Let’s face it. Keto is a restrictive diet. Not only can you not eat some of your favorite foods like pizza and burgers, but even some healthy stuff like fruits are off-limits. And the restrictive nature of the diet is one of the biggest reasons why so many people have trouble sticking to keto. I mean, you can only resist pizza and cookies for so long, when all you’re eating is broccoli and steak for lunch and dinner every day.
I know because I’ve been through those struggles. I gave up on keto more than once because I couldn’t imagine going through life and not eating anything I enjoyed.
But I also couldn’t ignore the fact that I was feeling amazing on the keto diet. I knew I had to find a way to stick to keto without hating life. I had to find keto-friendly versions of some of my favorite foods. And today, I’m going to share with you one of those recipes that probably saved my keto journey. It’s the keto version of one of my favorite dishes: a hearty bowl of chili.
And trust me, this recipe we will prepare today won’t feel anything like a sacrifice. It is just as delicious as any bowl of chili I’d had in my pre-keto life. So whether it’s a backyard BBQ, a pregame tailgate, or a cold winter day, get ready to cook up some delicious, nutritious, guilt-free, keto chili.
Chili is typically not a keto-friendly dish. It isn’t even considered low-carb because beans (which are high in carbs) are usually one of the main ingredients. But chili can be a keto dish. If you prepare it with only keto-friendly ingredients, as we will today, then there’s no reason why chili can’t be a part of your keto recipe arsenal. Instead of beans, we will be using chopped low-carb veggies like celery, jalapenos, and red bell peppers to add texture.
Ok, so let’s get into it.
Before you get started, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 ½ tbsp avocado oil
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef (4-6 servings)
- ½ large onion chopped
- 2-3 celery sticks chopped
- 2 seeded, diced jalapenos (optional if you like an added kick)
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce (make sure to check the label for no added sugars)
- Can of beef or chicken broth (for extra credit, substitute with bone broth)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 6 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 diced lime
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Cilantro chopped
Before we move on to the actual cooking part, let me address two of the most common questions I get when I share my recipe with keto newbies.
Do you really need grass-fed beef and avocado oil?
Technically, no. You can use regular grain-fed beef and cooking oil, and your chili will still be considered keto.
But both avocado oil and grass-fed beef provide a much higher bang for the buck when it comes to nutrient density.
When you can only eat a limited number of things, like on keto, it becomes vital that you try to get as many nutrients from each food source as you can. It will support your body with clean fuel so it can keep running efficiently on fats.
Among other benefits, grass-fed beef contains more healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which is premium keto fuel. It has fewer calories than grain-fed beef, is typically free of growth hormones, and has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has the potential to fight off diseases.
Avocado oil is not as well known as olive oil, but it should be. Not only does it hold its nutritional value at higher temperatures, but it is packed with beneficial nutrients like oleic acid, a very healthy fat.
Avocado oil is also full of antioxidants, it promotes heart health, and improves absorption of nutrients in your body.
To get started, get a large pot and set the heat to medium. Add the avocado oil, onions, garlic, and sautee for a minute or so. When the onions start getting brown, and it gets aromatic, add the celery, red bell peppers, jalapenos, little it of broth, and keep sauteing for a couple of minutes. Then, add the grass-fed ground beef, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, dried oregano, and sea salt. Break up the ground beef with your spatula. Keep stirring everything together till all the beef is cooked on the outside.
Now it’s time to add the tomato sauce and the rest of the broth. Keep cooking till the beef is cooked throughout. Then add lime, lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, your keto-chili is ready to serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp of sour cream, and shredded cheese.
The nutritional values will vary slightly, depending primarily on the exact amount of oil, meat, and broth you use. But if you follow this recipe, I can guarantee that your chili will be keto-friendly.
Carbohydrates: net 6g
There are days when I’m simply too busy to prepare a meal, even if it is something as simple as this chili recipe.
On those days, my go-to snacks are Naked Nutrition’s keto fat bombs, Naked Keto. They are available either unflavored or in delicious chocolate and vanilla flavors. Naked Nutrition only uses keto-friendly natural ingredients like monk fruit, cacao, and stevia for taste.
Naked Keto is made with powdered sunflower oil and powdered MCT oil. Sunflower oil promotes lean muscle mass, and MCT oil supports weight loss by keeping you satiated and full of energy for more extended periods.
Each fat bomb packs 250-260 calories, which is enough to hold me over when I need a quick snack during a busy day, and to prevent me from heading to the nearby fast-food drive-thru.