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Thick and Beefy Beanless Chili Recipe

This easy beanless chili takes very little prep yet turns out an amazingly delicious chili. Three kinds of chili powder is the secret to its deep, rich flavor!

Super Meaty Beanless Chili - lots of meat, and even more flavor!

This beanless chili recipe just might be my favorite chili to date. Loads of beef (a whopping four pounds!) in a flavorful sauce chock full of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, onions and poblano peppers. Less than ten ingredients but it packs a flavor punch!

Chili always makes me think of my Dad; chili is his favorite food. I love chili, too, but I can be particular about it. My chili has to have a lot of meat and – although I do like beans in my chili – I prefer beanless chili with loads of tomatoey goodness.

What makes chili “chili”?

Websters defines chili as “a spicy dish made of ground beef, hot peppers or chili powder, and usually beans”.

But what actually makes a chili “chili” is both personal and regional. Some people might scoff at a beanless chili recipe and claim that it can’t possibly be considered “true” chili, and others couldn’t care less.

In Texas, you’ve got chile con carne. In New Mexico, it’s all about chile verde and carne adobada. And in Cincinatti, there’s Skyline Chili. Louisiana does cajun chili. And don’t even get me started with Frito Pie!

My beanless chili recipe is based on a Midwestern-style chili, which makes sense since that’s where I was born and raised.

The bottom line is that whatever kind of chili you like best, odds are it can safely be called “chili”.

Super Meaty Beanless Chili - lots of meat, and even more flavor!

How to make beanless chili

This beanless chili recipe is a pretty simple one, despite how flavorful it is. The secret is using three different types of chili powders for a good depth of flavor. I’ve made it with just plain old chili powder, too, and that’s also delicious.

You basically just brown the ground beef, add the poblanos and onions, then the spices, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. After that, just sit back and let it simmer!

You could add some fresh corn; I think it would be a great addition. And I suppose you could toss in some beans if you feel you must, but in that case I’d add more tomato sauce and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

This beanless chili is on the mild side of the heat spectrum but some finely chopped chipotle peppers would be a delicious way to spice it up. You could also dice some jalapenos to serve on the side along with a few bottles of your favorite hot sauce.

I prefer to keep things mild and let everyone’s tastes dictate how much heat to add but if your family can handle the spice, I say go for it! It’s a thick chili, too, especially the next day. So, if you’ve been looking for a thick, super-beefy, beanless chili that’s on the mild side, this is the chili recipe for you!

Super Meaty Beanless Chili - lots of meat, and even more flavor!
a closeup of a large pot of beanless chili

Thick and Beefy Beanless Chili

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This is a fairly mild chili. Feel free to add jalapenos along with the onions and poblanos, some hot sauce or some chopped chipotles in adobo sauce. All would be delicious and add some good, hot spice!


  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 14- ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 3 14- ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, season it well!!


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook ground beef until almost no pink remains. Drain off fat. Add onions and poblano peppers, cook another 2-3 minutes. Add spices, cook another two minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, stirring well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, mostly covered with just a small amount of space for heat to escape, for at least another hour (and up to two or three if you've got the time). SEASON TO TASTE (be sure to add enough salt until the flavors really pop)!
  3. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced poblano and/or jalapenos, chopped green onion and anything else you prefer!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 695Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 17gNet Carbohydrates: 11gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 65g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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