No Bean Chili

4.93 from 13 votes

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This No Bean Chili Recipe is a hearty and healthy recipe, filled with turkey and tons of vegetables! This meal comes together quickly and is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner! Be sure to serve with this *BEST* Cornbread Recipe and homemade Honey Butter! Yum! Recipe is based off my Original Chili Recipe, but with no beans.

top down view of no bean chili in a bowl next to cornbread

A Low Carb Chili Recipe (with No Beans!)

While I have some classic, family-friendly Chili recipes on my site, this one might be considered a little different. Most chili recipes add cans of beans. But for this lower carb chili recipe, we replaced the beans with a ton of veggies (carrots, zucchini, corn, yellow squash, celery, onions and garlic). Because this is spiced with lots of cumin and chili powder, you won’t even notice that the beans are missing.

Is This Really Low Carb?

So, I have a hard time answering this question because there are so many variations of what a ‘low carb diet’ means. Keto is different from Atkins which is different from Paleo. All have different numbers of carbs you can eat. So, in general, compared to the original recipe, yes this is low carb! The vegetables have carbs in them-not nearly as many as you’d find with the addition of rice or beans, but carbs nonetheless. If you are looking to reduce the carbs even lower than what is calculated per serving in the recipe card, feel free to omit the corn.

a scoop of chili over a whole pot of it

Easy Substitutions

The thing I love about any chili recipe is it comes together in a snap and it uses a lot of canned products that are inexpensive and easy to store. This No-Bean Chili mostly falls under that category, but we are substituting the canned beans for some fresh veggies.

  1. Use Ground Turkey and Ground Beef Interchangeably. Both ground meats work perfectly in a stew like chili and most of the time no one can really tell the difference because it’s all spiced exactly the same. To make this lower fat, consider using a 96% lean ground beef or a 99% fat free ground turkey.
  2. Other Low Carb Veggies for Zucchini and Yellow Squash. While I like the texture of zucchini and yellow squash after cooking, I LOVE that it blends in and tastes like whatever you pair with it. If you don’t like zucchini or squash, instead of omitting it, try switching it out for a lower carb veggie: mushrooms, chard, broccoli, bell peppers or asparagus. All of these will make your chili recipe a unique one with their own flavor and textures, but it should be fine with all that cumin and chili powder.
  3. Make it Spicy with Jalapenos. While I cook this recipe for a younger crowd with mild palates, feel free to spice this recipe up with some fresh jalapenos, more chili powder, cayenne powder, dried chiles, hot sauce and/or red pepper flakes. They are all delicious in their own way, so use as you’d like.
  4. Taco Seasoning for Cumin and Chili Powder. In a perfect world, everyone would use my recipes as written and not have any problems whatsoever. The reality is most people won’t have every single ingredient and that’s ok! If you don’t have cumin and chili powder but do have taco seasoning, use the taco seasoning! Yes, it will taste a little like tacos, but still delicious!

How to Make No Bean Chili in 3 Easy Steps

These directions are pretty darn simple! But for more specific increments and instructions, please refer to my recipe card at the bottom of this post. Also, the nutritional information is included there as well.

1. Cook Ground Turkey

In a large pot, heat oil. Drop turkey meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly.

2. Add Veggies and Spices

Add in onions, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash until slightly softened. Stir in the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and spices. Bring the whole pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 3 hours. (30 minutes is fine!)

3. Dish up and Serve

Serve Chili with desired toppings and cornbread.

What to Serve with Chili Besides Cornbread

I’m not gonna lie, I make a mean cornbread. It’s sweet, tender and addicting. But not everyone wants cornbread. (Shocking, I know.) Here are a few ideas that you might like instead:

If none of these seem like good options, feel free to browse my side dish recipe archive. I’ve got a little something for everyone there.

Storing Leftover No Bean Chili

This recipe will stay good in the fridge for up to five days, covered in an airtight container.

Or try making a double batch and freezing half of it for a quick, delicious, and healthy dinner some other time. No bean chili can be frozen in an airtight container or bag for up to two months.

To reheat, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight. Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring half way through to heat evenly. Yum yum!

close up of chili with toppings

Favorite (Low Carb) Chili Toppings

I’m assuming if you’re looking for a no-bean chili recipe, you are also in the market for some lower carb chili toppings to take things over the top. While any topping you’d put on regular chili you can put on no bean chili, not all of them are low carb. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Avocados or homemade guacamole
  • Fresh diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
  • Grated Cheese (cotija, mexican blend or sharp cheddar are my favorites)
  • Chopped Cilantro and/or fresh jalapeno slices
  • Sour Cream
  • Black Olives
what to serve with chili

Loved this No Bean Chili Recipe? Try these other Lower Carb Recipes:

three quarter view of a bowl of chili next to cornbread

Anyways, printable recipe is below! Pin it, print it, or bookmark this page. Have a great day!

close up of bowl of no bean chili
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4.93 from 13 votes

No Bean Chili Recipe

No Bean Chili is filled with turkey and tons of vegetables! You bet this is healthy, so try making this amazing chili recipe no beans style!
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey 93% lean
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 small zucchini diced
  • 2 small yellow squash diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup beef stock or chicken stock
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 14.5 oz tomato sauce 1 can
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder or more if you like it spicy


  • grated cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • avocados etc.


  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Drop meat into the pot and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly.
  • Add in onions, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 30 minutes.
  • Serve with desired toppings and cornbread.


LOWER CARB OPTION: If you’d like to make this recipe even lower in carbs, consider omitting the corn.


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 1403mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 6340IU | Vitamin C: 52.6mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4.2mg
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili recipe no beans, No Bean Chili

4.93 from 13 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

28 Responses
  1. Kids' Green Smoothie Bowls | Lauren's Latest

    […] you read my last post, you know that I’m working on eating healthy. Which means: if mama is eating healthy, […]

  2. Fall Favorites ???????? – The Morehouse Crew

    […] Since I am on the food and drink train, last night I made a bean free turkey chili that we loved! My husband and I love chili but we both aren’t huge fans of the way the beans make our stomachs feel bloated- bean free turkey chili […]

  3. Francine

    5 stars
    I just made this last week for my husband and me. It was so good, even without the avocados ???? (which we bought but actually forgot to bring out).

    Of course, it was even better when we did remember to bring out the avocados…

  4. Niki

    5 stars
    This looks really good! I am going to take out the carrots and corn to go even lower carb on this and add it to my winter rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Elizabeth Mulewich

    5 stars
    I know everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on this topic, so I hope to not stir any issues! Does Eddie sleep in his own room, or do you co sleep? I could not, for the life of me, get my daughter to sleep by herself. I started co sleeping with her, and minus a few rare occasions, she sleeps entirely through the night now.
    As far as the recipe…THANK YOU!!! Every time I want to make chili, my husband throws a fit because he doesn’t want any beans ????. As usual, this recipe looks amazing, even though it might be missing some beans. You’re a life saver!!!! ☺

  6. mami2jcn

    I have a 1 year old so I can relate to your sleep deprivation! Sorry…no real advice except that it gets better with time.

    I love turkey and I love avocado! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  7. Nicole O.

    I’ve never tried putting corn into chili , but it sounds delish .

    This would be perfect to make since SoCal has been pretty cold as of late .

  8. John Caldecutt

    5 stars
    I’ve made this a couple times now and it’s been delicious both times. I left out the celery both times because I forgot to pick it up at the store, but otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter.

  9. Erin

    Hi! I love your recipes. The no sleep situation sucks for all of you. I love – great tips and techniques in there that worked with my first baby (they also have a new podcast). I hope it turns around for you soon. You’re doing a great job!!

  10. Nicole

    Yessss! Sleep deprivation sucks! And the correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain sucks more! I’m right there with you, Lauren! We’re working on sleep training now that our LO is 6 months old, but until then I’m crazy tired. This recipe is another reminder that I can at least try to eat healthier even though I WANT ALL THE COOKIES! Sigh…good to know I’m not alone in this parenting thing.

  11. Rachel {the avid appetite}

    Love this! I do not have baby weight to lose, but just general, over-indulgence inspired weight 🙂 Love the idea of adding squash instead of beans to this chili!

  12. Cindi

    This chili looks really good! The low carb diet I follow..and other low carb plans…don’t allow corn. I’ll simply leave it out.

  13. Marilyn Brennan

    5 stars
    This looks and sounds so delicious. Making it tomorrow. How about the catch-all phrase: Is he teething? It seems I just guessed my way through some of those times. It’s miserable but you aren’t alone in your misery. Not sure if it helps to know that. Thanks for all your blogs/recipes.



  15. Sheila Larson

    Lauren, I love your recipes. Cant use a lot of them right now, but I’m saving them on Evernote for when my body says its ok!!
    The turkey chili is one I can use now. Sounds really good!!!
    Do you know how much dietary fiber is in a serving? I have to limit the fiber in my diet.

  16. Lori

    First off the chili looks delicious!!
    As far as Eddie, hmmm…how many naps does he take during the day? How long are they? What does he eat right before bed? I would say try to keep him awake from 4pm on, and giving him something a little heavy before bed like rice cereal and fruit. If you aren’t already doing these things that is! Another thing that was helpful was to lay a heating pad on his crib for a bit before laying him down … take it up right before you lay him down and he will feel that warm snuggly feeling.

  17. Cathy Jeppsen

    So sorry, that’s the worst! Our littlest was 18 months before he consistently slept through the night. Then you feel dead. All. The. Time! I wish I could impart a bit of magical wisdom that will help you, but I’ve got nothing. I think sometimes you just have to wait until they’re ready to sleep through the night and try to get a nap in whenever you can. Keep trying, you’re doing great! 🙂

  18. Emily

    Oh no! Sleep deprivation is definitely a form of torture. My daughter is 2 weeks younger than Eddie, so it’s been fun watching what is ahead. We used the method laid out by Ferber. (Because she wasn’t actually hungry six times a night — she just discovered that we would come get her if she started to cry.) Some people are very opposed to this method, so you should take my advice with a grain of salt, knowing all babies are different, etc.

    The recipes continue to look amazing, and I’m so impressed you are managing everything you are! Best of luck!