Craving a hearty bowl of chili without the beans? Fear not. Whether you’re anti-bean, allergic, or just in the mood for something different, we’ve got your back.
We’re sharing our 7 favorite no bean chili recipes along with must-have essentials and tasty bean substitutes.
8 Chili Making Essentials to Invest In
- Dutch Oven – Meet your chili’s new best friend – the Dutch Oven. This cast-iron pot is a kitchen workhorse, offering even heat distribution for slow-cooking your no-bean chili to perfection. Its tight-fitting lid ensures all those robust flavors stay right where they belong.
- Spice Grinder – Elevate your chili game with a spice grinder. Grinding your own spices releases essential oils, intensifying flavors and aromas. Aromatic cumin, smoky paprika, and fiery chili powder will thank you for the VIP treatment.
- Immersion Blender – For a chili with the perfect consistency, an immersion blender is your secret weapon. Whether you prefer chunky or velvety-smooth, this handheld marvel lets you tailor your chili without the blender mess.
- Quality Meat – Your choice of meat can make or break your no-bean chili. Opt for high-quality beef, turkey, chicken, or a mix for a flavor-packed protein punch. Remember, the better the meat, the better your chili.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes are a chili essential but go the extra mile with fire-roasted ones. The charring adds a smoky depth that plays beautifully with the spices, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.
- Beef Broth – Enhance the richness of your chili with good-quality beef broth. It provides a savory base that ties all the ingredients together, turning your pot into a bubbling cauldron of savory goodness.
- Wooden Spoon – Don’t overlook the wooden spoon – it’s more than just a utensil. This kitchen essential is your ally, helping you stir, mix, and blend flavors in your simmering pot of chili. Its gentle touch also helps to prevent scratching in your Dutch Oven.
- Chili Powder – No chili is complete without the star of the spice cabinet – chili powder. This blend of ground chilies, cumin, and other spices adds depth, warmth, and that quintessential chili kick. Experiment with different chili powder blends to find the perfect match for your taste buds.
8 Best Substitutes for Beans in Chili (and How to Use Them)
- Lentils – These tiny legumes pack a nutritional punch and absorb flavors like sponges. Brown or green lentils are excellent choices for a hearty, bean-like texture. Cook them separately and fold them into your chili for a protein boost.
- Quinoa – Quinoa’s nutty flavor and fluffy texture make it a fantastic bean substitute. Plus, it’s a complete protein, adding a nutritional kick to your chili. Rinse it before cooking to remove any bitter residue.
- Chickpeas – While technically a bean, chickpeas are often more tolerable for bean skeptics due to their mild taste and slightly firmer texture. Roast them before adding them to your chili for a delightful crunch.
- Mushrooms – For a meaty, umami-packed experience, turn to mushrooms. Dice them finely to mimic the texture of ground meat or leave them chunky for a substantial bite. Portobello or cremini mushrooms work wonders in this role.
- Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – TVP is a protein-rich, soy-based product that mimics the texture of ground meat. Rehydrate it in hot water or broth before adding it to your chili. It’s a versatile chameleon that takes on the flavors of your dish.
- Sweet Potatoes – Add a touch of sweetness and a hearty bite with chunks of sweet potatoes. They not only bring a unique flavor to the mix but also contribute to the chili’s thickness.
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower may seem basic, but it’s a versatile veggie that can elevate your no-bean chili. Grate or pulse cauliflower to achieve a rice-like texture, adding a pleasant bite and soaking up all the savory goodness in your chili. It’s a low-carb, high-flavor alternative that will surprise your taste buds.
- Bell Peppers – Add a burst of color and a satisfying crunch to your no-bean chili with bell peppers. Dice them for a vibrant addition that not only enhances the visual appeal but also contributes a subtle sweetness to balance the savory flavors. Choose a mix of red, yellow, and green for a flavor-packed medley.
7 No Bean Chili Recipes
- Texas No Bean Chili | Diethood – A hearty chili recipe with lots of Southwestern flavor. There’s plenty of ground beef, spices, and tomatoes, but in true Texas style, there are no beans.
- Slow Cooker No Bean Chili | Pumpkin ‘N Spice – There’s not just one, but two different types of ground beef – lean ground beef and ground chuck – in this chili recipe. Add everything to your slow cooker in the morning and it will be ready in time for dinner.
- No Bean 30 Minute Chili | The Whole Cook – If you’re short on time (or just really hungry!), you can make this chili recipe in only 30 minutes. There’s lots of garlic, and you can add your favorite toppings like fresh cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, or your favorite hot sauce.
- No Bean Whole30 Butternut Squash Chili | Primavera Kitchen – Butternut Squash is a cold weather staple and is packed with flavor. With lots of different veggies, it’s a delicious way to sneak in a serving or two for your kids.
- Turkey Sweet Potato Chili | Joyous Apron – Turkey is a great substitute for ground beef and sweet potatoes add a yummy twist. The broth is slightly sweet, yet it still feels like your traditional hearty chili recipe.
- Meaty Mushroom Sausage Chili | The Endless Meal – Sauteed mushrooms, Italian sausage, and ground beef make this the ultimate no bean chili recipe. It is rich and hearty and can be made on your stovetop or in your slow cooker.
- No Bean Cauliflower Veggie Chili | Craft of Cooking – Finish off your day with a bowl of this cauliflower veggie chili. You won’t miss the meat (or the beans) with the addition of quinoa, bell peppers, and riced cauliflower.
Now that you’re armed with the essentials, let the chili-making adventure begin with these no bean chili recipes.
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