Ground Beef Chili Without Tomatoes - This is our family's favorite allergy-friendly chili recipe, NO tomatoes needed! Packed full of veggies, protein, and flavor.
While there may be differing opinions about whether beans should be in chili, tomatoes are typically a staple.
However, with my daughter Jade's myriad food sensitivities, I've created this tomato-free version in which we truly never miss the tomatoes!
I like to add in a dash of turmeric, which may seem like an odd addition, but it tastes great and adds some anti-inflammatory action.
To bump up the nutrition even more, I sneak in some carrot and zucchini. The zucchini adds a bit of bulk, and you never even taste it.
It's filling, hearty, and delicious, and it's an easy recipe to substitute with what you have on hand.
I'll often double the recipe and reheat leftovers throughout the week for easy lunches or dinners for the kids.
Ingredients and substitutions
Ground beef - I've used ground turkey with success, but I usually add a little olive oil, as it is less fatty.
Yellow onion - White or red onion will also work.
Green bell pepper - This is pretty essential for flavor! You can use red, if you like, but it imparts a bit sweeter taste.
Garlic - Garlic powder may work in a pinch, but I haven't tried it.
Carrot - This brings both nutrition and flavor, though it can be omitted if you're concerned about the sweetness.
Zucchini - Adds bulk and nutrition, but it can also be omitted without issue.
Spices (turmeric, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt) - While unusual, I like to add turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties and taste. If you're feeling fancy, you can try to make your own fresh chili powder!
Water - Broth can be used for extra flavor. A good vegetable broth tastes best.
Beans - I've used just about any bean you can think of in this recipe, but my favorite combo is black and garbanzo. Kidney beans lend a true chili taste, which is what I've included in the recipe. Pinto beans are also great! One of my tricks is to include the bean juice from the can into the chili.
Herbs - Adding a handful of either parsley or cilantro brings a nice freshness to the dish!
How to make chili without tomatoes
Honestly, this is one of the easiest recipes, as you pretty much just throw everything into a large pot and let it simmer.
My typical sequence of steps include first, sauteing the beef with the veggies. I break up the meat and cook the vegetables a bit to bring out their flavor.
Then, I add the spices, stirring them throughout.
Finally, I stir in the water and beans with the bean juice.
Bring it all to a low boil, then lower it to a simmer. As with most chili recipes, this tastes best if you let it cook for (at least) 30 minutes.
Tasty ways to serve chili
Chili is fun, in that, you can add so many different toppings and truly create your own unique meal. Some of our favorites include:
- Various cheeses, including parmesan, cheddar, and pepperjack.
- Sour cream, Greek yogurt, or plain yogurt
- Scallions and/or more herbs, like parsley and cilantro
- Avocado or guacamole
- Salsa, though that would negate the whole tomato-free thing. 🙂
The kids also love a handful of crunchy tortilla chips with their chili.
Try some of my other recipes with beans
Ground Beef Chili Without Tomatoes
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- ½ green pepper chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small carrot chopped
- 1 small zucchini chopped fine
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- ½ cup water
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans (red or white) with bean juice
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas or black beans with bean juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
- Add the ground beef to a large, heated pot and begin to brown it.
- Stir in onion, bell peppers, and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the remaining veggies and spices (carrot, zucchini, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt) and cook about 5-7 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Pour in the water and both cans of beans (with their juices) and bring the mix to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer the chili (uncovered) for 30-45 minutes, until it achieves your desired thickness.
- Stir in the parsley or cilantro about a minute or two you are ready to serve!
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know how you liked it!
Shared with: Full Plate Thursday