Truth sesh. My ex-BF used to make the best chili in the land. I’ve been trying to replicate it for years, failing miserably each and every time. But – last week, I decided to create my own keto chili and somehow I managed to create something just as spectacular as my old flame’s famous recipe (and, it’s totally family-friendly, woot!).
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Keto chili the whole family can enjoy
While I like things super spicy, I wanted to create a keto chili that my 5-year-old could eat too (assuming she’d be awesome and actually taste the chili and then actually eat it). So, instead of going heavy on the chili powder, I doubled up on the paprika, added a little cumin and some red pepper flakes. Truth be told, I completely ran out of chili powder so I only had enough for a tablespoon anyway. Happy accidents are the best kind!
A few tips: I added an entire can of green chilis and my daughter had no problem with the spice. But, feel free to omit them completely if you’re hoping your keto chili will please a crowd of kiddos that won’t touch spicy. You can also omit the red pepper flakes, as they do add a tiny kick to your bite.
If you are not feeding littles (or your kiddos enjoy a little kick), feel free to add an additional tablespoon of chili powder and/or chipotle chili powder and/or an additional 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to kick up the heat.
I added a hint of sweetness
I always added a little ketchup and maple syrup to previous chili recipes to balance the heat with a teeny-tiny bit of sweetness. But, since I don’t eat sugar these days, I needed to create a keto chili that carried the same balance. To do this, I added a bit of tomato paste, ketchup (no sugar added) and a hint of brown sugar substitute.
The trick, I’ve found, in getting a flavor balance you love is taking it super slow and adding heat or sweet in very small quantities. You can’t reverse it once you’ve added something too overpowering, and I have absolutely made chili in the past and had to dump it because it was literally disgusting.
So, take it from me, you can strike up a really, really good balance if you take your time and taste as you go.
Skip the beans, beef up the…beef
You can’t add any beans to a keto chili. While they are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, they are super high in carbohydrates and tend to cause digestive issues (something you’re hoping to avoid if you’re eating keto). So, instead of adding a few cans of beans, I opted to double up on my meat, by adding equal parts grass-fed ground beef and steak.
You do have to brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, but I promise you it’s totally worth it and the extra step adds so much extra flavor. The steak ends up breaking apart and spilling its juices throughout the batch, and…well, you’ll see. It’s really good.
Top with sour cream and cheese
We like to add a little sour cream and cheddar cheese to our chili before we eat it. There’s something magical about the way that sour flavor marries to the sweet, spicy taste in this keto chili recipe. Avocados would also be a nice touch – just be aware of your macros if you’re strict keto to ensure you’re not going over with the extra toppings.
Some keto notes (ingredients to omit)
A few things to mention if you are eating strict keto:
- Omit the Worcestershire sauce, as it contains sugar/molasses. The amount in 2 tbsp spread over this dish was negligible for my family since we are not eating strict keto, but if you are, you’ll want to skip it.
- Omit the no-sugar-added ketchup to reduce your total net carbs per serving. By omitting the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, you will reduce your total net carbs per 1 cup serving to 8 net carbs.
- Read your labels. Make sure all of your canned or bottled ingredients are completely sugar-free!
The recipe is below
I hope your family loves this keto chili recipe as much as mine did! You do not need to be eating a keto diet to enjoy this delicious slow cooker feast. It’s perfect for the weekend and even better, cozied up on the couch with a little Sunday football or a great movie. Enjoy it!
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