No Bean Chili Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes (longer simmering develops more flavor)



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (or your choice of ground meat – turkey works well too)
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced


  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, adjust for heat level)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted adds depth)
  • 2 cups beef broth (low-sodium preferred)
  • 1 bay leaf

Optional Add-Ins

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon masa harina (for thickening)
  • Hot sauce for serving


1. Brown the meat: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until browned. Drain off excess grease if necessary.

2. Sauté vegetables: Add onion and bell pepper to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.

3. Add seasonings: Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute to bloom the spices.

4. Add tomatoes and broth: Pour in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and beef broth. Add the bay leaf.

5. Simmer and thicken: Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 30-45 minutes, or until desired thickness is reached. Simmering longer enhances the flavors. For thicker chili, stir in masa harina during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

6. Taste and adjust: Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings. If needed, add more salt, pepper, or a dash of hot sauce.

7. Serve and enjoy: Serve hot topped with your favorite chili toppings such as:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped green onions
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Tortilla chips
  • Chopped avocado


Customization: Adapt to your liking with add-ins like celery, green chilies, or other vegetables.

Make it spicier: Increase the cayenne pepper or add your favorite hot sauce.

Leftovers: Chili tastes even better the next day! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for later.


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