This high-protein bean-free chili is the perfect comforting dish for a chilly winter day. Beans and legumes can be hard to digest, especially if you don’t eat them very often. This recipe leaves out the beans, but is still brimming with tender meat, colourful vegetables, and the familiar flavourful chili seasonings. Keep reading to find out how to make this dish.


Bean-free chili1 lb lean ground beef (you can also use ground turkey or chicken)

1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 zucchini, diced

2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced

1 tbsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

14 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup broth (you can use vegetable, chicken, or beef)

2 tbsp chili powder

1.5 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add the meat to the pot and cook until no pink remains, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks.
  2. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot with the meat, and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the diced zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
  4. Add the diced chipotle peppers, extra adobo sauce, and cocoa powder to the pot and stir until the sauce and cocoa powder is evenly distributed.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes in juice, tomato paste, and broth. Stir everything to combine.
  6. Add seasonings and stir.
  7. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!