Take your chili game up a (healthy-ish) notch with this veggie packed, no bean twist! Flexitarian-style Whole30 Chili is brimming with a rainbow of colorful vegetables with just enough beef to please even the most carnivorous chili-lover in your life. Loaded with nutrient dense real foods, make this chili for game day, meal prep, or any hungry crowd.
Heat a 6-quart dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat until it shimmers. Add onion, celery, and bell peppers and toss to coat in the fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the onions turn translucent, 7-9 minutes.
Add ground beef and cook, stirring with a wood spoon to break into pieces, until the beef is no longer pink, 3-4 minutes.
Add jalapeno, garlic, tomato paste, spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika) and salt. Stir continuously with a wood spoon until the tomato paste is worked into the vegetables and the spices are toasted and very fragrant, 2 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth and diced sweet potato, then stir all ingredients together. Top with a bay leaf. Increase heat to high to bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 35-45 minutes until the chili is thick and the flavors have melded. Stir occasionally to prevent scalding. Taste for flavor and seasoning - simmer an additional 10 minutes if flavors have not fully developed, and/or adjust with additional salt as necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
We always prefer fire-roasted tomatoes for best flavor, and specifically the Muir Glen brand.
If you cannot find crushed tomatoes, substitute with one can diced tomatoes blended until smooth.
Swap out the beef for your favorite ground meat, including turkey, pork, venison, or bison. If using turkey, try to source dark meat ground turkey, as it has more fat and will improve the flavor.
Keep the jalapeno seeds or double the jalapeños for a very spicy chili.
Further adjust the heat level by using more or less chili powder. I recommend at least two tablespoons and you can scale up to four.
Chili needs to simmer at least 30 minutes, preferably 45 for best flavor and texture. For an even more complex flavor, simmer for up to 2 hours. When doing so, partially cover the dutch oven, leaving a small crack for steam to escape, to prevent the liquid from evaporating too quickly.