Beanless Chili

This is the best beanless chili if you want to whip up something hearty and delicious but you prefer your chili bean-free. This versatile recipe might answer the age-old debate of to bean or not to bean, or at least show you beans aren’t a necessity in a hearty bowl of chili. The meat, seasonings and spices will stand out as sensational savory flavors, and you are certainly to enjoy the flavors this bean-free chili offers in every mouthful.

A bowl of beanless chili with cornbread on a plate.

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This beanless chili might end up becoming your new favorite chili recipe. It’s a heavenly mixture of beef, vegetables, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and spices.

Chili fans may also want to try this Hearty Beef Chili or go all out with a Chili Bar or Charcuterie Board. Don’t forget to add some tasty Toppings for Chili to round out the dish.

A bowl of beanless chili on a wooden table.

Why You’ll Love This

One-pot recipe:  This chili isn’t only bean-free, it’s also fuss-free because the whole thing is made using just one pot. It couldn’t be simpler!
So tasty: Nobody is going to miss the beans when there’s this much flavor in there. Everything from the warm spices to the juicy beef and fire roasted tomatoes makes this chili a real flavor feast. And you might like to pair it with a chile mango Mexican candy shot for an extra-special occasion!
Versatile: Chili can be served however you wish, paired with classic sides like rice or cornbread, or even as a topping for baked potatoes or hot dogs.

A spoonful of no bean chili being taken out of a pot.

No Beans Chili Recipe Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Ground beef: Use lean ground beef or a fattier kind, as you prefer. If you’re using something with a higher fat content, you might like to drain the fat off the cooked beef before adding the other ingredients. Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken if you want.
Vegetables: Onion, peppers and jalapenos add both color and flavor to the no-bean chili.
Cornmeal: For thickening up the chili. Sub cornstarch if you like.
Spices: You’ll find the chili powder, cumin and oregano add plenty of love flavor to the chili.
Beef broth: To keep the chili moist and also add more beef flavor. You can sub vegetable broth if you prefer.
Fire roasted tomatoes: Tomato is a typical chili flavor but using fire roasted diced tomatoes is best, as they impart a lovely smoky aroma and flavor.

Different ingredients laid out on a wooden table for a no bean chili recipe.

How to Make This Beanless Chili Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Cook the beef:  Pan fry the beef in a large pot and stir in the onion, bell pepper and garlic, cooking for a few minutes over a medium high heat.
Add the other ingredients: Add the tomatoes, beef broth and tomato paste, and then the cornmeal and spices.
Simmer until done: Cook the beanless chili for half an hour or until it’s done, then serve hot with your preferred toppings and side dishes. You might like to pair this tomatillo salsa with the finished chili, along with sour cream and shredded cheddar.

A pot of chili with no beans and a ladle.
Two bowls of beanless chili on a wooden table.

Substitutions and Variations

Dial the spice factor up or down: If you’re making this for a mixed group of people and some prefer mild flavors while others want their chili hot hot hot, the best idea is to make it mild and offer hot sauce, chili flakes or both at the table.
Vegetarian option: Sub the beef for your favorite meat-free alternative, and use vegetable broth in place of beef broth.
Gluten-free beanless chili: As cornmeal is used for thickening and is naturally gluten-free this recipe is perfect for those who don’t eat gluten, as long as they don’t add tortilla chips or cornbread on the side!

A spoonful of beanless chili in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Side dishes: There are plenty of tasty sides to serve alongside your homemade chili recipe with ground beef, including smoked asparagus, homemade cornbread and crispy stacked potatoes. This homemade smoked cheese offers a lovely contrasting flavor.
Dessert: If you aren’t serving rice with your ground beef chili, what about finishing the meal with homemade Mexican rice pudding?
Drinks: Pair the chili with something offering south of the border flavors like passion fruit lime margaritas or unusual kiwi jalapeno margaritas.

A bowl of beanless chili served with cornbread and sour cream.

How to Store a No Bean Chili Recipe

Store:  Keep leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 4 days.
Freeze:  Freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months (it’s fine up to 6 months but the flavor will start to decline).
Thaw:  Let the chili defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat:  You can reheat leftovers on the stove or in the microwave.

A pot of chili on a wooden table.

Top Tips

Miss the beans? Diehard bean lovers can throw in a can of kidney beans or even a can of garbanzo beans or corn.
Keep an eye on it: The chili is supposed to gently simmer for half an hour, but look at it often to check it isn’t scorching or sticking to the bottom of the pan, and give it a good stir every now and then.
Serve toppings separate: Offer a choice of toppings on the side and that way everyone can add their own favorite chili toppings. Shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, cilantro, and green onions are just some of your topping options.

A bowl of beanless chili with cornbread and lime on a wooden table.

Best Beanless Chili Recipe FAQs

What kind of bell peppers are best in here?

This is completely up to you. Green bell peppers are the least sweet while yellow peppers are sweeter, so you might like to use one of each, or even try red or orange bell peppers.

Can you make this a low carb chili recipe?

It’s already quite low in carbs apart from the cornmeal which you might like to swap for arrowroot to make it keto-friendly. If you want a keto chili recipe, perhaps pair it with cauliflower rice instead of regular rice and maybe a vegetable side dish too.

Bean-free chili in a pan with parsley on top.

Ground Beef Beanless Chili

A bowl of bean-free chili with cornbread on the table.

Beanless Chili

5 from 52 votes
Course: Main Course, Meals
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: one pot
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 591kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
This beanless chili might end up becoming your new favorite chili recipe. It's a heavenly mixture of beef, vegetables, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and spices.
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  • 2 Pounds ground beef
  • 1 Cup onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
  • 28 Ounces fire-roasted tomatoes canned
  • 2 Cups beef broth
  • 6 Ounces tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper


  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • diced onion
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • tortilla chips


  • In a large, deep pan, cook the beef until no longer pink, then add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, broth and paste and stir in well, then sprinkle on the cornmeal and spices.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings.


Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1515mg | Potassium: 1155mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2347IU | Vitamin C: 86mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 7mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

This recipe for chili without beans is really easy to make and you can make it on the stove or even the Instant Pot. You only need one pan too, which means cleanup is a breeze. Make an extra batch of this and freeze some for future meals. Feel free to customize your chili however you wish, tweaking the veggies you use or changing the spices or even the meat. So if you’re looking for a true traditional chili (the bean-free kind!) this is the recipe you’ve been looking for.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Megan Stevenson wrote:

    5 stars
    So hearty and so flavorful. It couldn’t get better than this!

    Posted 3.14.24 Reply