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. |

Smoky Beanless Chili (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

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.

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


  • 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


  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.