No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)

GF

This no-bean chili combines sweet potatoes, grass-fed ground beef, corn, tomatoes and a robust blend of spices. It’s thick, hearty, super flavorful and perfect for meal prep.

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly… I’m sharing a beef recipe for the first time.

To be honest, we don’t cook with beef often, but last fall I was inspired by a friend (thanks Bryan!) to try making a beef chili recipe without beans. I shared it on my Instagram stories and so many of you asked for me to share the recipe. So here I am, a year later, sharing this no-bean chili (beef chili) recipe with you all! I apologize it took so dang long because this recipe is good!

Whenever I make chili I typically make my vegetarian chili or opt for ground turkey if I’m adding meat (like with this healthy turkey chili), but this no bean chili recipe might have converted me to using ground beef more often. The grass-fed ground beef adds so much flavor and when you compare lean ground beef with ground turkey there isn’t that much difference nutritionally. This article was enlightening to me because it shows that although lean beef has a bit more saturated fat it has less calories and more protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins!

Even though there are no beans in this chili recipe it’s still super hearty and filling with extra veggies like corn and sweet potatoes. While I totally love beans and eat them often, I find this chili a bit easier on the digestive system than a chili that is loaded with beans.

A bowl of no bean chili topped with cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream and chips.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s a one-pot meal, which means fewer dishes to clean up!
  • Makes a big batch, so it’s the perfect recipe for serving a crowd. It’s also great for meal prep!
  • It’s hearty and filling – say hello to comfort food in a bowl!
  • There are no beans so if you’re not a bean fan or don’t digest beans well, this chili recipe is for you!
Ingredients measured out to make no-bean chili: pepper, cinnamon, sea salt, paprika, onion, broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, frozen corn, oil, ground beef, bell pepper, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, chili powder, sweet potato, garlic and oregano.

Ingredients Needed

  • olive oil – for sautéing the veggies. You can also use avocado oil.
  • onion and garlic – these two ingredients help make the perfect savory base!
  • red bell pepper – for a touch of sweetness. Feel free to use green bell pepper instead.
  • ground beef – ideally you want to look for lean grass-fed ground beef, as this will contain more nutrients than grain-fed beef. I buy Nature’s Rancher 85/15 organic grass-fed beef. Studies have found that grass-fed beef contains two to six times more omega-3 fatty acids than feed-lot beef. That said if you’re not a beef person feel free to use ground turkey instead.
  • sweet potato – since we’re not adding beans, the sweet potato adds veggies and volume to this chili. It also adds a little sweetness and plenty of nutritious benefits.
  • frozen sweet corn – no need to thaw the corn first, just throw it in and let it cook with the chili. Canned sweet corn works just as well.
  • fire roasted tomatoes – I used canned fire-roasted crushed & diced tomatoes which add a pleasant smoky flavor to this chili. That said, feel free to use plain crushed and diced tomatoes. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand, tomato sauce would be a good substitute.
  • broth – chicken, beef, vegetable or bone broth are all excellent options for this recipe. I prefer to use low sodium broth so I can control the amount of salt.
  • spices and seasonings – chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper and just a pinch of cinnamon. If you want some more heat add a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • toppings – feel free to add your favorite toppings, but my faves are shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalapeño and Greek yogurt or sour cream!
Collage of four photos showing the steps to make no-bean chili.

How to Make (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Stove Top

  1. Begin by heating oil in a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Next, add the ground beef and cook until browned while breaking the beef into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, this should take about 8 minutes. 
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the toppings. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30-35 minutes. Taste the chili when ready and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. 
  4. Serve warm and top with shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalapeño and sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Slow Cooker

  1. Begin by heating oil in a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until browned while breaking the beef into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. 
  2. Add all your ingredients, including the cooked beef, onions and garlic to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours until sweet potatoes are cooked through and tender.
  3. Taste the chili when ready and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.
A bowl of no bean chili topped with cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream and chips.

Topping Ideas

Toppings are key for a flavorful chili. Here are some of my favorite chili toppings:

  • Greek yogurt: I like using plain full fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a cool, tangy topping, but sour cream is a great option as well.
  • Shredded cheese: Can’t go wrong with shredded cheese! Use freshly grated cheddar for the best flavor. Of course you can skip the cheese or use a dairy-free option to keep this chili dairy-free.
  • Nutritional yeast: A great option for anybody who wants a cheesy flavor without the dairy.
  • Avocado: I love adding sliced avocado to my chili for some healthy fats.
  • Tortilla chips: Adds some crunch and can be used to scoop up chili!
  • Fresh herbs: Parsley and cilantro would be my top choices for fresh herbs.
  • Peppers: If you’re looking to add some heat you could top your chili with sliced jalapeños.
  • Seeds: for some crunch add some pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas).
  • Onions: Chopped fresh yellow onion or green onions add great flavor as a topping.
  • Lime juice: Serve your bowl of chili with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to brighten up the dish.
Two bowls of no bean chili next to a pot of the chili.

How to Serve

This chili is hearty enough to be enjoyed as a meal on its own, but it’s also delicious served with some sides. Here are some serving ideas:

A spoonful of no bean chili over a bowl.

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

Let the chili cool completely before storing in an airtight container. The chili will last 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator and can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, make sure to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

You can reheat in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you’re in a rush.

A bowl of no bean chili topped with cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream and chips.

More Chili Recipes to Try

More Soup Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of the soup recipes as well as the full collection of dinner recipes on EBF!

No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)

5 from 11 votes
This no-bean chili combines grass-fed ground beef, sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes and a robust blend of spices. It's thick, hearty, super flavorful and perfect for meal prep.
A bowl of no bean chili topped with cheese, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream and chips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  • 1 28 ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth, bone broth works great
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalapeno (optional) and sour cream or Greek yogurt

Instructions
 

Stove Top

  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring often until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
    Onion, bell pepper and garlic sautéing in a pot.
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking beef into crumbles as it cooks, about 8 minutes.
    Ground beef added to the pot.
  • Add sweet potato, corn, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cinnamon.
    Sweet potato, corn, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cinnamon added to the pot.
  • Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 30-35 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
    No bean chili simmering in a pot.
  • Serve warm with and top with shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalapeno and sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Slow Cooker

  • Begin by heating oil in a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until browned while breaking the beef into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. 
  • Add all your ingredients, including the cooked beef, onions and garlic to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours until sweet potatoes are cooked through and tender.
  • Taste the chili when ready and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipe Calories: 282kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 20g Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 38mg Sodium: 840mg Potassium: 245mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 7g
Course: Lunch/Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: no bean chili

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    12 comments
    1. Marissa
      November 22, 2022 AT 7:28 pm

      5 stars
      This was so delicious! Didn’t add the potatoes because of being on a low carb diet. You don’t even miss the beans. Really good recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 28, 2022 AT 11:17 am

        Yay! I am so excited to hear that you are loving this recipe, Marissa. Thank you so much for your review & star rating, I truly appreciate it.

    2. Taylor F.
      November 9, 2022 AT 5:53 pm

      5 stars
      I was so excited so find this recipe! I can’t eat beans so I gave this a go tonight. It was SO delicious! I have missed chili and this hit the spot!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 9, 2022 AT 6:21 pm

        Woo! I am so glad that you are loving this recipe and are able to enjoy chili again, Taylor. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    3. Tiffany
      November 4, 2022 AT 1:02 pm

      5 stars
      Made this last night and the whole fam loved it! Made it with beef bone broth which I think really added to the flavor. Great recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 7, 2022 AT 1:18 pm

        Yay! I am so glad this recipe is a hit for the whole family, Tiffany. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    4. Tiffany
      October 20, 2022 AT 11:40 am

      5 stars
      My mom made this for me and we both enjoyed it! So yummy! Didn’t miss the beans and I loved the fall flavor the cinnamon added.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 21, 2022 AT 10:01 am

        WOO! I am so happy that this recipe is a hit, Tiffany. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    5. Erica
      October 9, 2022 AT 2:13 pm

      5 stars
      We are not usually a chili loving family but this was so, so delish!! I served your pumpkin cornbread muffins on the side for a huge win for Sunday lunch!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 10, 2022 AT 8:32 pm

        Ah this is great, I am excited that you and your family enjoyed this chili recipe. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving your review & star rating, I so appreciate you being here!

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