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After sharing my Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe, I felt like my Crock Pot deserved some love, too. I really do enjoy using both! With the cold and dreary days of winter in full swing, I’m majorly craving comfort food, and I’ve fallen in love with this low carb keto chili recipe in the Crock Pot (slow cooker). But, you can totally make this keto chili in the Instant Pot, too!
This is a no-bean chili and is by far the most classic of my keto chili recipes, but I also used it as a base to make the best chili recipe with beans. If you want to keep it keto but looking for some variety, try keto white chicken chili and whole30 chili. No matter what kind of low carb chili you make, don’t forget the keto cornbread!
Why You’ll Love This Keto Chili Recipe
- Rich, hearty, flavorful dish
- Chunky, thick chili texture
- Just 15 minutes prep time
- Three cooking options – Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or stove top
- Healthy, low carb, and gluten-free
Is Chili Keto?
No, traditional chili is not keto friendly — the carbs in beans are just too high. Some people do use black soybeans, which are lower in carbs, but this is why I don’t recommend soy.
So, I knew that if I wanted a keto chili recipe, I would have to make it a chili without beans. That’s really the only way to avoid too many carbs in chili. I was a little unsure about it, since beans are such a crucial component. Also, just as with my sugar-free BBQ sauce, I was uncertain because people have different perceptions about what a good beef chili should taste like.
I’m really glad that I decided to try my hand at low carb chili without beans, uncertainties notwithstanding! It made such a satisfying, healthy dinner with all the flavor of a traditional chili recipe.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for thebest keto chili, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Ground Meat – I prefer grass-fed ground beef and typically use 85/15. Any ground beef you like will work, or you can substitute ground turkey or chicken.
- Onion – I used a white onion, but you could also use a yellow onion.
- Garlic – Use fresh minced garlic for best flavor or jarred for convenience.
- Diced Tomatoes – Two cans of diced tomatoes provide classic flavor, and be sure you don’t drain the liquid, which is needed so that the chili isn’t too thick. If you like a smoky flavor, try fire-roasted tomatoes instead.
- Tomato Paste – Also provides flavor and depth. Be sure there is no added sugar.
- Green Chiles – These chiles add a very mild heat, but feel free to adjust according to preference. You could also add jalapeños if you like the spice.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This helps give the easy low carb chili recipe umami flavor and slight sweetness. Worcestershire sauce is not keto friendly in large quantities, but just a couple tablespoons in the whole large batch of chili is fine. You can substitute coconut aminos if you like.
- Spices – Chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and a bay leaf. Feel free to add cayenne pepper for more heat.
The key to getting no bean chili right is being generous with the spices (see amounts on the recipe card below). Even my little girl enjoyed it, after I mellowed out the heat a bit for her by adding toppings (ideas below!).
How To Make Keto Chili In A Crock Pot
This section shows how to make Crock Pot keto chili, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute onion. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped onion until translucent. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Brown ground beef. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking apart with a spatula.
- Mix low carb chili. Transfer ground beef mixture to slow cooker. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper and mix together. Add bay leaf into the middle.
- Slow cook. Cook for 6-8 hours on Low or 3-4 hours on High. If your slow cooker tends to run hot, stir every couple hours.
How To Make Keto Chili In The Instant Pot
This section shows how to make Instant Pot keto chili, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute onions and garlic. Select “Saute” mode on pressure cooker and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Brown ground beef. Add ground beef to onions and cook until browned, breaking apart with a spatula.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper and stir together. Pour in 1 cup water or beef broth (the liquid is an additional ingredient recommended for Instant Pot keto chili, due to the pressure). Place bay leaf into the middle.
- Pressure cook. Close lid and stop “Saute” mode. Select “Meat/Stew” mode for 35 minutes and start pressure cooking.
- Release pressure. Wait for natural release if you can, or turn the valve to vent if you are short on time. Remove bay leaf before serving. Instant Pot keto chili will be a bit thinner than the Crock Pot version, due to the broth added, but this is recommended for pressure cooking so that it won’t burn.
Stove Top Instructions
Stove top low carb chili is almost identical to the Instant Pot above, except you’d use a dutch oven:
- Saute onions and garlic. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Brown ground beef. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper and stir together. Place bay leaf into the middle.
- Cook. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the flavors develop to your liking.
The Best Keto Chili Toppings
Once you’ve made your low carb beanless chili recipe, it’s time for sides and toppings. Here are a few ideas:
- Shredded cheese – Cheddar cheese is my personal favorite, but you can also use Mexican blend or any other type from the keto cheese list.
- Sour cream – Yes, sour cream is keto! Use the full-fat kind.
- Green Onions – I prefer to slice them using kitchen shears, see how in my YouTube video of this keto chili recipe.
- Avocado – Dice it, or slice thinly and fan out. This is also in the video.
- Jalapenos – Slice them thinly. Remove the seeds if you want the flavor with less heat.
- Keto Cornbread – The BEST side for keto friendly chili!
- Store: Keep leftover keto Crock Pot chili in the refrigerator for 3-4 days .
- Reheat: Warm up the stew in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, until hot. You can also reheat keto chili in the slow cooker on Low.
- Freeze: Fortunately, Crock Pot low carb chili (or Instant Pot keto chili, if you prefer) is perfect for freezing. This one is a big batch recipe that makes ten cups — plenty to cover dinner right away and the freezer for later — and since it’s dairy-free, there are no texture issues. It’s super easy! And if you LOVE chili, make a double batch. Just let the chili cool, then freeze flat in freezer bags; once solid, you can move them around or place vertically in your freezer as needed. (I also like to do this with beef barbacoa for a ready-to-go taco night!) If you want it to last even longer, you could vacuum seal the freezer bags to remove any remaining air once it’s solid, but I usually don’t find it necessary.
More Keto Freezer Meals
I first made this low carb chili recipe when I was in freezer meal making mode before my second baby was born. That was several years ago, but I still appreciate easy keto freezer meals… and I’ll bet you do, too, so give these a try:
Tools To Make Low Carb Chili
- Saute pan – For sauteing the onions and ground beef. This one is hard anodized, so it’s non-stick without PTFE or PFOA, and virtually nothing will scratch it.
- Wooden spatula – This one is great for both stirring and breaking apart the meat, and won’t scratch any cookware, in case your pan does scratch.
- Meat chopper – This little tool has 3 sections to break up ground beef faster for quick and even browning. Also awesome for tacos or taco salad!
- Crock Pot – This is the slow cooker I use for everything, including this Crock Pot low carb chili!
- Instant Pot – Use this if you prefer pressure cooker keto chili over the slow cooker version. Just as good, but much quicker!
Easy Keto Chili Recipe
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Keto Chili Recipe (Low Carb Chili)
An EASY low carb keto chili recipe, using common ingredients, quick prep, and a Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or stove top. Hearty and flavorful!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Crock Pot slow cooker instructions
In a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped onion for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.
Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Transfer the ground beef mixture into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.
Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions
Select the "Sauté" setting on the pressure cooker (this part is done without the lid). Add a little oil and the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.
Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
- Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, to the Instant Pot and stir until combined. (For the Instant Pot version, it is recommended to also add a cup of water or broth.) Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.
- Close the lid. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to stop the saute cycle. Select the “Meat/Stew” setting (35 minutes) to start pressure cooking.
- Wait for the natural release if you can, or turn the valve to “vent” for quick release if you’re short on time. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1 cup
This is a very chunky keto chili, which I think is a good thing. If you prefer yours thinner, you can add a little water (or broth!) prior to cooking to thin it out as desired. This may also reduce calories and carbs per serving, depending on how much you add.
Recipe from The Easy Keto Cookbook.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This chili is SO good! Even my husband approves, which is really saying something.
Truly Best Chilli Ever!!!!
Made this last night and it was everything I hoped it would be. Thick and chunky…so good. I did drain and add 1 can black beans.
Made it! I friggn LOVE it!
I made this recipe in the Instant Pot last night. I followed the recommendation to add a cup of broth (I used beef broth), but it turned out more like a soup than chili. I really don’t think any liquid needs to be added for the instant pot preparation, especially with all the liquid from the cans added already. We had to use a slotted spoon to get the meat out. Otherwise, flavor was good.
I did the Instapot version of this chili and I must say I’m very surprised. The only thing I changed was I used a little sausage and I didn’t have canned chili’s so I sliced up fresh serranos. The flavor reminds me of Wendy’s chili, which is great because that’s good chili. Thanks for a low carb chili!
Awesome flavor, it’s my new go to Chili recipe! InstaPot made it very easy.
I’m so glad I can say I finally have found my favorite keto chili recipe!!!! I’ve tried other ones with great reviews and while they were fairly good, I wasn’t impressed by them. I substituted green chilies for 2 fresh jalapeños and I came out well! Hubby looovvveessss it!!!
I used an InstaPot and it came out great! Will use this recipe again, for sure!
I’ve got to tell you. I’ve been on a Keto diet for a couple of weeks, along with some co-workers. We were having a chili cookoff at work so I told one of my co-workers since there are a few of us on keto I’ll make a keto chili. I found yours. What a hit. Out of nine chili’s my (I mean OURS *smile* ) Got first place. Only difference was mine was made with deer venison and I didn’t have dried oregano so I used Italian seasoning. Thanks for your recipe. Couldn’t have done it without you! 🙂
FYI. I did have to add some water and salt. Was a little to thick.
Such an amazing recipe!! First time making chili and it was a huge hit. My picky husband even loved it! I personally added one cup of water to mine. Def a new staple!
This is my favorite chili recipe. I’ve made it several times to meal-prep lunches for work. I add chopped celery and carrots and I use the Instant Pot version. Very good!
Can you add all ingredients raw in slow cooker? Trying to find recipes that will work for a busy work day when have no time to cook pr prep things.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Shanna, I don’t recommend doing that.
Delicious recipe! I could easily eat this all day. My only criticism would be that this could easily put you over your daily carb limit. There are many hidden carbs in the spices as well as the tomato products. I calculated the carb content in this recipe as 90 net carbs. How many servings would you say this recipe produces? I would definitely recommend portioning and dividing the chili so you exceed your daily carb intake. I also slightly modified the recipe to mix in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Super yummy!
Wholesome Yum D1
Hi Mark, This recipe serves 10.
Delicious. Nice spice follows bite. Will definitely be making again! Used instapot.
This chili got rave reviews from my dinner guests. I did add beans to theirs, kept it without for hubby and I. Great taste, simple to make.
This is the only chili recipe I use!! We’ve been having it for years and it never disappoints. My picky eater loves it, too. Thank you so much for an amazing recipe!
Very easy recipe to follow, mine was cooked stovetop, from the beginning of sautéing garlic and onions till the end as it was simmering the smells started pulling the family into the kitchen to see “what’s cooking?!” Very rich in flavor and the thickness was spot on! No toppings needed! Everyone was like this taste so good! So family approved at our home! EXTREMELY good in my opinion, definitely hit that save button! Thanks for sharing!!
We love the recipe but you say it is thick and hearty. I keep looking to see if I left something out. Mine is very thin and watery. The taste is great but I would love to thicken it. Help. Thanks
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Janet, I suggest draining some of the liquid from the canned tomatoes.
Seriously the best chili ever. I added a couple tablespoons more chili powder. Amazing!
So delicious! Didn’t use an onion as one my kids has an aversion to the texture. Thank you!
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