Homemade Chili Recipe: Low Carb & Easy!

Finding a low carb chili recipe isn’t as easy as it sounds. So many recipes include noodles and a ton of beans. These items up your carb count and make something that could be healthy into a dish that eats up your carbs for the entire day. Add things such as crackers or a peanut butter sandwich with your chili and you’ve shot your entire week’s worth of carbs. Fortunately, we’ve come up with this homemade chili with the taste and texture of chili but keeps the carb count fairly low but you can omit the beans entirely if you like.

For this recipe, you’ll need: canned whole tomatoes, canned red kidney beans, chili powder, ground beef

Homemade Chili Recipe Backstory

We consider ourselves chili experts. My husband often wins chili cook-offs and our families each have their secret recipes. We’re that family that has all the toppings on the side to satisfy everyone’s preferences and we offer peanut butter sandwiches along with the chili, which some guests find odd. The minute the weather cools, we’re ready for a big batch of  it!

When I started on a low carb eating plan, I made the decision to get my carbs as low as possible. Many days, I am more at a keto level with my carbs these days, so 20 grams and under. However, I do allow my carbs to be a bit higher some days, more around 50 to 60 g. I knew I wanted a low carb chili I could make easily, that froze well and that was fairly low in carbs.

I first tried a recipe without beans, but I didn’t care for it. It was too meaty for my taste buds and lacked the texture of the chili I grew up with. It also wasn’t soupy enough. I like my homemade chili a little soupy and not so thick. The recipe I used called for tomato paste, which made it sweet and added to the carb count.

After several attempts, I’ve perfected the recipe for my tastes. I recommend you start with this recipe or Marye’s recipe for Texas Chili. Then, you should experiment and tweak the recipe until it has the text and texture your family loves.

Low carb bowl of chili with big spoonful of chili.
I add just one can of chili beans to a large pot of chili to give it texture but keep the carbs low.

 Low Carb Chili FAQs

How do I make low carb chili?

This low carb chili recipe is so simple that you’ll want to make a huge pot of it. Don’t worry, if there are just a couple of you eating, it’s easy to freeze and it reheats perfectly. Homemade chili actually tastes better a second time around (or third, fourth, or fifth time).

Low carb chili served steamy hot in a bowl.
You can use any type of tomatoes you prefer to change the taste of this chili.
  1. Brown ground beef and onions, drain and pour into a large pot or slow cooker.
  2. Add 1 can of red kidney beans.
  3. Pour in two large cans of diced tomatoes.
  4. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer on stove top for 2-3 hours or in a crock pot for 5-6 hours on low.
  6. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese.
  7. Enjoy!

How can I thicken homemade chili without using flour?

As I mentioned above, this chili is a bit more watery than what you might be used to. I like it that way, but if you want a thicker chili, you can add tomato paste without changing the flavor much. However, it will up the carb count slightly. People are don’t do low carb use flour to thicken chili. That doesn’t fit into a low carb or keto lifestyle, though, so I’d avoid flour like the plague.

How can I make my low carb chili spicier?

I use two different products to make my chili spicier. I either turn to cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Personally, I think the cayenne tastes best with chili, but use this with extreme caution. A little bit of cayenne goes a very long way. Start with one or two quick shakes of the spice and taste test before adding more!

How long does chili keep in the refrigerator?

As with most meats, three days is a good guess on how long you should keep chili before freezing or eating it. The USDA recommends refrigerating cooked ground beef within 1-2 hours and consuming within 3-4 days. Cooked ground beef can be frozen for up to four months safely.

My chili is too sweet, what can I do to fix it?

Unfortunately, you can’t easily fix chili that’s too sweet. What you can do is add more ingredients in an attempt to lesson the impact. Tomato paste is sometimes the culprit and some tomato brands taste very sweet to me. Experiment with different brands until you find the one that works best for your chili.

How do I freeze low carb chili?

Allow the chili to cool completely. I usually let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then, portion it up into the typical amount you’d eat in a meal and portion into gallon size freezer bags with the zip tops. I prefer these because you can lay them flat and they are easier to store in the freezer. They are also easy to label with the contents and date with a black permanent marker. Lay flat and freeze. You can then stand them up or rearrange as you’d like.

Variations to Chili Recipe Lower Carb

There are so many ways you can make this lower carb chili your own:

  • Add chopped green peppers and cook along with the onions and ground beef.
  • Use a different variety of beans – black, pinto, canned chili beans (watch carb counts!)
  • Use tomatoes with green chilies for more spice.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon for a unique taste.
  • Use ground turkey for a low carb turkey chili recipe.
  • Reduce the amount of beef to make the chili more soupy.
  • Up the amount of beef to make the chili meatier and thicker.

You May Need

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I use this Hamilton Beach slow cooker at least three times a week. I love it because it has clips if you need to transport a dish to a gathering or keep the cats out of your food. It also is programmable and 7 quarts, which allows me to make a huge batch of chili.

Low Carb Homemade Chili Recipe

When you simply have to have some chili to ward off the cool weather, turn to this easy recipe that is much lower in carbs than a conventional recipe. If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars.

Bowl of low carb chili perfect for fall.
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Low Carb Chili with Beans

When you need comfort food that takes you back to meals grandma used to serve, this low carb chili recipe will satisfy your cravings.
Course Low Carb Main, main dish, Soup
Cuisine American - low -carb
Keyword chili, ground beef, slow cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 309
Author Lori Soard

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds ground beef
  • 30 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 ounces beef broth
  • 1/2 diced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 14 oz kidney beans

Instructions

  • Dice onions fine.
  • Add onions and ground beef to a skillet and cook until beef is browned.
  • Drain off the excess grease.
  • Add meat and onion mixture to a large pot or a slow cooker.
  • Pour in cans of tomatoes (juice and all) and beef broth.
  • Add dry seasoning.
  • Stir all ingredient together.
  • On a stove top, cook on simmer for 2-3 hours. In a slow cooker, cook on low for 5-6 hours. Keep warm as long as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1200IU | Vitamin C: 10.5mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4.1mg

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Last Updated 08/20/2019

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