This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Smoky Beanless Chili

Smoky Beanless Chili has savory bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. And it’s paleo, gluten-free, and whole30 friendly.

This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

I originally created this recipe for a chili cook-off at my friend Alicia’s birthday party last fall, and it was a pretty big hit with the crowd of chili-tasters.

Watch the cooking show episode for my Smoky Beanless Chili recipe:

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Can You Make This Smoky Beanless Chili in a Crock Pot or Instant Pot?

And the best part is that it comes together in the crock pot – perfect for a lazy weekend meal that’ll easily feed a family or help you get your freezer meals re-stocked. I just bake the bacon, brown the meat, then chuck all the ingredients in, set the crock pot, and walk away.

If you don’t have a crock pot, you could try making this in your Instant Pot. You’ll only need about 5 minutes of active cooking time on Manual (high) as long as you brown the meat ahead of time. The sweet potato and butternut squash will get quite soft, but it’ll still be delicious. Just release the pressure naturally, and you’re good to go.

This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Why is This Chili Beanless?

Some people love beans. They’re a good source of fiber, complex carbs, and also have a little bit of protein.

But for others, beans are hard to digest and result in a lot of gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Beans are considered a high FODMAP food. FODMAPs – an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols – are types of carbs that gut bacteria like to feed on, particularly when they can’t be digested by a person.

All of this is to say, avoiding beans (or eating them) is a very individual thing. If you do eat beans, it’s best to make sure they are properly soaked before eating them.

This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Can You Freeze Chili?

100% yes. In fact, chili is one of my favorite meals to bank in the freezer. Once cooked, this chili will freeze well for up to three months if properly stored.

Some of my other favorite freeze-ahead beef meals:

This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Smoky Beanless Chili (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Beef, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 658 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

This paleo & gluten-free Smoky Beanless Chili Recipe has smoky bacon, ground beef, and a little bit of sweetness from sweet potato and butternut squash. It's also whole30 friendly.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 2 lb ground beef grass-fed if possible
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 sweet onion large, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes medium, peeled and diced (about 1 lb)
  • 1 lb butternut squash peeled and diced
  • 14 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce optional
  • Black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Green onions sliced, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is cook the bacon. My favorite method is to bake it: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Lay the bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the bacon is just crisp. The exact time will depend on the thickness of your bacon, so watch it carefully because it can burn in a blink. Once the bacon is done, remove it from the tray and chop it. Refrigerate and save for a garnish.
  2. (An optional method is to chop the raw bacon and render it over medium-low heat in a large skillet, then remove the bacon and save for later.)
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, pour the leftover bacon fat from baking the bacon. Add the ground beef, sea salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, and ground chipotle pepper. Stir often while cooking until the beef is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. While the beef is cooking, I like to prep the onion, sweet potato, and butternut squash.
  4. In your slow cooker, combine the diced onion, sweet potato, and butternut squash. Add the cooked, seasoned ground beef. On top of this, add the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and fish sauce. The fish sauce gives a savory flavor that adds a nice backbone of umami. It’s optional, but I highly recommend it.
  5. Stir all the ingredients until combined, then set the slow cooker to low for 5 to 6 hours. Stir once or twice through the cooking process if you can.
  6. Adjust the seasoning with black pepper and sea salt, then top with sliced green onion. Serve next to a green side salad for a complete meal.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This Smoky Beanless Chili freezes well for up to 3 months.

My recipes are all in a meal planner. Check it out!

Nutrition Facts
Smoky Beanless Chili (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 658 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 1019mg42%
Potassium 1067mg30%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 15580IU312%
Vitamin C 21.9mg27%
Calcium 118mg12%
Iron 5.1mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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22 Responses

  1. Was the bacon supposed to go in the chili? Or were you just using it for the vrease? Also, didn’t ser where the chili powddr went in, so I just mixed it in the slow cooker with everything else. Fingets crossed!

    1. Hi there…the bacon gets saved out and sprinkled on at the end. Yes, you would use the bacon grease to brown the meat. The chili powder goes in with all the spices.

  2. Hi Steph,

    This looks delicious! I see that you put the fish sauce as optional. I’m not super familiar with fish sauce, but I do want to know what kind of benefit it would have to this chili?

  3. This recipe sounds fabulous!! If I’m a little short on time, do you think I could cook this for 2.5 hrs on high? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ivy…the sweet potatoes and squash may not be cooked all the way through. The solution would be to chop the pieces quite small.

  4. Love this chili! Can you tell me what you think the serving size is? I’m thinking 1 cup….but I want to make sure so my macros are correct fro the day. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jenn…here at Stupid Easy Paleo, macronutrient counts and exact serving size weights are not provided. (Everyone’s idea of a serving is different!) My best suggestion is to get the MyFitnessPal app where you’ll be able to enter the recipe ingredients and get the counts from there.

  5. Made this for bunco night, it was the only thing healthy there and I got several requests for the recipe!

    I added a pinch of turmeric and the bacon tops it off wonderfully!

  6. How would I adjust the cooking of this recipe if i wanted to cook it in a pot on the stove instead of a slow cooker?

    Also Thank You for all of these amazing recipes!

    1. Hi there…I would probably bring it to a boil on the stovetop and then reduce to a low simmer for a couple hours. Give it a try and let us know what happens. You’re very welcome!

  7. Delicious and definitely making this again! Substituted acorn squash for the butternut squash and red potatoes for sweet potatoes because these were what I had on hand. Perfect nutrition for a frigid winter day.

  8. The recipe says its 8 servings. How much is one serving? About 1 cup of the chili? Just trying to figure out the nutrition based on the nutrition label listed. Thank you!

    1. I don’t have an exact volume, sorry. When I give servings it’s a rough approximation, including the nutrition label itself.

  9. wow, this chile is awesome. I didn’t have ground chipotle, but used 1 can diced tomatoes and one can dice with green chiles and chipotle peppers. Also added a little bit of red pepper flakes.

  10. My go-to chili recipe. Easy and delicious. My entire family loves it. Even won me 2nd place in a chili-cook off. Pretty sure I would have gotten first but it ran out before everyone got some. Yum!

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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