Chili – With or Without Beans

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Easy To Prepare, Entree, Gluten Free, Healthy, No Added Sugar, Recipe, Soup, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Depending on your taste preference and dietary needs, you may like your chili with or without beans.  This recipe provides a good base for either.  And, even if you are a bean lover, try the alternate recipe.  It’s so flavorful and delicious, you may not miss the beans!

If you prefer a vegetarian version, eliminate the ground meat, use vegetable stock rather than beef stock, and add the additional roasted vegetables.

Makes: 4 – 5 servings


Chili Base
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 green or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 pound ground beef (or chicken, turkey)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine or 1/3 cup apple cider (no added sugar)
2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes (no added sugar, low sodium)
1 cup beef or vegetable stock (no added sugar, low sodium)

With Beans
2 cans (15 oz each) beans – choose any black, red, white, pinto (low sodium, no added sugar)

Without Beans
1 medium turnip, peeled, diced
1 large parsnip, peeled, diced

  • Roast the Root Veggies – Toss the carrot (listed in base recipe), turnip and parsnip in 2 teaspoons avocado oil; spread in even layer on baking sheet; roast in preheated 450° F oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until soft. Add to the chili during final 15 minutes of cooking.


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat; add the onion, bell pepper, carrot (if not roasting) and jalapeno. Sauté for 3 – 5 minutes to brown and soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.  Add the ground meat, breaking up to crumble and sauté until fully cooked.
  2. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, curry, basil, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper on top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute to release the flavors. Add the wine or apple cider, deglaze the pan. Add the diced tomatoes, and stock.
  • IF using beans, add them to the pot along with the tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine. Bring to low simmer (medium-low heat), cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • IF not using beans, add the additional roasted vegetables during the final 15 minutes of simmering.


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Main Photo: iStock/46115087

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