Easy No-Bean Chili Recipes - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

Easy No-Bean Chili Recipes

January 27, 2024
Easy No-Bean Chili Recipes

Whether sweet or spicy, packed with meat or filled to the brim with vegetables, many people find chili to be the ultimate comfort food. If you don’t like beans, you may have passed on this popular dish, but there’s no reason to miss out on the flavors and nutrition in chili just because you don’t like beans. Once you find some easy no-bean chili recipes you enjoy, you’ll be eating this comfort food by the bowlful.

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There are plenty of delicious chili recipes without beans to choose from. No-bean chili recipes are still a healthy and hearty meal, plus they taste delicious and are easy to make. In fact, the easy no-bean chili recipes we have included here can be made with simple ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.

Why Is chili popular?

Chili is the ultimate American comfort food. It’s hearty and flavorful and is a great meal to enjoy after hiking, skiing or while watching the big game. Originating in Northern Mexico, the dish first became popular in San Antonio, Texas. It became a national dish after it was introduced at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

It’s no surprise that chili started out as a popular recipe among the working class, since it is a budget friendly meal that often includes low cost ingredients. This highly versatile dish can also be made to suit a variety of dietary needs and tastes. Often enjoyed with a side of homemade cornbread, chili is easy to make and tastes just as good when reheated so it’s great for meal prep.

Why not use beans in chili recipes?

Some people dislike the taste or texture of beans and others need to avoid beans if they have food allergies, food intolerances or a digestive condition such as irritable bowel syndrome. Beans and other legumes can be difficult to digest, causing gas, bloating and stomach discomfort. But regardless of the reason you don’t eat beans, you can still enjoy all the goodness of chili by making a no-bean chili recipe.

Why is chili good for you?

Chili can be an excellent source of protein and fiber, even without beans. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey and tofu taste delicious in a no-bean chili recipe and are all high in protein. Chili peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables commonly found in chili are great sources of fiber, as well as vitamins A and C. The spicy taste you enjoy from chili peppers or chili powder is also a great source of capsicum, which boosts your metabolism and may help with weight loss.

Hearty and Healthy No-Bean Chili Recipes

Ready to hop on the no-bean chili bandwagon? Here are some delicious and easy chili recipes without beans you can make and enjoy tonight.

Texas Chili - Steak in chili? Why not! This no-bean chili recipe is a meat lover’s delight, packed with a pound of flank steak seasoned to perfection with the flavors of garlic, molasses, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. This recipe also has the sweet and spicy flavors you crave in a chili, with cocoa powder, cinnamon and chipotle peppers.

Harvest Chili - If you’re a fan of chili recipes that boast a meat and vegetable combo, this harvest chili recipe is for you. Lean ground beef, zucchini, butternut squash and tomatoes make this a hearty chili the whole family will enjoy. This one-pan recipe can be ready to eat in just under an hour.

Butternut Squash Chili - Looking for a low sodium simple no-bean chili recipe? Then try this butternut squash chili. This guilt free dish is packed with healthy fiber (butternut squash), lean protein (ground beef) and the complimentary flavors of garlic, cumin and chili powder. A one-cup serving is only 200 calories, so go ahead and dig into a bowl of this chili that’s a feast for your eyes and your tastebuds.

Cornbread Companions

It’s hard to think about chili without imagining a side of sweet cornbread to dip into it. We’ve all been guilty of buying premade cornbread at the grocery store in a pinch, but it never compares to the taste of fresh, warm, homemade cornbread right out of the oven.

If you’re looking for a healthy cornbread recipe that also has the moist, sweet taste your family enjoys, here are some heart healthy cornbread recipes to whip up alongside your no-bean chili:

Homemade Cornbread - This recipe for homemade cornbread is not only low in sodium and calories, but it’s also gluten-free. A simple cornbread recipe with a hint of honey, it’s ready to serve in just 30 minutes.

Cheddar Bacon Muffins - Looking for a variation on cornbread that packs a punch? This cheddar bacon muffin recipe is one to try! Turkey bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers give these corn muffins an extra flavor kick that pairs well with chili.

How to Store and Freeze Chili

While there’s no such thing as too much chili, there is the potential of making more than you can eat in one day. You know what that means? Leftovers! Chili can easily be refrigerated or frozen so you’ll have a quick and delicious meal on hand whenever you need it.

Chili stored in an airtight container should stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. But if you know you won’t eat it all before then, freeze chili the same day you make it for optimal freshness. Most chili recipes will stay fresh in the freezer for 3 to 6 months, especially if they are tomato- or meat-based. When you want to eat your frozen chili, defrost it in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat in a saucepan over medium heat. It’s that simple!

Ready to try a homemade chili recipe without beans?

In addition to these recipes, you can enjoy chili with a variety of protein, vegetables and heart healthy ingredients, such as quinoa or brown rice. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the taste variations you can create when making chili, with or without beans. Here are more healthy chili recipes that are sure to make this comfort food a regular in your family meal rotation.

Searching for more dinner ideas? Delve into our assortment of easy dinner recipes or explore our heart healthy recipes for inspiration.

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