This Chili Without Tomatoes and beans is a Texas-style chili and has the perfect amount of heat and is super thick with tender chunks of meat. This famous recipe has won multiple chili cookoffs, including a Texas chili cookoff! It's made in one-pot and totally gluten free and paleo. Served with some warm cornbread or tortilla chips, it's the perfect recipe for a cool, fall night.
You can’t get more Texas than a bowl of chili. It’s the official state dish and many people here have recipes that have been in their family for years. But there’s one thing that remains consistent - there are no beans in Texas chili. As quoted by journalist and chili enthusiast, Wick Fowler, “If you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans”.
Chili without Tomatoes
Considering that many types of beans are one of the lesser known migraine triggers, this no tomato chili is the perfect route for those on the migraine diet. Another plus is it’s also considered against Texas chili requirements to add tomatoes or beans to the dish. Although tomatoes are allowed on the diet, the higher histamine content can make them an issue for some. They are also a source of natural glutamate. We manage to avoid both potential triggers with this recipe!
A few pantry ingredients make this easy chili recipe delicious!
- Boneless Chuck Roast - Buy this in a whole 3 pound piece and trim the excess fat while chopping into bite-sized pieces. Sometimes the butcher will also chop this for you, but using chuck roast meat will be much more flavorful and tender than pre-packaged stew meat.
- Chili Powder - Many Texas chili recipes require you use an assortment of dried chilis that you grind up yourself, but I don’t know many of us that have time for that. I Morton and Bassett Natural Chili Powder. This chili powder doesn't contain onion powder or cocoa powder. Frontier is also another recommended brand.
- Shallots - These have a softer flavor than onion and don't overpower the meat and spices.
- Spices - Garlic, paprika, cinnamon and cumin round out the flavors.
- Broth or Stock - I typically use homemade chicken stock or vegetable broth. Beef broth would work here as well - whatever you have on hand.
- Butter or Ghee - Butter, ghee, or Earth Balance Pressed Oil will work for dairy free. I prefer the richness of butter or ghee. Another option is to use duck fat, which gives a bacon-like flavor to the dish.
Step by Step Process
- Trim the excess fat from the meat and cut into ½ inch cubes. Over medium high heat, melt fat in a large dutch oven. Add meat, seasoning with salt and pepper, then flipping after a few minutes so all sides get brown. You can do this in batches depending on what size dutch oven you have. It helps to keep everything in one layer.
2. Add shallots and garlic, stirring for 1 minute, then add broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. The meat should barely be covered by the broth.
3. Add chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Do NOT add the cumin here, it will come later (this is because cumin can become bitter if cooked at high heat for a long time). Bring all ingredients to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn down the heat to simmer on low.
4. Simmer for 1 hour covered. If there's an excess of liquid after 1 hour, continue to simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes. If there's not enough liquid, add more broth. Add cumin here and continue to simmer another 30 minutes, or until desired thickness is reached. The sauce also thickens as it cools. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
As far as servings, you'll want to keep in mind that even though it seems like a lot of meat, you'll lose a big chunk of that in the fat you trim and discard. I ended up getting a 2.5lb boneless chuck roast and it made about 3-4 servings for us. You may want to double the recipe or get a larger chuck roast if you'd like to have leftovers or need to feed more than 4 adults. This recipe doubles extremely well and cooks within the same amount of time too.
Storage and Freezing - This tomato free chili is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for those days when you just don't feel well or need a quick meal on hand! Microwave it in increments, stirring every so often or add to a covered pot with a little bit of broth and bring it to a low simmer.
There's so many wonderful toppings you can add to this! A few of my favorite ones are:
- Chopped green onions
- Grated American Cheese - good quality ones are Andrew & Everett and Boar's Head.
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Chopped red radishes
- Whipped cottage cheese - a great substitute for sour cream.
No Tomato Chili
- 2-3 tablespoons butter or ghee *see notes
- 3 lb boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots, about 2-3 small shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups broth or stock, can be chicken or vegetable
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika I used ½ tablespoon regular and ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Optional: cilantro, chives or green onions, and cottage cheese to garnish
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Trim the fat from your chuck roast and cut into ½inch cubes.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of ghee or butter on medium high in a large dutch oven. Cook meat till browned on both sides. I salt my meat with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt here, but if you're sodium sensitive you can wait till the very end to see if it needs any.
- Add chopped shallots and minced garlic and stir for about a minute. Pour in all 4 cups of vegetable broth. Your meat should be barely covered by the broth.
- Add chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Do NOT add the cumin here, it will come later. Bring all ingredients to a boil, cover and turn down the heat to simmer on low.
- Simmer for 1 hour and check. If it looks like there's still too much liquid, remove the cover and allow to simmer for an extra 30 min uncovered. If there's not enough, you can add more broth. Add the cumin here and mix in. Simmer another 30 minutes or until your desired thickness is achieved - I prefer mine a little thicker rather than soupy.
- Add salt, pepper, or any additional spices as you need. Serve warm or cool and add to ziplock bags to freeze and reheat at a later date.
- You lose about ½ pound of the meat weight when you trim the fat so keep that in mind for serving size
- I prefer to use ½ smoked paprika and ½ regular paprika as I think it adds a great smokey flavor to the dish, but either one will do.
- To make this dairy free, you can use duck fat or earth balance pressed oils instead of butter or ghee. For paleo, use ghee.
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