How to Make the Best Keto Chili
You can even have beans (as long as they’re soy)!
What’s the best keto chili recipe? That depends on your personal taste (as is the case with chili in general). But whatever your particular palate, making delicious keto chili is easy, and that’s a good thing—because chili is always fantastic, obviously, but also, the rampant popularity of the ketogenic diet shows no signs of abating any time soon.
Witness the proliferation of MCT oils on the market, the popularity of Bulletproof coffee, and the existence of keto fast food options when you’re out and about. Strict keto diet adherence is still easiest when you make your own keto-compliant food at home, and there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve, but it’s not that hard to make satisfying keto meals with the right prepping and planning.
Take the aforementioned chili, for example—the perfect centerpiece of a keto tailgating menu or any fall get-together, or just the thing for a comforting weekend dinner. Follow a few simple guidelines and you can whip up a pot of keto chili that everyone will love (well, maybe not vegetarians—though there are a couple vegan keto chili recipes below too).
Here’s how to make the best keto chili:
Use Plenty of Meat
While the keto diet isn’t an excuse to eat mountains of meat with total abandon, it does allow for high meat consumption, and high-fat meat consumption too. So skip the super-lean ground beef and load up your pot with fattier ground blends and/or well-marbled cuts like rib eye. A mix of ground meat and firmer, bite-size pieces makes for a more interesting texture. (That said, there really are meatless keto options too; more on those later.)
Say Bye-Bye to Beans
If you’re already a Texan, or an otherwise devout member of the church of chili con carne, making keto chili won’t be too much of an issue for you, but if you love chili with meat and beans, you’ll have to make some big adjustments—namely, you’ll have to cut out the beans, which are high-carb. If you can’t bear to do it, you can substitute soy beans, which provide valuable texture, flavor, and nutrients but only one net gram of carbs per serving.
Watch Out for Hidden Sugar
Lots of processed foods include a high amount of sugar (plus plenty of other things you don’t need), so beware cans of tomato sauce. Tomato paste is slightly better, and generally acceptable in keto chili recipes since you use a fairly small amount of it in relation to the total volume of other ingredients. And canned tomatoes in their juice are commonly called for, but make sure there is no added sugar in them.
Feel Free to Top It Off
Fear of fat is incompatible with the keto diet, so you can crown your bowl of keto chili with generous amounts of sour cream, cheese, and avocado! Bacon, too. But…
Skip the Chips
Yes, chili is fantastic with corn chips and tortilla chips, but you’ll have to skip them if you’re keeping keto. If you’re really craving that crunchy finish, though, try some pork rinds. They’re basically just fat, protein, and salt (as always, be sure to check your labels). Alternatively, you can make keto cheese crisps for a little crunchy.
Of course, if you’re more of a cornbread-with-chili person, you can try a keto cornbread recipe that uses gluten-free flour (in this case, almond flour).
Best Keto Chili Recipes
Ready to get cooking? Check out some of these easy and delicious keto chili recipes.
Another tomato-free keto chili, this white version relies on chicken, cream, and cream cheese—it’s a rich, comforting bowl with a kick from cumin and green chiles. And best of all, it can also be made in the slow cooker. Get the Keto White Chicken Chili recipe.