Satisfy your chili cravings without sacrificing your keto diet with this hearty and flavorful Keto Chili Recipe. Made with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, then seasoned with spices such as chili powder, cumin, and garlic, this low-carb chili is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal or a potluck or party.
If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you might think chili is off the menu due to its high carb content. However, you’ll be pleased to know you can still enjoy this hearty dish without breaking your diet. This recipe uses ingredients low in carbs and high in fat, making it the perfect meal for those following a ketogenic diet. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.
What Is Keto?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has become popular recently. The goal of the diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. To achieve this, you must limit your carb intake to around 20-50 grams daily and increase your fat intake.
What Makes Chili Keto?
Traditional chili recipes often include beans, which are high in carbs. However, recipe for no-bean chili uses low-carb ingredients instead. This means you can still enjoy the delicious flavors and spices of without going over your carb limit.
How Many Carbs Are in this Low-Carb Chili Recipe
The number of carbs will depend on your recipe and chosen ingredients. However, most keto chili recipes have around 6-8 net carbs per serving. To calculate net carbs, subtract the fiber content from the total carb count. This recipe contains seven net carbs per serving.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This keto chili recipe is perfect if you’re looking for a hearty and filling meal that won’t kick you out of ketosis. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
✔ It’s easy to make: This recipe is simple, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
✔ It’s family-friendly: This keto chili is a crowd-pleaser and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family.
✔ It’s customizable: You can adjust the heat level to your liking by adding more or less chili powder or jalapenos. Plus, you can add your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, or avocado.
If you love this recipe, check out this quick and easy low-carb chili casserole.
- Ground Beef style=”font-weight: 400;”> – is the primary protein source and adds flavor and substance.
- Rotel Tomatoes – These spicy diced tomatoes with green chilis add the perfect kick.
- Crushed Tomatoes – Part of the base of this recipe.
- Diced Onions – adds a bit of heartiness and added flavor
- Cumin – Offers a warm and earthy spice characteristic of chili recipes, giving it a distinct flavor.
- Chili powder – Provides the signature heat and depth of flavor.
- Curry powder (optional) – My secret ingredient that adds a unique twist with its blend of spices that intensifies the flavor and gives it a bold taste.
- Beef Broth – Increases the liquid content, ensuring the right consistency and adds additional meaty flavor.
- Salt – Enhances the overall taste and helps balance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Pepper – Adds a subtle spiciness.
- Red pepper flakes (optional) – Provide extra heat and a touch of spiciness for those who like it hot.
- Hot sauce (optional) – Intensifies the spiciness and adds a tangy kick for those who prefer a more fiery chili.
- Green bell pepper, chopped (optional) – Adds a fresh, slightly sweet crunch.
- Butter (optional) – This can be added for extra fat, richness and flavor, making it even more indulgent.
How to Make Homemade Keto Chili
Below is a step-by-step pictorial for those who prefer a visual reference. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe card with detailed ingredients and instructions.
Step 1: Brown the ground beef, green peppers, onions, and garlic together first over medium-high heat in a large skillet or pan. Drain the ground beef, if desired, and return to saucepan.
Tip: As I have mentioned before, I always brown my ground beef ahead of time, reducing the cooking time and making meals much easier. If you use ground beef already browned, you’ll want to saute the bell pepper, onions, and garlic cloves in olive oil before adding the browned ground beef to the pot.
This and other time-saving tips can be found in 5 Easy Keto Meal Prep Ideas.
Step 2: Add all other ingredients to the ground beef mixture and bring to a boil. If you decide to add the optional butter, you should add it now. It will add a little extra fat and flavor.
Tip: I used diced tomatoes with green chilis (or Rotel) and crushed tomatoes in this recipe. If you don’t enjoy chunks of tomatoes, you can toss a can of whole tomatoes in a blender to make tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
Step 3: Reduce to low heat and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until it reaches desired thickness. Top each bowl with sour cream, grated cheese, and jalapenos if desired.
Tip: This chili recipe is so thick and hearty. If you prefer it not quite as thick, add more beef broth until it reaches the desired thickness. I typically like mine a little thinner, while my hubby prefers his nice and thick.
How to Thicken Keto Chili?
The best way to thicken this keto chili is to bring it to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer it with the lid off. As it simmers, the liquid evaporates, causing it to thicken. Make sure you stir it occasionally. Simple, right?
How Many Carbs Are in a Bowl of Chili?
This recipe makes eight servings, with seven net carbs per serving. No guilt here! I did not measure for an exact serving size. Instead, I divided the low-carb chili evenly.
What are some low-carb bean substitutes?
If you’re looking to make a low-carb version of chili, there are several bean substitutes you can try that will add bulk and texture. One popular option is to use diced mushrooms, which have a similar texture to beans and can add a lot of flavor. Another option is to use diced zucchini or eggplant, which can also add bulk and texture to your dish. You can also try using cauliflower rice, which can be a great way to add some extra vegetables.
What are some store-bought options for keto chili?
If you’re short on time or don’t feel like making chili from scratch, you can try several store-bought options. Look for canned chili WITHOUT BEANS that are low in carbs and sugar.
- Gold Star Chili – 3g net carbs per serving
- Skyline Chili – 3g of net carbs per serving.
- HORMELChili Coney Island Inspired No Beans – 5g net carbs per serving
What is a keto-friendly alternative to red chili?
You can make keto white chicken chili if you want a keto-friendly alternative to traditional. It’s made with chicken and a creamy base. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a milder, creamier chili that is still low in carbs.
Are Kidney Beans Keto?
Kidney bean chili is loaded with carbs. A half-cup of canned dark kidney beans contains 24 carbs per serving with 5 grams of fiber, making them 19g of net carbs per serving. Half a cup of kidney beans would take up almost an entire day’s allotment of carbs for those following a keto lifestyle.
What Beans Are Keto-Friendly?
Most people eating keto avoid beans because of their abundant starch and carb content. However, the exception is green beans at only 3g of net carbs per half-cup. Some people add green beans to their chili to add a little bulk to it to remind them of beans.
Are Tomatoes Allowed on the Keto Diet?
While tomatoes contain natural sugar, they are relatively low in carbs and high in fiber. They can be enjoyed in moderation on a low-carb diet. Remember that the carbs in the tomatoes’ are spread over many servings in this recipe.
Storing and Reheating Tips for Keto Chili:
I always make a double batch when I make this recipe to freeze for later; if you have any leftover chili, follow the instructions below.
Storing: Let it cool, then store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Freezing: For extended storage, freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.
Reheating (Stovetop): Reheat in a pan over medium heat, adding water or beef broth if it is too thick. Takes about 5-7 minutes.
Reheating (Microwave): Microwave in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring between, until hot throughout.
What to Eat with Low-Carb Chili
It’s a delicious and hearty meal, but what should you serve with it? Here are some options to consider:
Chaffles: These cheese and egg waffles make a great low-carb bread substitute.
Keto cheese crackers: These crunchy crackers are a perfect snack for your chili.
Keto cornbread: This low-carb version of a classic side dish is an excellent complement.
Salad: Keep it simple with a side salad of fresh vegetables or spinach.
Variations of Keto Chili
One of the best things about chili is that it’s so versatile. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like, and you can add all sorts of different ingredients to make it your own. Here are some variations you might want to try:
- Crockpot Option: Most of the time, I make my chili on the stovetop, but if you prefer, you can use a slow cooker. Add your browned beef and other ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours; you may want to reduce the beef broth as it won’t cook down in the crockpot like on the stove.
- Instant Pot Keto Chili Version: If you love cooking in the Instant Pot, this recipe is for you.
- Bring on the Heat: If you like your chili hot, add jalapeños, hot sauce, crushed red peppers, or more chili powder.
- Change Up the Protein: While ground beef is the classic choice, you can also use other types of protein to mix things up. Ground turkey or chicken are both great options, and you can even use diced bacon for a smoky, savory flavor.
- Experiment with Spices: One of the easiest ways to change up the flavor is to experiment with different spices. Traditional chili spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika are all great options. Still, you can also try adding in some more unusual spices like cinnamon or cocoa powder for a smoky, complex flavor.
- Add Low-Carb Vegetables: Vegetables are a great way to add extra nutrition to your chili while keeping it low-carb. Cauliflower is a popular choice, as it has a similar texture to ground beef and can absorb the flavors of the spices well. You can add green beans or chopped mushrooms for extra flavor and texture.
- Turn up the Flavor: A tablespoon of tomato paste or salsa adds a nice bit of added flavor.
Topping Ideas for Low-Carb Chili:
Shredded cheddar cheese: Garnish with freshly grated cheddar cheese for a creamy, cheesy flavor.
Sour cream: Add a dollop of sour cream to balance the heat and add some creaminess.
Sliced avocados: Top your chili with some sliced avocado for a fresh, healthy twist.
Chives: Add some chopped chives for a burst of flavor and color.
Jalapenos: For those who love extra heat, add sliced jalapenos
Hot sauce: Add hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
More Keto Soup Recipes:
- Keto Broccoli & Cheese Soup
- Keto Queso Taco Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Cauliflower Soup with Bacon & Cheese
- Instant Pot Keto Buffalo Soup Recipe
Mouthwatering Keto Chili
- 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 10 oz can Rotel Tomatoes
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/4 tablespoon cumin
- 2 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 28 oz beef broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce optional
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped optional
- 3 tbsp butter optional
- Put your ground beef into the saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium. Use a spatula or a spoon to break the beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. Also, toss in the diced onion and minced garlic. If you like green peppers, chop them up and add them too.2 lbs 80/20 ground beef, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 small onion, 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- After the beef is brown and cooked, you can use a strainer to get rid of some of the extra fat if you want. But if you like the flavor, you can skip this step.
- Add the beef broth, Rotel Tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, salt/pepper, and curry powder (if you're feeling adventurous) to the saucepan. If you're using butter, toss it in, too.10 oz can Rotel Tomatoes, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 1/4 tablespoon cumin, 2 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 28 oz beef broth, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tsp pepper, 3 tbsp butter
- Turn up the heat a bit and let everything come to a boil. It will start to bubble. Reduce to low heat and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until chili reaches desired thickness. The chili will thicken as it simmers.
- Lower the heat so it's just simmering. That means it's gently bubbling, not a rolling boil. Leave it like this for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The chili will thicken as it simmers, and all the flavors mix together to make it taste amazing.
- After it's simmered for a while, taste a spoonful. If you want it spicier, you can add red pepper flakes and hot sauce. If it needs more salt or pepper, sprinkle some in.1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- If desired top each bowl with sour cream, grated cheese, and jalapenos.
- Crockpot Option: Most of the time, I make my chili on the stovetop, but if you prefer, use a slow cooker. Add your browned beef and other ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours; you want to reduce the beef broth as it won’t cook down in the crockpot like it would on the stove.
- Bring on the Heat: If you like your chili hot, you can always add jalapeños, hot sauce, crushed red peppers, or more chili powder to this chili keto recipe.
- Instant Pot Keto Chili Version: If you love cooking in the Instant Pot, check out this Instant Pot Keto Chili Recipe.
- Swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or ground sausage
- Add additional seasonings such as oregano and paprika.
- A tablespoon of tomato paste can add a bit of boldness to the flavor
- Add additional veggies like riced cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, and red bell peppers, to name a few options
- A tablespoon of salsa adds a nice bit of added flavor
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Freshly Grated cheddar cheese
- Sliced avocados
- Hot Sauce