When the temperature drops even just a few degrees, I start craving chili. But once I started tracking food, I realized my typical chili recipe was costing me almost 50 g of carbs – no bueno. So, I went on a quest to adapt my favorite flavors into a healthier option. This Slow Cooker Low Carb Chili is thick, hearty, chunky and just a little spicy. By replacing carb-heavy beans with chunky vegetables, you can cut down on carbs without sacrificing any flavor.
When I was growing up, there was a pretty constant struggle in my household. It was between the entire family and my brother – who never wanted beans in the chili. What? It was like the Domino’s commercials with the salad-loving, pizza destroyer. No beans…pshhhhhh. Little did I know, though, he was on to something. For a low carb chili option, I replaced the beans and corn with diced veggies to keep a nice, chunky texture. I wouldn’t cut the tomato paste, because I loooooove thicker chili. If you like your chili a little looser you can omit the tomato paste (hey, that saves you a few more carbs, too) and replace with some extra broth.
I don’t like things too spicy, but little kick is a must. So, I’m liberal with chili powder and cumin and those traditional spices. But instead of adding cayenne or jalepeno, I opt for some chorizo to give the dish a little spice. I do like mixing turkey meat with just a little chorizo. If you like things spicier – go ahead and add a 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and/or some chopped jalepenos.
What you end up with is a thick, hearty and flavorful low carb chili. That deep red color is a very yummy sign. This chili is super delicious on it’s own (especially with a little shredded cheese, avocado, or sour cream). But, it’s also a great consistency for topping a baked sweet potato or nachos. So, the next time someone says leave the beans out – make sure to give it a chance, you could be pleasantly surprised!
And if you’re looking for more slow cooker ideas – check out some of my other favorites:
- 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
- 1/2 pound ground beef or pork chorizo
- 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 2 bell peppers (chopped)
- 3 cup medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cup medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened slightly (about 2-4 minutes). Then add meat and cook until browned (about 5 minutes), breaking into pieces as you go. Stir in spices and tomato paste until meat is coated and spices are fragrant.
Transfer beef mixture to slow cooker.
Add all other ingredients, stir until fully combined.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours
For 1 (heaping) cup: Calories 318 ~ Total Fat 16.5 g ~ Saturated Fat 7.5 g ~ Trans Fat 1 g ~ Cholesterol 60 mg ~ Sodium 1167 mg ~ Potassium 570 mg ~ Total Carbohydrate 21 g ~ Dietary Fiber 7.5 g ~ Sugars 10.5 g ~ Protein 19 g