Texas “No Bean” (aka low carb) Chili

According to Texans, who think they know everything about chili, if you add beans to your chili, you haven’t made chili but some other contraption all-together. No offense to the longhorn state, that’s utter nonsense. My father was a chili aficionado and he always added some type of bean (typically kidney) to his chili. Oh, and he’s won plenty of chili cook-offs in his day.  And since I didn’t grow up in Texas, what they believe the definition of chili to be was inconsequential to me. #HotChiliTakes

However, the Texans may have unknowingly been on to something. Most diets do not include chili because for most of the country, which includes the weirdos who put chili over spaghetti noodles, chili has beans which ipsofacto means your chili is extremely high in carbs. HINT: Carbs are bad.

In the past I’ve tried to go the healthier black bean route but at the end of the day a bean is a bean is a bean and if you’re trying to eat low carb, any type of bean is a no go.

So, enter my newly created Texas style “No Bean” chili.


Buy as much organic ingredients as possible, if that’s your thing.

1.5 lbs 85/15 Ground Beef

Hint: The leaner the better but 85/15 has a good mix of fat and flavor. You’ll drain most the fat later, and you’ll be left with the flavor. BINGO.

1.5 lbs lean stew beef cut into small cubs. (Add 1 tsp salt and pepper, mix and set aside)

1 large can roasted diced tomatoes

1 large can pureed tomatoes

1 medium can tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste (used only to thicken the chili if needed)

Hint: You can now buy organic canned tomatoes. You can also find canned tomatoes that are seasoned with chili’s and peppers. Go that route if you can.

4 Poblano peppers (fresh)

3 Jalapeno peppers (fresh and roughly chopped)

Hint: The seeds are what make peppers really hot. To remove seeds, slice pepper down the middle and using your knife, scrape the inside of pepper until seeds are gone.

1 large onion (roughly chopped)

1 each red, yellow and green bell pepper (roughly chopped)

Hint: The red and yellow are for color only but I find them also to be a tad sweeter. 

1 can chipotle peppers (diced)

Hint: I believe one can contains 5-6 peppers. I use three-four and my chili ends up very spicy.


2-3 cups each chicken and beef stock.

1 tbls olive oil

1 tbls minced garlic

1/2 cup each chili powder, cumin, and paprika..

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: Habonerro or ghost chili’s. Use only if you like very hot chili or you hate your bunghole. 

Also optional: Beer. Any beer (the darker the better) works but know you’re adding unnecessary carbs with every beer.


This is a one pot chili, so clean up should be a snap.

Prep time: 1 hour. Cook time: AS LONG AS POSSIBLE

Preheat oven to high broil. Place poblano peppers, whole, in the oven directly under the broiler. Broil until pepper turns black (yes, black like burned black). Rotate peppers until completely blackened on all sides. Remove peppers from oven and place in gallon size plastic freezer bag. Seal bag and place to the side.

Preheat large heavy bottom’d pot to medium to medium high heat and add 1 tbls olive oil. When oil begins to smoke add seasoned stew meat; brown meat on all sides and drain any excess fat. Remove beef from pot and set aside. Add ground beef immediately to pot and 1 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until brown and drain excess fat.

Pot should now have bits of chard beef on the bottom (that’s good). Add 1 tbls oil, return all beef to pot and add onion, garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper and chipotles. Add 1 tsp salt and pepper and cook until browned. (5-10 minutes).

While beef/pepper mixture cooks, remove the chard (blackened) outside of the poblanos. Watch this video on how to do this. Once skin is removed, dice poblanos and add to the meat and pepper mixture.

Once cooked, add the chili powder, cumin, and paprika to the mix and cook for an additional 2-5 mins. Be careful to stir occasionally, not allowing the mixture to burn.

Add tomatoes, juice and all, scrapping (de-glazing) the bottom of the pot. Cook for 10 – 20 minutes or until liquid reduces by an inch. Add chicken and beef stock (add in equal portions until liquid is 3-4 inched from top of pot), stir and let chili cook for as many hours as humanly possible on medium-low heat. Taste often to monitor spice and salt level. If too spicy, add more liquid or tomatoes.

Chili is always served best the next day. So if you have the time to cook a day in advance, do so and you’ll thank me later. Now, this chili is not 100% carb-free. Tomatoes are considered a carb, but no worries, these carbs aren’t bad for you like the bean filled carb’d up chili you’re use to eating.




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