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(Totally Heartwarming!) Best Keto Chili 🌶️ gluten free & paleo

Truly heartwarming and packing a big (biiiiig!) flavor punch, this paleo and keto chili is bound to have you swooning! Oh, and there’s no skipping the ‘cornbread‘!

Bowl of keto chili with cornbread and toppings
The Best Paleo & Keto Chili (with cornbread!!)

Paleo & Keto Chili

The Absolute Best!!

There are numerous (endless?!) ways to tackle chili, starting with the meat. Be it chicken or beef, ground or Texas-style chunks. Hey, you can even make it vegan with just veggies! And, of course, the spices used (and amounts) vary widely to taste.

Real chili purists will advocate for a chili with little tomato and no beans. As in… naturally keto!

And this recipe is a mix of just that. A traditional chili recipe sans beans, mixed with a friend’s sweet grandma’s recipe (a real crowd pleaser). The story goes that no one has ever left the table without going for seconds on this one… and I can definitely attest to that!

Her trick is to lightly caramelize the onions before adding in the beef for a big flavor boost, allowing each ingredient to cook fully before adding in the next. Plus! Her additions of a touch of beer and coffee truly are marvelous. Enjoy!

Closeup pale chili without beans
The Best Paleo & Keto Chili (with cornbread!!)

The Method

You ought to be browning each ingredient fully before adding in the next one. It might seem excessive even, but every great slow cooking meat dish has this in common. Be it American chili, Italian ragù, Mexican mole or French bourguignon.

So repeat after me: browning is truly essential!

Seconded only by the longest possible cooking time. I think 3 hours is good enough if you’re in a pickle, but if you can stretch it to 5 or 6 (or even 8!) you’re golden. Just keep adding 1/4 cup stock or water as needed.

The Spices

Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start.

But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle… you could even add some chili ancho!).

One last trick

Make your chili the day before, because second-day chili is always best! Or at the very least make a double batch, because you seriously will want to try second-day chili.

Ah, and don’t forget the keto ‘cornbread’!

Gluten Free & Keto Cornbread Style Quickbread
Gluten Free & Keto Cornbread Style Quickbread
Taking a spoonful of keto chili
The Best Paleo & Keto Chili (with cornbread!!)

Bowl of keto chili with with toppings

The Best Paleo & Keto Chili (With 'Cornbread'!)

Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: keto chili, paleo chili
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 251 kcal

Truly heartwarming and packing a big (biiiiig!) flavor punch, this paleo and keto chili is bound to have you swooning! Oh, and there's no skipping the 'cornbread'!

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Ingredients

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium/high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until it just begins to brown (about 8 minutes). 

  2. Lower heat to medium, add ground beef, cloves and a large pinch of salt. Cook until it begins to brown, stirring every so often (5 to 7 minutes). Add in all the spices and cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Some peeps enjoy their chili spicier, others strong on cumin, etc... so feel free to adjust the spices slowly as the chili cooks (the fun part!). 

  3. Add tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.

  4. Add in the beef broth, beer (optional) and coffee (optional). Continue to cook for 3 to 8 hours. Adding 1/4 cup water (or broth) at a time, as needed. Remember that the longer you cook it, the more flavor it gets! 

  5. Allow your chili to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start. But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle... you could even add some chili ancho!).

**Adding in some (gluten free, low carb) beer and coffee add a bunch of flavor. But totally optional, and your chili will still be magnificent without them! 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per serving (assuming a yield of 6). 

Nutrition Facts
The Best Paleo & Keto Chili (With 'Cornbread'!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 338mg14%
Potassium 474mg14%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 1090IU22%
Vitamin C 8.1mg10%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

72 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Mine is simmering on the stove top right now! Smells so good, and I hope I can wait 8 hours to try it! 😉 Question: do you simmer lid on or lid off? I’m thinking if the lid is off, all the liquid will evaporate. But I didn’t see it specified in the instructions? Thanks!!

  2. Jamie says:

    I made a quadruple pot because we have three teenagers ;). It’s amazing as usual!! The weather hasn’t he ethnically cooled off enough for chili but the coffee/beer mixture was too intriguing to wait any lomgdr. Thank you Paola!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Karen, it looks like the nutrition facts on just the cornbread alone (on its separate recipe page) is 230 calories, so I’m thinking the 250 on this one is just for the chili, even though it *says* with cornbread.

  3. Judy Morin says:

    Could I move the cooked mixture to a crockpot and let it cook there for the 3 to 8 hours? Since I don’t spend my life in the kitchen (the sewing room is my “happy place”), I would prefer to be able to leave it unattended for that time.

  4. Cheryl says:

    My non-low carbers loved this. A few changes…. Made with turkey, added tomatoe paste, red & yellow pepper and some beef seasoning. Left out the Chipotle seasoning, didn’t have any. Also left out beer and coffee.
    Delicious!!

  5. Cheryl says:

    My non-low carbers loved this. A few changes…. Made with turkey, added tomatoe paste, red & yellow pepper and some beef seasoning. Left out the Chipotle seasoning, didn’t have any. Delicious!!!!!

  6. Lisa says:

    Made my first batch yesterday and I’m currently waiting with great anticipation for my Gnom-Gnom “cornbread” to cool completely. I’ve been taste testing 😉 the chili all day. It’s a wonder there’s any left. Good thing I followed the advice of many commenters and made a double batch right out the gate. TBH, I’m more excited about having some tomorrow when it hits its chili peak of perfection 😋

    In the meantime, I’ve got some tips to share with anyone thinking of making this chili in a slow cooker. Long, slow simmering in a crock pot dulls seasoning drastically. It was late when I started my chili, so I did not have the time to slow simmer on the stove top for 8 hrs. I followed the recipe up to the point of adding the seasonings and cooking them a bit. After that, I transferred everything to my slow cooker. I awoke to some delicious aromas this morning, but when I tasted the chili it was completely flat, one note and greasy. That was not Gnom-Gnom flavor. I set about doctoring the dish back to life. I skimmed off almost a cup of fat from the 80/20 ground beef I used. I strongly advise using leaner meat when going the slow cooker route. I then added about a tsp of all the spices back to the chili along with coriander as mentioned in the description. I used a tsp of instant coffee this time for convenience. It needed some acidity that had been cooked out, so I added a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar. For sweetness and depth, about 3/4 tsp molasses, a squeeze of my homemade keto steak sauce, and a few drops of liquid sweetner. It was finally back to life, but I was REALLY missing the beans. Sorry (not sorry) to you chili purists. I added a 1-15 oz can of black soybeans (1 net carb per 1/2c) to this double batch of chili and that was plenty to satisfy. After all that, it tastes very good… now. Appreciating Paola’s secret ingredients now that I can taste them.

    That was my word of caution to anyone thinking they might want to do this in the Crock-Pot. It kills all that effort you make building flavor from sauteing. Next time, I’ll just get started earlier in the day and make it as instructed so I get the full Gnom-Gnom experience of the recipe.

    • Lisa says:

      What a difference a day makes 🙂 Tastes so much richer the next day. Unless I’m imagining things, I think the texture even improved. It’s a winner!

  7. Margie says:

    Hmmm…Im not sure I have any chipotle powder, but I’ve got some chilis in adobo. I may substitute and see what I get!

  8. Dominique Lynch says:

    When I input this recipe into my carb manager it says its 7 net carbs and thats after I took the beer and cornbread off.

  9. Lynn says:

    Hello, I was just wondering if you had a chili powder mix you liked. The link you have goes to Oregano on Amazon, and I’ve never made chili before, so I’d appreciate knowing a good brand to try. Thank you!

    • Laura T. says:

      I use Frontier Co-op brand of chili powder. It is the best I have ever eaten. I never have to add more spices, except possibly cayenne if you want a LOT of heat. I just up my quantity of chili powder until it tastes good to me. I usually buy it in bulk, by the pound, at Vitacost online, or sometimes at a local health food store that carries the brand.

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