Kidney beans, a common ingredient in bean chili, contain 18.5 grams of carbohydrates. For an individual following a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, aiming to consume only five of your percent daily values from carbs, their daily carbohydrate allowance is 25 grams. Meaning, a single serving of kidney beans leaves them with just 6.5 grams of carbs remaining.
Making No-Bean Chili Without Sacrificing Flavor
Here’s one thing to keep in mind when whipping up a batch of low carb chili: Beans are the filler, not the flavor. A batch of chili without chili powder, cumin and red pepper is simply a bowl of kidney beans soaked in tomato sauce.
While legumes are not keto-friendly, spices and seasoning are completely keto-approved. Plus, they contain quite a few nutritional benefits you might not be aware of.
Red and green peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which might prevent cancer, fight viruses and aid in metabolic function[*]. If you have ever heard to eat spicy foods on a lower calorie diet, this is why. In addition, in one study the addition of cayenne pepper increased diet-induced thermogenesis in foods[*], or the energy expenditure required to digest certain foods[*].
Why is it Important to Use Grass-Fed Beef?
When consuming meat, source always matters. In this particular recipe, use grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed beef to get the most nutrients possible. While some individuals purchase grass-fed beef for environmental reasons, the health benefits are undeniable. Grass-fed beef (compared to grain-fed beef) is:
- A significant source of CLA
- Safer for consumers
- Free of hormones
- A lower-calorie alternative than grain-fed beef
For a full list on the health benefits of grass-fed beef, see this post.
#1: Significant Source of CLA
Grass-fed beef is a significant source of CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids) which have been researched quite extensively due to their association with the prevention and treatment of cancer as well as obesity, diabetes and different cardiovascular diseases[*].
CLA might also help regulate blood sugar levels, one goal of ketosis. In one study, 37% of the people who were given CLA demonstrated better insulin sensitivity over those who weren’t given CLA[*].
#2: Safer for Consumers
Choosing beef from grass-fed cows instead of grain-fed cows can reduce your risk of food poisoning and other negative health effects associated with cows on a grain-fed diet. Conventionally raised cows have been shown to have a higher risk of bacteria overall, but especially bacteria resistant to antibiotics[*].
#3: Free of Hormones
Grass-fed beef is free of hormones and antibiotics. Cows that are fed a conventional diet of grain are typically given hormones to increase their weight, therefore increasing the amount of meat they produce.
Grain-fed cows are also fed an alarming amount of antibiotics to keep them from catching the diseases that spread quickly in the confined spaces they live in.
#4: Lower-Calorie Than Grain-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef typically has fewer calories per serving than grain-fed beef. Because the cows were not given growth hormones, it’s typically a lower cut of beef. You also get more nutrients out of those calories — grass-fed beef contains more E and A vitamins and has a more nutritious fat profile[*].
This easy, low carb chili is the perfect dish for cold winter events. Feel free to customize the ingredients to fit your tastes, or experiment with using a slow cooker. You can try swapping out ground turkey for beef or topping it with bacon bits. Or, mix a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes or tomato paste in with your sauce for an even thicker texture. If you prefer a fiery chili, toss in some diced green peppers or red pepper flakes. Or, add an extra dash of Worcestershire sauce or black pepper for an extra kick.
When you’re shopping for your low carb chili ingredients, make sure you are only getting the highest quality food to ensure you are reaping all the benefits from the food you enjoy.