My boyfriend and I have a GIANT kettle. I’m talking soup kitchen level giant kettle. Okay, maybe not that big, but big enough to where we have never come to close to filling it even half-way up with anything. Maybe that’s because we don’t batch cook very often since we both love cooking in the evening so much, but there are certainly times when it would be nice to have more leftovers to make packing lunches for both of us easier…so naturally I decided it was a mission of upmost importance to make a giant batch of something. And you know what that something was? CHILI.
I’d never made chili before, nor have I eaten it very many times. I always hated beans even when I didn’t care at all for nutrition, and now tend to avoid them due to a pretty low nutrient density, so nixing the beans was a no-brainer for me. If you want them, you can add them in. Granted, this wouldn’t really be a “paleo” chili anymore if there were beans added, but you do you.
So why chili? Well, it’s freezing. It’s really really freezing cold outside. There’s a snowstorm happening right now and I am lamenting the fact that I finished the leftover chili yesterday instead of today. But alas, we all survive. Secondly, it’s hearty, flavorful, and a fantastic opportunity to get great protein, fat & veg in one go. How can you say no to that? So off I went to create this Classic Paleo Chili!
This stuff is so simple: basically just throwing things in one pot and letting them sit. It makes a huge amount, perfect for storing as leftovers or serving around 6 of your friends, and is packed with gorgeous vegetables to make sure you’re loading up on not only macronutrients, but micronutrients as well. Feel free to use this as a template to make more or less by adjusting the amounts added, and play around with veg and protein–ground bison, turkey & chicken can work great as well! Go crazy. It’s just chili.
Classic Paleo Chili
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 chili pepper diced (more if you like it spicy)
- 4 tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 2 cups kale chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried herb mix
- salt to taste
In a large pot on medium heat, add a tablespoon of your choice of cooking fat (coconut oil, tallow, ghee).
Add diced onions & minced garlic to the pot and let cook until the onions become translucent.
Turn up the heat slightly & add the ground beef. Break up the pieces into crumbles and let cook until no pink is left.
Add can of crushed tomatoes & tomato paste. Stir to combine.
Now it's time to add the veg! Add your diced chili pepper(s), fresh tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper & kale.
Add 2 cups of water. Feel free to add more if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Add seasoning and salt to taste. Adjust as desired.
Cover the pot and let simmer on low-medium heat for at least an hour, but ideally as long as you can! This can simmer for hours and the flavor will continue to develop, making it richer and tastier.
Serve in bowls topped with goat cheese, cilantro, avocado, or whatever you've got on hand.
I personally do not deseed the chili pepper before I add it in because one chili pepper with seeds can pack a big punch of spice even in a huge amount of chili like this recipe yields. Feel free to leave the seeds out of spice isn't your thing.
You can add any veggies you like, not just the ones specified here. Eggplant, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potato and tons of other veg would be delicious as well.
What kind of food are you eating to warm up your insides (+ outsides) during these chilly winter months?