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(The Absolute Best!) Keto Chili 🌶️ gluten free & paleo

Truly heartwarming and with a couple ‘top secret’ famly tips, this 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 Absolute Best!) Keto Chili

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 with a couple 'top secret' famly tips, this keto chili is bound to have you swooning! Oh, and there's no skipping the 'cornbread'!



Serving suggestions


  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 Absolute Best!) Keto Chili
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.


  1. Chella says:

    Duuuuude this chili recipe is the best I have ever tasted. My family went nuts for it! Truly, this can be kept as a go-to. It’s simply delicious and as a BONUS it’s keto. Great job curating this recipe!

  2. Pamela says:

    This recipe has become our staple Chile recipe – and I always double it – even for a two member household! I am making it now – maybe for the 6th or 7th time – for just myself and my husband and when my kids or family members come to visit they expect it as well. They call it “that new Chile”. We all love it! I serve it as pictured with avocado, sour cream, and some grated cheese. For those that like beans with their Chile – I just heat up a pan of canned beans and let them add them as they would a condiment. I use the left overs to make empanadas and nachos – Paola’s recipes of course – and a taco salad.

    For anybody who is hesitant about the cloves – Instead of cooking with the cloves like a bay leaf – because I only had ground cloves I’ve added a pinch of the ground cloves – and it’s really good! I’ve told my family that I’ve learned to add a secret ingredient that they will never guess – and so far they haven’t!

    I have added the GF beer; and coffee as well – but prefer it without the GF beer. Maybe it’s the particular GF beer I used, but I think that’s just me – I love “regular” beer too much. The coffee is a great addition as well – another secret ingredient no one has guessed!

    Thanks again for another home run! I am developing quite the reputation as a cook since discovering Paola and gnom-gnom!

  3. Mel says:

    When are you going to make a beautiful cookbook? With lots of pictures. I will buy as soon as it is published. You have the best recipes.

  4. Sheila Mello says:

    Looks fantastic! One question: you have 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder and then your asterisk lists the next set of ingredients. Do I do both the chili powder and the next five ingredients on the ingredient list or is it one or the other. I don’t want it to be crazy hot if it is one or the other.

    Love all your recipes. You are the best!

  5. Becky says:

    So my husband has the tick borne allergy and can only have poultry and fish. Is there a replacement for the beef broth? I will be using ground turkey as the meat.

  6. Artemis says:

    Making this as I type and man! It smells freaking fantastic!!! I didn’t add beer or coffee as I didn’t have any but I did add a can of green chiles, green and red pepper and my secret chili ingredient: a tsp of cocoa powder. 😋 I’ll also top it with green onions and some cheddar. Can’t wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!!

  7. John Kupiec says:

    Tried this tonight with some fresh ground venison. Went ahead and added the beer and coffee. Well I added espresso instead of coffee. I was very good. I will be cooking this chili all winter until the venison is gone. Thanks!

  8. Sallie Ann Smith says:

    All these questions were super helpful as I had a question about the cloves as well.
    I just should have paid attention to the “make a double batch”! There is one small bowl left…..I’ll have to be first to the fridge for lunch tomorrow.
    I spent the day at home doing miscellaneous projects so I made this in my Dutch oven on the cooktop. Every time I wandered thru the kitchen I’d give it a stir and add broth as needed. I added a can of white beans ( and adjusted carbs accordingly) as my husband likes beans in his chili. Will do it without the beans next time, this is now a go to recipe for me. So glad I found you….!

  9. Augustine says:

    This was the best chili I have ever made. It was so flavorful and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing these recipes. I especially enjoyed the cornbread.

  10. Lauren says:

    It’s 3pm and I’ve had this bad boy cooking since 8 this morning. Our house smells so, so good and I’ll be amazed if we have anything left by dinner time with the amount of “quality control” taste testing that I’ve been doing. I also bought some molasses yesterday and made another batch of your caramel sauce last night. Holy moly, you weren’t kidding. It is yum without but heavenly with the molasses in there.

    Thank you, thank you! Yours is, by far, the best source of keto recipes that I have discovered.

    • Paola says:

      Awww thank you Lauren for your comment, you’re too sweet!

      Quality control, you’re like me 😂!! And I LOVE how much you guys are enjoying the caramel (so many great comments about the molasses too!! FYI it’s also a game changer in things like BBQ sauce and even roast chicken!)

  11. Yetza says:

    I only had one problem with this recipe, and it was a big one… I didn’t double the batch!! Thank you so much for this! I missed chili so much! I had a recipe I always used to make pre-keto and I absolutely loved it. But this is up there. Next time I’ll definitely double it and add some green chiles and maybe a little sweetener since I love the slight sweetness mixed with the spicy. This is a keeper 🙂

  12. Yetza says:

    Hi! For those of us about to attempt this on the Instant Pot Slow Cooker mode, would we still need to add the 1/4 cup of water at intervals as needed?

    • Andra says:

      I just made a triple batch of this in the Instant Pot. Whatever cooking method you choose, unless you’re specifically instructed to leave the pressure valve open, it’s a sealed container with no opportunity for water vapor to escape. You shouldn’t need to add any water.

      I went right for pressure cooking this chili. It came out sooo goood. 😋 The spices are beautifully infused, the beef is melt-in-your-mouth perfect. I skipped the coffee and beer, but added ancho and smoked paprika. Omg. I dialed back the chili powder and cayenne a tiny bit, and it came out deliciously spicy, enough to make you a little sniffly while eating it, but not so much you can’t feel your tongue anymore. I’ve always rolled my eyes at Texas chili cookoffs where people show up with things like ghost pepper chili. You could add such peppers to a tin of wet dog food and a can of beer for all it would matter. It’s no longer about taste, it’s just an endurance contest at that point. Hard pass.

      This, however? Is fantastic. Can’t wait to have Second Day Chili tomorrow. It’ll be even better. Thanks for another huge hit, Paola!

      • Paola says:

        Andra how wonderful to hear! I LOVE chili ancho in my chili (SO SO SO good!). I know you can’t get it in many places in the US, but I agree its a delicious addition! I’m not sure how you use it, but I give it a light toast before grinding it up and wowza xo!!

  13. I absolutely LOVE all of your recipes! They are immensely creative, yet also simple :). Food should taste good and should help the body. I believe that yours certainly falls under this category. Keep they coming! You have such skill and passion and it certainly shows.

  14. Brooke says:

    This was SO good. I doubled the recipe and did a pound of pastured ground beef and ground pork. Also sauteed the spices with the onions & garlic a bit before adding in the ground meat. That’s just how I like to do it. Really glad I added the coffee and beer! This will be my go-to chili recipe now. Thank you!

  15. Adriane says:

    Everything proofed and rises perfectly. Slight deflating when taken out, no biggie. Only thing is the baking pan made the bottom of the dough cook slower than the top of the dough, even with the foil done. I just took the baking pan out and cooked for 20 more mins. Perfect! Thank you 🙂

  16. Kelly says:

    This was brilliant. Made it in stovetop pressure cooker due to time constraints and because those lose moisture, it cooked down perfectly. I added a diced red pepper and green onions as well as stew meat for a con carne feel. Will be making it again!

    • Paola says:

      So kind of you to say Michelle thank you! How much olive oil actually depends on your pot, size, etc (but roughly 2 TBSP!) xo!!

  17. jackie m says:

    oh I love your blog…It is suppose to snow tomorrow and I have been craving chilli…this recipe is just in time and I have all the ingredients on hand…going in the crock pot now!!

    You recipes are literally saving my life. I have had type 2 diabetes for over 10 years and haven’t been able to get my a1c under control, even with meds. I was eating according to my diabetic dietitian. About 6 months ago I found your blog and another one (who also has T2 diabetes) and began to use your recipes. Last week I went to the Doc and my a1c had dropped from 7.5 to 5.2(5 is with in normal range). So thank you so much for your blog and your commitment to excellence in creating food recipes!!! Everything I have tried I have loved. And I LOVE the way you create recipes that you can’t really find in the stores yet (or at least at an affordable price), like tortillas, and the other flatbreads, hamburger buns, empanadas, and some of the stuffed Italian foods. Not only do they help keep me from cheating eating the foods I crave and love, but they are great freezer foods for this live alone lady who needs fast cooking meals! Again thanks and keep up the good work!!

  18. Kristin says:

    This looks wonderful. But I have a question – when you say ‘cloves’, do you mean garlic cloves or actual cloves? Thanks!

      • Marcella Rice says:

        I still do not understand the cloves!! You just print cloves and then say:
        2 whole cloves! As in the tiny pepper-sized bits—what does this mean? Put the hard cloves in so someone can crunch (ISH!) on it later??

        • Paola says:

          Marcella chill a a bit pls 😉 It’s just like it sounds: you throw two little cloves in with the beef, they hang out all the way through cooking and they impart a nice touch. Then when you’re serving (if you see them) you can take them out. But if you miss them and a person get them they won’t die or anything (they’ll just fish them out of their bowl is my thought…?). Similar thing to when you cook with whole pieces of pepper or bay leaves, nothing too major happens xo!

          • Paola says:

            Yup, but I think we all have bad days Amy… I generally don’t publish rude-ish comments, but Marcella is a frequent reader and commenter on the blog. I dunno… 😉

          • Amy says:

            I probably shouldn’t have added that comment but the way she (Marcela) talked to you- after all you do for us, I felt so bad for you. Thank you so much for the recipes and for all you do. You should never have to deal with anything but gratitude ❤️ Ps I made the chili and cornbread tonight and I’m so happy! Thanks again

    • Paola says:

      Yeah def! I would try the slow cooker mode (just a preference). Do be sure to still brown the ingredients in the ‘saute’ mode xo!

  19. Lisa Hackett says:

    Chili AND cornbread?!?! It’s like you are in my head on a daily basis Paola! I can’t keep up with all this low carb goodness!!! But I’m sure gonna try 😄

    • Paola says:

      GOOD to hear 😂!! You guys are going to get A LOT of new recipes pre Thanksgiving (I’ve nailed more than expected, so I’m just going to post them all 😜) xo!!

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