There are almost as many keto chili recipes as there are days in a year — so I’m sharing this recipe, so you no longer have to worry about which low carb chili variation to try!
Because this is THE ULTIMATE keto chili recipe!
Baked in a scrumptious bowl of low carb noodles, and covered with a thick layer of gooey cheese, this is one of those low carb meals everyone will want seconds of! It’s full of zesty flavor, is hearty and filling, and is a year round favorite in our house…
So, get the stove ready, and let’s get cooking!
How to Make Keto Chili
As with any chili recipe, keto chili takes a bit of time to throw together… But after one bite of this dish, you’ll find it’s worth every second! (Plus, it’ll make your house smell AMAZING!)
Here’s what you need to know:
Sauté the low carb vegetables.
Sauteing your keto vegetables will help release excess water, and mellow out their flavors — believe it or not, this simple step adds a LOT to this keto chili!
Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to sauté the veggies in batches — overcrowding the pan will actually steam the vegetables, and prevent them from getting a caramelized edge.
Add the garlic in towards the ends, as it can burn easily and only needs 1-2 minutes to cook.
Remove your keto chili veggies from the pan and set them aside.
Brown the meat.
I decided to use ground turkey for this recipe, as this chili doesn’t need the extra fat of flavor from the beef (anddd I’m trying to incorporate more low carb than turkey recipes!)
As with the previous step, you may want to brown your meat in batches to get that caramelized edge. Cook the meat until it’s no longer pink, and drain any excess fat from the pan.
Back into the pan we go.
Add the veggies back into the pan along with your spices. Give everything a good stir and cook for about one minute, or until the spices become fragrant.
This is another of my favorite low carb recipes tricks that makes a HUGE difference in flavor.
I’ll spare you the Alton Brown spiel, and summarize it with this: heating spices in oil helps them to release fat soluble compounds, in turn making them more flavorful. It’s an easy upgrade for all your low carb meals!
Add the liquids.
Toss in the diced tomatoes, salsa, chicken broth and stir everything together.
Cook it all down.
Cook the keto chili uncovered for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You want to keep the keto chili at an aggressive simmer the entire time. You’ll know the keto chili is done once when it’s reached your desired consistency.
Now here’s the deal, there are a lot of factors that will affect the cook time of this keto chili:
- The thickness of your saucepan
- The type of simmer you maintain (light vs. aggressive)
- The temperature
- How watery your salsa is
- How much liquid you cooked out of the veggies
- How thick/soupy you like your keto chili
So, it’s hard to give an exact cook time. If your keto chili is soupier than you’d like after 2 hours, you can continue cooking it. No big deal.
Prep the low carb pasta.
While the keto chili is simmering, let’s get the keto spaghetti squash ready.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the wet strings and seeds from the center. Brush the cut sides with oil and place them down on a baking sheet. Bake them in the oven at 400° for about 35-45 minutes.
You’ll know the spaghetti squash is done when a fork inserted into the veggies feels tender, and the noodles break off easily.
Shred the spaghetti squash into noodles using a fork.
Assembling the keto chili boats.
Remove half the “noodles” from each of the spaghetti squash boats (then we can fit more keto chili into each of the boats).
Spoon the keto chili into each “boat”, then cover them with a hefty layer of shredded cheese. Broil them in the oven for about five minutes, or until the cheese melts.
And you’re done! Keto chili at its finest, now let’s talk about some variations…
Low Carb Chili Variations
Oh yes my friends, you can work this low carb chili into any variation you’re craving.
To start, the spaghetti squash is a totally optional addition to this meal — leave it out and enjoy this keto chili on its own, or in a bowl with some tasty toppings.
Here are a few other keto chili variations you may consider:
- Skip the salsa, add the equivalent in diced tomatoes or rotel — keto chili with rotel will have a similar kick to this recipe.
- Swap turkey for beef, Italian sausage, pork, or whatever combination you have on hand — keto chicken chili would be delicious as well.
- Mix and match the spices for your own keto chili seasoning.
- Add more/less heat.
- Swap the veggies. Keto chili cauliflower, mushrooms — whatever you’re craving.
No Bean Chili Toppings
The true joy of any no bean chili recipe is in the toppings. When serving keto chili, I’ll often spread the toppings out on the counter (like a low carb taco bar!) so everyone can add their unique favorites. Here are some low carb foods I always bring to the table:
- Shredded cheese
- Cheese crisps
- Sliced jalapeños
- Chop cilantro
- Sliced green onions
- Sour cream or low carb Greek yogurt (I know it sounds weird but I often use these two low carb food list items interchangeably)
- Avocado or guacamole
Or, serve this chili over hot dogs for keto chili cheese dog! (Thanks Michael for the awesome tip!)
Meal Prepping Paleo Chili
Paleo chili is awesome for low carb meal prep. Simply divvy individual servings into your best meal prep containers and stash them in the fridge for a weeks worth of low carb lunches. Separate your keto chili + toppings so they don’t lose their crunch when you reheat.
Serious meal prep pro tip: consider making a double batch (you’re already doing all the work anyway…) and freezing half!
Reheating Chili Without Beans
Chili without beans is easy to reheat for low carb dinners, lunches, or whenever you need a protein packed pick-me-up.
In the microwave: place a paper towel over the top of your microwave safe bowl, this will prevent the keto chili from splattering.
Over the stove: add you keto chili with some extra chicken broth into a sauce pan and heat covered, stirring occasionally.
Freezing This Chili Recipe No Beans
Freeze the leftovers of this chili recipe no beans — We all know it’s too good to go to waste…
To do this, allow the leftovers to cool in the fridge overnight, (this can cut down on freezer burn) and remove as much air from the container as possible — I like using resealable bags for this.
Carbs in Chili
Below the recipe you’ll find the nutrition breakdown of this keto chili — there are significantly less carbs in chili when you skip the beans, corn and other high carb foods!
To shave a few extra carbs from this recipe: consider using less tomatoes + more chicken broth (keep at least 1/2 the tomatoes, as keto chili without tomatoes would be weird), onions, and/or skipping the spaghetti squash.
Pst — be leary of low carb canned chili, as cans of “no bean chili” usually contain a ton of carbs.
Keto Chili Recipe
Without further ado, I present to you this ultimate keto chili recipe! Hope this brings loads of comfort into your cozy homes, let me know what you think in the comments below!
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil plus more for spaghetti squash
- 1 Yellow Onion chopped
- 2 Bell Peppers chopped
- 1 Jalapeno minced
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic minced
- 2 Lb Ground Turkey can use Ground Beef
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tablespoons Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 - 14 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes no salt added
- 1 - 16 Ounce Can Salsa no sugar added
- 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- Add oil to large saucepan over medium heat.
- Once simmering, add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan — you may need to do this in batches, as we want to saute the veggies not steam them.
- Add garlic and give it all a stir, cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Remove veggies from saucepan and set aside.
- Add ground turkey/beef and brown to saucepan (again you may need to do this in batches), gently breaking it up with the back of your spoon until meat is browned and cooked through.
- Drain excess fat and liquid from the pan.
- Add veggies back into saucepan, along with the cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper and stir together for about 1 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
- Add diced tomatoes, salsa, chicken broth and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
- Bring chili to an aggressive simmer, and simmer uncovered for 1hr 45 - 2 hrs, or until your chili has reached your desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.
- Carefully half your spaghetti squash, lengthwise.
- Use a spoon to remove the wet strings and seeds from the inside.
- Brush the cut sides with oil.
- Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated for 35-45 minutes (will vary with the size of your squash) — you’ll know it’s done when a fork can scrape “noodles” into the sides of your squash. If this is difficult to do, place it back in the oven.
- Once spaghetti squash has cooled, scrape the “noodles”, and arrange them loosely inside the squash.
- Crank the oven up the broil.
- Remove half the spaghetti from each squash and arrange that in a small casserole dish (making room for our chili!)
- Cover the squash boats with chili and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve warm with sour cream, chopped salsa, and enjoy!
- The nutritional information is based on ⅛ of a spaghetti squash + ⅛ of the chili. The exact measurements will vary depending on how large your spaghetti squash is, and how much you scoop out before adding in the chili.
- To Cook in a Crockpot: cook on high heat for 3-4 hours (until it’s reached your desired thickness).
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