Photo: iStock/46115087


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 ½ large onion, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 medium parsnip, peeled, diced
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1-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 oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup apple cider (no added sugar)
2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes (no added sugar)
1 cup crushed tomatoes (no added sugar)
1 cup beef or vegetable stock (no added sugar)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

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 carrot, peeled, diced

** Toss cut up parsnip (listed above), turnip and carrot 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 chili during final 15 minutes of cooking.


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat; add the onion, bell pepper, parsnip (if not roasting) and jalapeno. Sauté for 2 – 3 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, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper on top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute to release the flavors.  Add the apple cider, deglaze the pan.  Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, stock and balsamic vinegar.
  • IF using beans, add them to the pot along with the tomatoes, stock and vinegar. Stir to combine. Bring to low simmer (medium-low heat) 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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