How to Make Low-Carb Keto Chili in a Slow Cooker

If you're following the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, you must try this simple keto chili recipe.

If you love a hearty bowl of chili but are trying to cut back on carbs, this keto chili recipe is for you. Like all of our favorite keto diet recipes, we’ve reduced the carbs without cutting back on the deliciousness.

Is chili keto-friendly?

Classic bean-based chili is not keto-friendly, as beans are high in carbohydrates. Luckily you can still make a keto-friendly chili without the beans. All of the traditional chili spices, such as chili powder, ground cumin and smoked paprika, are great flavor-boosters for keto foods. Plus, if you love a particularly spicy chili, add some chopped jalapenos to the mix. (One jalapeno has less than 1 carbohydrate.)

How to Make Keto Chili

This recipe makes 8 servings of chili.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

Step 1: Brown the beef

First, preheat your slow cooker. Then, add the olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the cooked browned beef to the slow cooker.

Step 2: Caramelize the onions

Remove all but about a teaspoon of fat from the skillet you used to brown the beef. Add the chopped onion and saute until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker.

Step 3: Cook it slow

Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cilantro to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-5 hours.

Step 4: Stir in some extra flavor

Stir in the cilantro.

Step 5: Serve it up!

Serve immediately with your favorite keto-friendly chili toppings, like cheese or sour cream.

How to Store It

Any leftover chili can be kept in the fridge for up to one week. You can also store the chili in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. If frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Keto-Friendly Chili Variations

  • Prefer a sweeter chili? The addition of unsweetened cocoa powder can add a depth of sweetness to your chili while also enhancing its spicy flavor.
  • If savory is more your style, consider adding cooked bacon.
  • For a smoky flavor, replace a portion of the liquid in the recipe with brewed coffee. In addition to smokiness, coffee can add a unique earthy and robust flavor to your chili.

Low-Carb Chili Toppings

Dress up your chili with some extra ingredients. Keto-friendly chili toppings include cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, scallions and sliced avocado. See what else you can eat on the keto diet.

If you like adding on hot sauce, beware of sugar-heavy products like Sriracha. Instead, look for brands that are low in sugar and salt.

What to Serve with Keto Chili

While traditional cornbread is out, you can make a keto-friendly bread. Try this recipe for keto cloud bread. Given the heartiness of chili, you can’t go wrong with serving a low-carb salad on the side.

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Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.