October 1, 2013
This will be the best chili you’ll ever make. Your belly will thank you. And, there is no need for beans since this All Meat and Veggie Paleo Chili recipe is so hearty you won’t even miss them, guaranteed.
My husband and I love chili. He loves to have a big bowl of hearty meaty goodness during football season while I prefer a meaty and bean-free version. This is a great compromise for both of us and a recipe loved by our guests as well.
Chili is such a versatile meal that is great for dinner or lunch. It also pleases the whole family. If you are not following a strict Paleo diet, you can top it with cheese and sour cream.
This is one of the meals included in my Family KickStart Program, so you are getting a special sneak peek today!
If you haven’t heard about Family KickStart yet, it’s the 30-day program I created to help busy families eat real food together. I’ve tried so many other 30-day or 21-day challenges and programs and all of them fell flat for me because they were set up for individuals and there was nothing there that my kids would eat.
I knew there had to be a better way, so I created it myself! When you sign up for the Family KickStart Program, you’re given everything you need to succeed at eliminating sugars and processed foods as a family. This includes over 50 recipes, meal plans, and even shopping lists to help make the process painless for you and your kids! Learn more about the Family KickStart Program here!
How to Make Paleo Chili
This epic, healthy chili recipe could not be easier to make! It comes together in a single skillet and is packed full of delicious flavors your family will love. Watch this quick recipe video to see it come together.
No Bean Chili
One of the reasons I love this recipe is because I get my chili fix without the need for beans. That’s right, it’s full of flavor and no beans. I tweaked the seasonings for over two years until I came up with, what I think is, the perfect balance of smokiness and heat.
I love cooking this chili in a large cast-iron skillet (as shown) or a Dutch oven. I really think the cast iron’s ability to hold the heat helps the seasonings penetrate the meat and veggies.
Do you know what else is great about this recipe? You can brown your meat and throw it all inside a slow cooker, for 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low and it’s a zero fuss way to eat chili. You are welcome.
Although I eliminated the beans in this recipe, all the hearty vegetables add the filling volume our hungry bellies want and need. Plus, it’s super colorful and looks gorgeous when served, not to mention delicious.
Best Veggies for Paleo Chili
Today, I’m using carrots and zucchini as the filler veggies in this chili. Keeping the same amount of veggies that the recipe indicates, meaning the same volume, you can also use:
- cubed sweet potatoes
- cubed butternut squash
- chopped cauliflower
- cubed turnips
- cubed beets
- a handful or two of spinach
- chopped broccoli
This chili is very thick. If you want to make it more soup-like, add 2 cups of stock to thin it out. It’s the perfect topping for baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. My kids don’t eat it as is so I used the mini-chopper to finely chop all the veggie chunks and topped their pasta with it for what they call: chili-pasta. Win-win!
You know why else I love this chili? Because I can make this recipe ahead of time and after a long day of work I can have a quick hearty meal. You can read many of the comments below, they all agree that this chili tastes better a few days later! Try it once and make sure you double the recipe and freeze extras. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about freezing chili here.
And of course, when you are done cooking this paleo chili, you can try one of my other dinner ideas.
Paleo Chili Ingredient Substitution Ideas:
Whether you don’t have some of the veggies around, have picky eaters who don’t eat carrots or zucchini, or you simply want to make the most out of this recipe and add variety, the following are great substitutions and add-ins to this recipe.
- Some of my readers have found that replacing the carrots with sweet potatoes is a great option if you have kids who don’t eat carrots or want to up the carbohydrate count of this recipe.
- Add 8 ounces of mushrooms to the recipe when sautéing the veggies. They’ll add a delicious earthy flavor to the recipe.
- Substitute the zucchini with butternut squash, either fresh or frozen.
- Substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken. However, the latter has very little fat so the chili might be a bit dryer in texture.
- Replacing the ground beef with chicken is also a popular choice, however, the recipe will vary a little so I went ahead and created the Paleo Chicken Chili Recipe in this post.
- Add 2 to 4 additional cups of broth or stock to this recipe to make it more soup-like. The chili texture is thick.
- Many of my readers have loved this chili recipe so much that they’ve replaced the ground beef with 2 15-ounce cans of black beans to make it a vegetarian meal.
- In addition, some have used cubed tofu in this recipe and kept it vegetarian with no beans.
- At special request from readers, I’ve tweaked my chili to only 6 grams of carbs (without sacrificing flavor) in this keto chili recipe.
- Add ½ to 1 whole finely chopped jalapeño when sautéing the veggies for added heat. This chili is rich and smoky not very spicy.
How to Freeze Chili Leftovers
This recipe freezes very well. I like to freeze leftovers in 1 cup to 1 ½ cup servings for quick lunches or single-serve dinners.
Of course, you can fill leftovers in a gallon zip bag and freeze for another dinner.
How to make Paleo Chili in the Slow cooker
You can make this paleo chili recipe in the slow cooker after you brown your meat. For the full recipe and directions on how to do that, I have a Slow Cooker Paleo Chili Recipe right here if you want to make the whole thing that way.
How to keep paleo chili warm for a party:
Make this paleo chili recipe a day or two ahead before a party and store in the refrigerator. The day of the party, simply warm it up and keep it “warm” in your slow cooker so your guests can serve themselves or in a large pot on your stove on the lowest setting.
Most of us think it tastes better the next day!
How to Cook Paleo Chili in the Instant Pot:
Brown your meat in the Instant Pot and then add all remaining ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes and it’s ready.
The only downside of cooking this recipe in the Instant Pot is that the zucchini will be cooked a lot and very soft. For this method, I recommend substituting the zucchini with diced sweet potatoes.
Paleo Chili Toppings
You can’t go wrong with a big bowl of this paleo chili recipe. However, just like any of my taco recipes, the more toppings the better! Here are some of my recommended toppings for this recipe:
- Chopped cooked crispy bacon
- Sour cream, if you can have it
- Grated cheese, if you can have it
- Served with organic corn chips, if you can have them
- Served over cauliflower rice, to stretch this meal and eat extra veggies
- Over spaghetti squash
- As a topping for baked sweet potatoes
- With my Paleo Drop Biscuits inside my Grain Free Cookbook
- With Paleo “Corn Bread” in my Family KickStart Program
Paleo Chili | the Original All Meat & Veggie Chili
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 ½ cups onion, diced, about 1 large onion
- ½ cup celery, chopped, about 1 stalk
- 1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and diced, about 4 medium carrots
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 4 cups zucchinis, diced, about 2-3 medium zucchinis
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- In your seasoned skillet or 5-6 quart large cast iron pot, brown beef and garlic. Cook over medium heat until beef is thoroughly cooked and browned. Drain off excess fat, set aside.
- Add oil, onions, celery, carrots, and seasonings to the skillet and cook until translucent over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes. Once onions are golden and veggies are midway cooked, add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, making sure you stir everything well.
- Add cooked beef, tomato puree/sauce, and tomatoes into the pot and stir well. Bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Check on the amazing mixture every so often and stir. Serve immediately.