This no bean chili is perfect for those who love the taste of chili but prefer to skip the beans. It's packed with flavor and spices and will quickly become a go-to recipe for any chili lover looking for a bean-free option.
If you're a chili lover but not a bean person, this no bean chili recipe is for you! It's loaded with all the spices and flavors you crave in a bowl of chili without the beans.
Not only is this Texas no bean chili recipe delicious and unique, but it's also incredibly easy to make.
With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can have a big pot of hearty chili ready to enjoy. And since it's so flavorful, you won't even miss the beans.
One of the best things about this beanless chili is how versatile it is. You can enjoy it on its own, topped with your favorite chili toppings like cheese and sour cream, or use it as a base for other Tex-Mex dishes like chili mac and cheese or chili-stuffed baked potatoes.
Why you’ll love this no bean chili
- It's a hearty and flavorful alternative to traditional chili, perfect for those who prefer to skip the beans.
- With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a big pot of delicious chili ready to enjoy.
- Everything gets cooked in one pot, so there’s less cleanup to worry about!
What goes into this beanless chili
Olive oil – Use good quality olive oil for the best flavor. You can also substitute with another neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil.
Ground beef – Look for high-quality ground beef with a higher fat content for the best flavor. You can also use ground turkey, chicken, or pork if you prefer.
Onion – Yellow or white onions work best in this recipe, but you can also use red onions if you prefer.
Bell peppers – I like to use a combination of red and green bell peppers, but you can use any color you like.
Garlic – Fresh garlic is key for the best flavor. If you don't have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder instead.
Fresh jalapeño – For a milder chili, remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño before chopping. For a spicier chili, leave them in or add more jalapeño. You can also use other types of chili peppers, like serrano or poblano peppers.
Tomato paste – Tomato paste adds depth and richness to the chili. If you don't have any on hand, you can substitute with tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes.
Chopped tomatoes – Look for canned diced tomatoes with no added salt for the best flavor. You can also use fresh tomatoes if they're in season.
Spices and herbs – Chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper are the key spices used in this recipe. If you don't have all of these spices on hand, you can use a pre-made chili seasoning blend instead.
Beef stock – Beef stock adds richness and depth of flavor to the chili. You can also use chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer.
Bay leaves – Bay leaves add a subtle earthy flavor to the chili. If you don't have any on hand, you can omit them or use a small amount of dried basil or thyme instead.
How to make chili without beans
Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in the onion and chopped bell peppers and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Next, stir in the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook for another minute.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftover no-bean chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat the chili gently in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, stirring every 30 seconds until heated through.
- Freeze leftover Texas chili in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the chili in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it following the instructions above.
Recipe notes and tips
- Make it vegetarian: If you're looking for a vegetarian option, you can easily swap the ground beef for a plant-based meat substitute like Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat. You can also add in some extra veggies like zucchini or mushrooms for extra bulk and nutrition.
- Top it off: This chili is amazing topped with all your favorite chili toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and green onions. Don't be shy with the toppings — they really take this chili to the next level!
- Make it ahead: This chili is a great recipe to make ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer for later. It reheats beautifully and is perfect for meal prep or busy weeknights.
- Adjust the spice: If you're sensitive to spice, you can easily adjust the heat level in this chili by using less jalapeño or omitting it altogether. You can also increase the spice by adding in some cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
If you liked this no beans chili recipe, you might also like some of my other easy Tex-Mex recipes:
- Green Chili Chicken Soup
- Creamy Vegetarian White Chili
- Chili Mac and Cheese
- Easy Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb (500 g) ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium bell peppers
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the onion and chopped bell peppers and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Next, stir in the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, chili powder, and black pepper. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Add the beef stock and bay leaves, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 421mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.