Let’s face it. There are a bagillion and five ways to make chili. Do I add beans? If so, what kind? Should I make it in the crockpot? Instapot? Dutch oven? How long does it cook for? Do I add rice? Veggies? GAH! Chili has become such a versatile and fun dish to make because the truth is, it’s whatever you want it to be. To be fair, and to give credit, chili in its traditional sense is cooked low and slow on a burner for a few hours, and has a variety of beans and made with beef, but this can absolutely be made with turkey if that’s your prerogative. Tonight, it’s made in a dutch oven and blended with fresh veggies!
The chili I make is most of the time bean-less as I don’t prefer beans (and being that I’m 90% of the time eating Paleo-style, beans are not part of the Paleo protocol) and they’re just added texture that I just don’t like. Now, that’s not to say this chili isn’t flavorful… because it definitely packs a punch! With layered seasonings like cumin, chili powder, pepper flakes, onion and garlic powder, and of course S&P, it creates a harmony unlike no other. I start with a large onion and roughly chop it so that the pieces are not all the same, but relatively small and thin. I heat my dutch oven before adding the oil, then add in the onions and some salt. The onions will begin to become translucent and fragrant, then I add the in sliced cherry tomatoes (really just for fun and texture) and let it settle.
I take 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef and add it to the pot, seasoning with just the salt, onion and garlic powder, and mix together well. As the ground beef begins to brown, I break apart the large meat chunks with a wooden spoon. Mix all together and add in the tomato sauce (for tonight, I just used what I had in house, which was a jar of Classico sauce, but I prefer traditional tomato sauce in a can). Stir together to coat all ingredients and then add in the chili powder, cumin, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and let sit on a low flame for two hours. After one hour, I add in chopped zucchini.
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1 jar low-sugar tomato sauce
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 medium zucchini sliced then chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
In a large pan or dutch oven, turn heat to medium and then add the olive oil. Add in chopped onions and begin to let simmer. Add tomatoes and stir. Let simmer and occasionally stir, waiting for the skins to begin to peel and the onions to be translucent
Add in ground beef and break apart with wooden spoon. Stir together with onions and tomatoes, adding garlic and onion powder and salt. Let sit and brown, about 7-8 minutes.
Pour in tomato sauce and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle in chili powder, red pepper flakes, pepper, and cumin. Cover and turn flame to low. Simmer for 2 hours
After one hour of cooking, add in the chopped zucchini. Stir and cover. Cook for remaining time; stir occasionally.
Serve over rice or sweet potato, regular potato, etc. Add cheese or favorite condiments as needed and enjoy!