Image of no bean chili in a bowl with toppings

I overheard Ben describing what Chili Dogs were to Lincoln the other day, because these are the important things in life when you’re 7 years old, and he was totally into it so I made them for dinner that night. “Mom, we were JUST talking about Chili Dogs!” Lincoln exclaimed as he scooted up to the counter to eat.

“Oh really? What a coincidence!” MUWAHAHAHA!

Anyway, they were a total hit and so I wanted to share the No Bean Chili recipe I made to top those hot doggers off with! This classic-tasting, chili without beans is beyond simple to whip up – we’re talking 30 minutes from fridge to table – and is perfect for my chili purists who believe beans have no place in chili (Texans, I see you!)

Image of no bean chili in a bowl with toppings

Easy No Bean Chili

No Bean Chili is chili made without beans – you got it! Whether you don’t like beans, they don’t like you, or as I mentioned, you just don’t believe they have a place in chili, this chili recipe with no beans will set you free. It is SO good and I can almost guarantee you have all the ingredients on hand to make it.

Ground beef, onions or shallots, and garlic are browned then simmered with tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, beef stock, and green chilis, plus herbs, spices, and seasonings for just 20 minutes. If you love classic chili, you will LOVE this easy no bean recipe.

Best Fixin’s for Chili

What is chili without all the fixin’s!? I feel like because this is such a pure and simple ground beef chili recipe that the toppings take center stage and provide lots of excitment in each spoonful. Set out a toppings bar with the following ingredients to make meal time fun and interactive.

Fiesta Pork, Bean and Green Chili Chili

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Fiesta Pork, Bean and Green Chili Chili

  • Tortilla chips
  • Green onions
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Sour cream
  • Diced avocado
  • Minced white or red onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Don’t forget the cornbread!

no bean chili in a bowl

Make Ahead and Freezer Friendly

  • To make ahead: No Bean Chili is a great make ahead meal because it actually tastes better the day(s) after cooking. Cool completely then refrigerate the entire cooking pot with a lid on top. 15 minutes before it’s time to eat, place the pot on the stovetop over medium heat then stir occasionally until it’s back up to serving temperature.
  • To freeze: Cool the chili completely then scoop into Ziplock freezer bags and freeze flat. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator then pour into a pot and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Recipe Tips

  1. I like to leave the ground beef in bigger chunks as it browns, versus breaking it up finely as you’d do when making spaghetti sauce. Otherwise it can feel like you’re spoon drinking chili-flavored spaghetti sauce…which is a little weird! The big hunks of ground beef provide some great chunky texture to this chili which beans normally provide.
  2. I use Tone’s brand mild chili powder to keep the chili at a medium heat level, since I also add cayenne pepper. If you like your chili spicy, use regular or hot chili powder.
  3. If your chili tastes a little tinny on account of the canned tomato products, you can add a pinch of baking soda at a time until the metallic taste has leveled out. I add a pinch of sugar to my chili to help with this, but if it’s really tinny, baking soda also helps a ton.

spoonful of chili made without beans

How to Make No Bean Chili

Step 1: Start by browning ground beef with chopped shallots or onions plus minced garlic in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. As I mentioned, I like to leave the ground beef in bigger chunks, vs breaking it up finely, to give the chili texture.

You can absolutely use lean ground beef but I feel like 85/15 or even 80/20 ground beef brings some serious flavor to chili. You can either drain off the excess fat after browning, or skim it off the top as the chili simmers.

Step 2: Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, beef broth or stock, and a small can of diced green chiles to the pot.

Plus herbs, spices, and seasonings including chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and smoked cumin. I also like to add a pinch of white sugar to help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Step 3: Turn the heat to high to bring the chili to a bubble then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, skimming off any excess fat that rises to the top.

That’s all she wrote! Scoop the chili into bowls then top with any and all fixin’s. As good as this chili is freshly cooked, it’s even better the next day! Whenever you serve it up, I hope you love this easy, No Bean Chili recipe – enjoy!

Bowl of chili recipe without beans with a spoon inside

Similar Recipes

No Bean Chili

Description

No Bean Chili is a hearty, meaty chili without beans that's begging to be topped with all the fixin's. Ready in just 30 minutes!

Ingredients

serves 5-6

  • 1lb ground beef, I like 85/15
  • 1 onion or large shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 15oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch white sugar
  • Toppings: sliced fresh jalapenos, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions, chopped onions, sour cream

Directions

  1. Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion or shallot, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, then cook until ground beef is cooked through. I like to keep the beef in bigger chunks versus breaking it up finely to give the chili extra texture.
  2. Add remaining ingredients then turn heat up to high to bring chili to a bubble. Turn heat down to medium-low then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any excess fat that may rise to the top. Scoop chili into bowls then serve with toppings.
  3. To freeze: Cool chili completely then scoop into a Ziplock freezer bag and freeze flat. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator then pour into a soup pot or Dutch oven and warm.

Notes

  • If your chili tastes a little tinny on account of the canned tomatoes, you can add a pinch of baking SODA to the chili.
  • As with most chili recipes, this tastes even better the day after cooking!

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://buzzpur.info.

Photo collage of No bean Chili