chili con carne in a white bowl with a spoon

Low Carb Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne is a delicious, easy low carb chili without beans. Smokey, spicy, and filling, this keto chili features both texas-style hunks of beef and ground beef with peppers, tomatoes, and a secret ingredient to kick it up a notch. 

Best Low Carb Chili con Carne – Low Carb, Keto, LCHF, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free

chili con carne in a blue pot

Nothing says comfort food more than a hearty bowl of chili. Whether you are simply warding off the cold, looking for something to dig-in to while watching the game, or whipping up a batch of this chili for a group, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Sure, there are tons of recipes out there and a variety of offshoots, but this recipe is our favorite. I’ve been making this chili for years, even well before switching to a low carb lifestyle. This is the chili recipe I’d bring to the cook-off at work, the one my husband asks me to make time and time again. It’s not rocket science or a top secret recipe, but it’s just what works. It’s classic, and you can’t mess with classics.

Which leads me to the interesting and somewhat unorthodox ingredient in this recipe:  chocolate. Yes, I put cocoa powder in my chili. Why? Chocolate adds body, depth, and counteracts the acid in the tomatoes. It adds complexity. I know, it sounds a bit wonky, but look at Mexican cooking, chocolate mole is one of the most delectable sauces out there. Trust. You’ll go back for seconds, and it’s even better the next day.

How to make Keto Chili con Carne


  • Beef Chuck roast
  • Ground beef
  • Green pepper
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Beef stock/bone broth
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Ancho chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Smoked Paprika (regular will work too!)
  • Cayenne
  • Sea salt

Some tips, tricks, and take-aways about the Low Carb Chili Con Carne recipe and process:

Brown the meat. There’s absolutely debate here as to whether or not you should brown your chuck roast beforehand. I’m a firm believer in taking the extra step. Cooking down and carmelizing the fat provides additional flavor to the chili. I suggested salting the meat before chopping up your vegetables, and then sear it in a fat of your choice. I typically use avocado oil since it is neutral and has a higher burn point than olive oil. Depending on the size of your dutch oven or stock pot, you may need to brown in batches. Don’t overcrowd as the extra moisture released during the cooking process will prevent you from getting a nice char on all the meat.

Sweat your vegetables. Some recipes will direct you to simply throw everything into the pot and call it a day. Not here. After browning the meat, add a fat of choice to the pot and saute your onions and peppers until soft. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant. Then add your tomatoes, beef stock, and spices. Cooking down the vegetables will allow those flavors to permeate throughout the whole dish earlier in the process.

a white bowl filled with chili

There’s no law that says you can’t adjust or play with the spices. I won’t lie to you, I often eyeball my spice measurements. Sometimes I want a bit more heat. Sometimes I want a little more cumin. There are days I omit the cinnamon and opt for coriander. You can experiment a bit once you get comfortable with the recipe. No judgement if you go rogue. I like that in a cook.

What to serve with keto chili con carne? It’s not easy to divorce yourself from the idea that chili requires beans. Before switching to a low carb lifestyle, I would have not only beans, but serve my chili over elbow macaroni. This Chili con Carne recipe has so much flavor and texture that you won’t miss the beans. However, it’s always nice to have something on the side. I suggest my Cheddar Chive Biscuits, Irish Soda Bread, or even this Jalapeno Cornbread. It’s all about the toppings too. A dollop of sour cream, green onions, and shredded cheddar always round out a bowl of chili. But if you’re feeling adventurous, might I suggest sliced avocado, red onion, jalapeno and some crumbled queso fresco?

Other Low Carb Soup Recipes to inspire you

chili con carne in a white bowl
Yield: 6

Low Carb Chili con Carne

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Chili con Carne is a delicious, easy low carb chili without beans. Smokey, spicy, and filling, this keto chili features both texas-style hunks of beef and ground beef with peppers, tomatoes, and a secret ingredient to kick it up a notch. 


  • 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch hunks
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 14.5 oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup beef stock/bone broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • sea salt


Sprinkle chuck roast hunks with 1/2 tsp sea salt. Set aside while you chop vegetables.

Heat oil in a large stock pot/dutch oven over medium heat. Add chuck roast and brown all sides, stirring occasionally. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add ground beef and a pinch of salt, and cook until no longer pink. Remove from pot and set to the side along with chuck roast. Reserve about 2 tbsp of drippings and discard the rest.

Heat drippings over medium heat, adding onions and peppers. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add liquids. Stir to combine. Add spices and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low. Cook for at least 3 hours or until beef is fork tender. Adjust salt to taste.

Allow chili to cool slightly before serving. Top with favorite toppings.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 518mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 61g

    Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and make sure to join the @noshinandnumnums community on instagram or facebook and tag me in your cooking pictures! 

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