This Paleo Chili is a bean-free, Whole30-approved take on my award winning best chili recipe! It’s a hearty, flavorful chili made with ground beef, sausage, bacon and a wonderful blend of spices.
Since I updated my best chili recipe back in October with new, beautiful photos that show off how delicious it is, so many of you have been LOVING it. I knew that recipe was a winner, but lurking in the back of my archives with less-than-impressive photos, it was always overlooked.
After it got a new look, it managed to go NUTS on Pinterest, and after only about 3 months of being updated, it was my second most viewed recipe of 2016. Of course, with all those people looking at it, a bunch of you made it to.
I’ve been inundated with messages from folks claiming it’s the best chili they ever made. One reader, Jessica, brought it to her church chili cook-off, not even intending to compete with the folks who have been entering chili cook-offs for years…and she WON.
After I got that message, I knew the recipe was a winner, not just with me. After that, a whole bunch of other people also told me they won their chili cook offs, converted their chili-despising kids and husbands, and found a new favorite chili recipe. Nothing flatters me more, guys.
So, when the Super Bowl was coming up, I was jonesing for a big bowl of my favorite chili. But…I was still in the midst of my Whole30, so no beans allowed. I also scoped out the chili powder in my cabinet and found a whole bunch of weird, unnecessary stuff in there.
So I got to work, and adapted my favorite chili recipe to be Paleo + Whole30 approved! It wasn’t too hard to do, and the result is nothing short of fabulous. My dad even said it’s BETTER than the original when he tasted it (but he’s also prone to exaggeration…).
The main change was ditching the chili powder, and still getting all the flavor. The spices list may look a little intimidating, but the combination of all those spices makes for an incredibly flavorful chili.
It also allows you to control the heat yourself, by using cayenne powder. I’m a bit of a spice wimp, so I didn’t use too much, but if you like it hot, add as much as you can handle!
I make this recipe on the stovetop because then I don’t have to dirty any more pans after browning all the meats, but a bunch of folks have told me they’ve made it in the slow cooker. If you’d like to do that too, just follow the first two steps as written, and then add everything into the slow cooker to cook on low for at least four hours.
Between the bacon, the spices, and ALL the flavor packed in here, you definitely won’t be missing the beans. However, if you’re craving more bulk, some sweet potatoes and/or carrots would be great in here too. We loved it as is, though.
This makes a pretty big batch, so it’s perfect to do some meal prepping with, especially if you’re on Whole30 – this chili just gets better after a day or two in the fridge. The flavors meld together so well!
And when you’re serving, make sure you have some bacon to sprinkle over the top! You can never have enough bacon ;) enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
- 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef (I used leaner beef with 5% fat)
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (I used Spicy Italian from Trader Joe’s)
- ½ pound bacon (ensure it’s sugar-free to stay compliant)
- 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups beef stock (homemade or compliant brand - use bone broth for an even richer taste)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
- In a different pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Crumble and add to stock pot. Cook the chopped onion and pepper in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add to the stock pot.
- To the stock pot, add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Season with garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.
- Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. Serve with onions and crumbled bacon or whatever chili toppings you prefer!