Ditch the canned chili. You can make your own bowl of red in just 30 minutes with this super simple, No Bean Chili Recipe.
The bean v. no bean debate where chili is concerned is not one for me to decide. Both have their advantages, but I know what I like. And both are tasty.
This No Bean Chili Recipe has long been a favorite of mine for giving me hearty protein packed with flavor. It comes together in less than 30 minutes on the stovetop which means I can enjoy it lickety-split.
And so can you!
Why Make This
It’s delicious! This meaty, no bean chili recipe comes together quickly and easily on the stovetop. It’s great as a main dish loaded with toppings, but it’s also great on chili dogs. Make extra to serve atop baked potatoes and chili cheese fries or folded into burritos.
It’s super high quality chili. I know…. “But, I can buy a can of chili for a dollar.” Yeah, you probably can. But, I’d argue that the quality just isn’t there. And I really don’t want to know what kind of meat they put in that can. Make your own and enjoy the best no bean chili.
It’s freezer friendly. This is a great freezer meal to pack up as part of a lunchtime freezer cooking session. Divide it into 2-cup portions for an easy lunch on the go.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this easy No-Bean Chili Recipe:
ground beef – Use whatever grind you like. You can also use ground turkey, pork, or chicken as well as a favorite plant-based grind if you prefer.
onion – Just 1/2 an onion is all you need. Remember you can freeze onions for later so none of it goes to waste.
jalapeño – Some of the heat in this bowl of red comes from fresh jalapeño. You can also substitute canned jalapeños or chopped green chiles. And if you’ve got extra jalapeño, you can freeze it.
garlic – I use fresh garlic in this recipe, but you can use jarred garlic or just omit it. There is already garlic powder in the chili seasoning, so this is just to up the flavors.
tomato sauce – I use canned tomato sauce, but if you have crushed tomatoes, you can use that as well. Likewise, you can dilute a few tablespoons of tomato paste with water for an adequate substitute as well.
chili seasoning – I make my own chili seasoning. Feel free to use a commercial blend if that’s what you have on hand.
To make this meatless: substitute plant-based grind or drained beans instead of the ground beef. If using beans, sauté the vegetables first and then stir in the beans.
To make this more: To bulk up this chili or make it more of a one-dish dinner you can stir in any combination of the following. Taste to adjust seasoning and add water if the chili becomes too thick.
- 1 to 2 cans of rinsed and drained beans
- 1 can of rinsed and drained hominy or corn kernels
- 1 finely chopped sweet potato
In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the meat, onion, jalapeño, and garlic until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon off any fat.
Stir in the tomato sauce and spice blend. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Make Ahead: Store the chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Some chili seasonings do contain gluten. Read labels and recipes carefully. Our homemade chili seasoning is gluten-free as is this no bean chili recipe.
Yes! Once you’ve sautéed the beef and vegetables, transfer the mixture to the crock of a slow cooker. Add the tomato sauce and chili seasoning. Cover and set to low until ready to serve.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- ground beef – $6.00
- onion – $0.25
- jalapeño – $0.10
- garlic – $0.04
- tomato sauce – $0.80
- chili seasoning – $0.23
Shopping at a mid-range grocery store at non-sale prices. You can expect to pay about $7.42 for this big batch, hearty and beefy, no bean chili. This works out to be 92 cents/serving, about the same for a cheap can that serves 1.
Only this chili is better.
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Good Cheap Eats we should be dishing out more often.
Spicy No Bean Chili Recipe
- 2 lb ground beef can use turkey, pork, or chicken
- 1/2 onion (for 2 tbsp chopped)
- 2 tbsp jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp Chili Seasoning Mix
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the meat, onion, jalapeño, and garlic until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon off any fat.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and spice blend. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.
- Make Ahead: Store the chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
This post was originally published on August 4, 2014. It has been updated for content and clarity.